We don't think it's a knowing song choice considering the guitar gear involved, but it might as well be. U2 has released pro (read: full bells, whistles and drone) footage performing Achtung Baby hit Even Better Than The Real Thing at the Las Vegas Sphere as the band resumes their residency there. And we now know there's no tube amps involved.
What we're hearing from the Edge below is his Rickenbacker 350 Jetglo through Universal Audio's UAFX amp emulator pedals with the Fractal Axe-FX for effects – ditto in the clip of The Fly below that. As the guitarist confirmed to MusicRadar last year, he's using the Dream '65, Ruby '63 and Woodrow '55 pedals to cover the Fender Deluxe, Vox AC30 and Fender Tweed tones through his Vegas sets. And who knows, maybe he's even added the new Lion '68 for some Marshall Super Lead thrills by now!
"For various reasons at the Sphere I decided to switch from amplifiers to digital amp emulators," the U2 guitarist told MusicRadar when we reached out following speculation online. "I'm using UA Ruby, Dream and Woodrow amp pedals with some Fractal Axe-FX units handling additional amp emulation and FX.
"When you introduce radio leads and all the electronics involved it's never the same as a simple guitar into amp tone so it's a case of high-level complexity to make it sound simple,” he added.
Will this kind of amp and effects modelling be part of the Edge's rig for other venues going forward? Time will tell, either way, we think it's a safe bet he'll always have spectacular tones.