"This is definitely going to attract more UFOs."

Sensory Overload

Sphere Entertainment, the Madison Square Garden-funded venture seeking to "reinvent" live music, has started testing its first — and impressively large — LED-laden, orb-shaped music venue in Las Vegas, which is already being billed as the "world's largest video screen."

First impressions: it looks absolutely bonkers, as evidenced by videos of the orb in action.

According to Engadget, the 17,600-seat stadium, which cost over $2 billion to build, is a good 516 feet wide and 366 feet tall. Its LED-powered displays, combined with its 164,000-speaker audio system and added sensory elements — think what you'd get at a 4D movie — are designed to create a completely immersive experience.

In other words, it sounds like an IMAX theater on steroids; a physical manifestation of sensory overload.

"We thought, 'Wouldn't it be great to have VR experiences without those damn goggles?'" MSG Ventures CEO David Dibble recently told Rolling Stone. "That's what the Sphere is."

Eyeball of Sauron

Naturally, netizens on social media had a field day with the new orb.

"This is definitely going to attract more UFOs," one Twitter user wrote.

Others were terrified of the garish, glowing sphere.

"I don't know if it's cause I've watched too many fiction movies but I don't fucking trust that thing at all," another user wrote. "Looks like a Death Star, Eye of Sauron, HAL 9000 hybrid. I'm out."

Stare Into the Orb

Appropriately, Irish rock legends U2 are slated to christen the orb in September.

"This will be a quantum leap forward in the sense of what a concert can be," U2 guitarist David Howell "the Edge" Evans told Rolling Stone. "It gives you the opportunity to bring people back in time, and to worlds that are completely computer-generated, but completely believable. It's a new genre of immersive experience, and a new art form."

Whether the sphere will really prove to be the future of music — or if Sphere Entertainment will ever even break even — remains unclear. As Engadget notes, the structure's build cost has, by some reports, ballooned beyond original estimates. And elsewhere, it's not a given that a lot of acts will want to perform in an experimental venue of this kind.

In short, the sphere's success remains to be seen. If anything, we're counting on some solid holiday lights.

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