Las Vegas concert also featured a rare performance of their 1987 B-side “The Sweetest Thing”
U2 resumed their Las Vegas Sphere residency Friday night after a six-week break, and the mid-show acoustic set featured their first-ever live performance of the 1986 Crowded House classic “Don’t Dream It’s Over.” It was dedicated to that band’s frontman Neil Finn, Tim Finn, his brother and longtime creative collaborator, and their mother Mary.
Crowded House have landed many hits on the charts in Europe, Australia, and their native New Zealand over the past four decades. But “Don’t Dream It’s Over” is one of their few songs to make a big impression in America. It’s the only one you hear today on classic rock radio. “There’s two ways of looking at that,” Neil Finn told Rolling Stone in 2021. “Obviously, there’s some a frustration since I know I’ve produced a lot of what I think of as really good quality work over the years. When there’s all this interest on one song, sometimes I want to go, ‘Hey, look over here.’”
He continued, “But I don’t dwell on that. I’m actually grateful that that song has done what it has. It seems special…I just think to have a song that has traveled so far is a wonderful thing. The other thing I’m really grateful for is that I actually like the song still. I think there’s some people that are in the unfortunate position of having a novelty song that they wrote become their most famous song. I feel a bit concerned for people in that sense. At least I feel proud of that song.”
U2 also played their 1987 B-side “The Sweetest Thing” for the first time since 2017 at Friday’s Sphere show. The song became a somewhat unlikely hit for them in 1998 when they released at modified version of it on their compilation album The Best of 1980–1990.
The band continue the Sphere run Saturday evening. On February 4, a segment of their show will be telecast live on the Grammys. The band’s Las Vegas residency wraps up March 2, at which point they’ll hand over the keys of Sphere to Phish.