Listen: U2’s Emit Pre-Las Vegas Residency Single “Atomic City”

On the day they’re set to kick off a four-month residency at the MSG Sphere at the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, U2 has released their first new music in two years with “Atomic City.”

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Produced by Jacknife Lee and Steve Lillywhite and recorded at Sound City in Los Angeles, “Atomic City” follows up U2’s 2021 single “You Saved My Life,” featured in the animated film Sing 2 and the band’s 2023 release Songs of Surrender—a collection of 40 songs from the band’s catalog reimagined.

“Atomic City” is inspired by the entertainment and tourism boom in Las Vegas throughout the 1950s and the nuclear testing site on the outskirts of the city, along with its legends (Sinatra) and pervading spirit.

Come all who serve above and below
Come all believers and all who don’t know
Come quick, come soon, comme ci, comme ça
Then you dive into your eyes and blah blah blah
Guitars, she pulls the strings et cetera
Sinatra swings, a choir sings
Love is god and god is love
And if your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough

“It’s a love song to our audience—where you are is where I’ll be,” said Bono, who also described the track as a “rock and roll 45 [rpm single] in the tradition of late-’70s post-punk, Blondie, the Clash, and some ’70s punk.” 

To visualize their “Atomic City,’ U2 recently filmed a video during a surprise, pop-up concert on Saturday (September 16). Directed by Ben Kutchins, portions of the final video were shot on Freemont Street, where U2 filmed the video for “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking” in April 1987 during their Joshua Tree Tour.

[RELATED: The Edge Talks U2’s Songs Surrendered]

The video also features drummer Larry Mullen Jr., who has been recovering from back surgery and will not join the band during their Sphere shows. Dutch drummer Bram van den Berg will fill in for Mullen Jr. during the residency.

The UV: Achtung Baby residency will run throughout the end of September and continue on with a series of dates over the next three months before wrapping up on Saturday (December 16).

Photo: Sam Jones / Courtesy of Full Coverage

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