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Our MSG Sphere Review: aka What DFW is Thankful for This Thanksgiving

Updated: Dec 7, 2023




Dome Fest West gives thanks for the industry's progress and the grand unveiling of the MSG Sphere in Las Vegas.


Hello, our fellow dome aficionados and cinema revolutionaries! We're elated to recount our recent visit to the revolutionary MSG Sphere in Las Vegas. Reflecting on this unforgettable adventure, we're filled with immense gratitude for being part of an industry that's relentlessly shattering the limits of immersive cinema. This year has been a landmark, marked by the MSG Sphere's grand opening, U2's mesmerizing residency, and the debut of Darren Aronofsky's captivating "Postcard from Earth."


As we at Dome Fest West, a community deeply passionate about immersive cinema, look back on this year, our hearts are filled with gratitude. Particularly, we're thrilled about the remarkable advancements in our industry, symbolized by the opening of the MSG Sphere in Las Vegas. This architectural marvel is not just a venue; it's a revolution in the immersive experience.


An Unmatched, Breathtaking Experience

The MSG Sphere is a marvel of advanced technology, and from the moment we stepped inside, we were captivated by its sheer brilliance. The lobby experience alone is a must-see, featuring a wide range of impressive technology demonstrations that left us in awe.



You're whisked into a realm where artistry and innovation converge. And while the robots answering questions may not impress some of the more tech-savvy, the audio demonstration of different languages being heard clearly from mere feet apart will interest most skeptics. Overall, it’s a fun array of technological marvels on display that promises a glimpse of the extraordinary journey ahead.


But the real enchantment begins inside the theater. The U2 residency was more than a concert; it was a symphony of visuals and sound. The 16K resolution LED screen, with its true black capability, transforms every scene into a visual odyssey.

The MSG Sphere stands as a testament to the incredible leaps in technology and creativity in the immersive cinema industry. From the moment you step into the lobby, you are transported into a world where technology and artistry blend seamlessly. The wide array of technology demonstrations in the lobby is just a prelude to the breathtaking experience that awaits inside the theater.



But it was when we entered the theater that the true magic unfolded. The screen and speakers behind it stole the show. The U2 residency performance was simply incredible, with the screen enhancing the show without overpowering it. The visuals were breathtaking, thanks to the mesmerizing 16K resolution LED screen that allowed for true black, making every scene a visual feast for the eyes.


Revolutionary Video and Audio Wizardry

The Sphere's screen and Holoplot speakers are the undeniable champions in this narrative. The LED screen, with its impressive 16K resolution, isn't just a feast for the eyes, but a portal leading to unexplored territories of sensory perception. Thanks to the screen's ability to reproduce true black shades, scenes spring to life in a manner that was once considered unfathomable, creating a visual spectacle that's both immersive and incredibly detailed.



Paired with the visual splendor, the audio component of this experience is no less extraordinary. Delivered through the state-of-the-art Holoplot speakers, the sound quality is like nothing else. The audio wraps around you, enveloping you in a blanket of crystal-clear sound that effectively eliminates the typical echo you'd expect in an arena setting. Instead, you're taken on an auditory journey that manages to feel both intimate and grandiose at the same time. This is a symphony of sight and sound that routinely takes the viewer to another world, redefining entertainment. It made us feel as if we were at the heart of the music and environment, immersed in the incredible acoustics.


"U2 and Postcard from Earth" - Setting New Immersive Standards

Despite the multitude of concerned discussions suggesting that the Sphere might not make a positive first impression, these fears turned out to be unfounded. The U2 performance in the MSG Sphere was nothing short of a revelation, demonstrating how technology can be harnessed to augment a show without stealing the spotlight from the content itself.


There were numerous instances where the screen came to life, seamlessly integrating with the band's performance, creating a rich, immersive audio-visual experience. However, the technology never overpowered the actual concert experience. It added a layer of engagement but never overshadowed the music or the raw, organic energy of a live performance.



The audience was constantly reminded that they were present at a concert, not just a light show. The Sphere did not disrupt or diminish the music; instead, it amplified the experience, creating a harmonious blend of sound and visuals. It was an impressive demonstration of how technology can enhance a live performance, elevating the audience's experience to new heights, while still respecting the core essence of a concert.


Although a select few members of our team were fortunate enough to attend a U2 concert, the majority of us attended the invigorating opening screening of "Postcard from Earth", a cinematographic masterpiece created by the exceptionally talented Darren Aronofsky and Andrew Shulkind. The film presented an awe-inspiring combination of incredibly detailed arresting visuals and poignant emotional resonance. It was as though we were embarking on a transcontinental journey, without leaving the confines of our vibrating seats.



With the use of ingenious camera and editorial techniques, the full potential of the dome’s experience was cleverly withheld until a pivotal moment. This moment was when the viewer was suddenly and dramatically immersed in an image so vast that it surpassed their field of vision. Every individual in the audience was practically perched on the edge of their seats, utterly engrossed by this all-encompassing work of art. While we are hesitant to divulge the intricate details of this captivating experience to those who haven't yet had the pleasure of viewing it, we foresee this film continuing to evolve, expand, and flourish in parallel with the growth of the venue itself.



A Bright Future for the Industry

The first productions at the MSG Sphere have left an indelible mark on us. As members of the immersive cinema industry, we couldn't be more excited about the innovative offerings the MSG Sphere brings to the table. It's more than a step; it's a quantum leap in our industry. For anyone passionate about storytelling and technology, the MSG Sphere is an essential pilgrimage that you will soon end up taking at some point.


Our advice? Embrace it now. Run, don’t walk, to this spectacular venue. The experience is, without a doubt, one of the best in the world, setting a new benchmark for what immersive entertainment can be. The MSG Sphere, a testament to the power of creative synergy with technology, offers unforgettable experiences that will continue to popularize large-scale immersive video experiences. It's not just a glimpse into the future of cinema, but a vibrant proof of its dynamic progression.



Final Thoughts

So as we reflect on the year's successes, our hearts are filled with gratitude for these advancements. The MSG Sphere is a shining example of what can be achieved when creativity meets technology, and it gives us much to be thankful for.


Whether you're a fan of cutting-edge technology, incredible audiovisual experiences, or simply an enthusiast of immersive cinema, the MSG Sphere will leave you in awe. It's a reminder that the future of our industry is not just bright; it's dazzling.

Leaving the Sphere, we're not just excited for the future of our industry; we're part of a movement redefining entertainment. The MSG Sphere is more than a venue; it's the birthplace of a new era in entertainment, and we're eager to see where it leads us next.

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