The concert was bookended by songs from the band's latest album
Irish rock group U2 have broadcast an entire live show via the video sharing website YouTube.
Although 96,000 people turned up to see the show at the Pasadena Rose Bowl in California, many times that number were expected to have watched it online.
As he took to the stage, lead singer Bono said: "Thank you Los Angeles. Thanks to everyone watching on YouTube all over the world - seven continents."
The quartet played hits including Beautiful Day and Mysterious Ways.
Other tracks in the 24-song set included Vertigo, One and With Or Without You.
The entire show, which Bono described as a "space adventure", is being repeated on YouTube.
The singer introduced his bandmates as famous characters from Hollywood history. Drummer Larry Mullen was "James Dean", while bassist Adam Clayton was Clark Gable as Gone With The Wind's Rhett Butler.
Hip-hop group Black Eyed Peas were the night's support act
"Every horror movie needs a mad scientist," Bono continued as he introduced The Edge, "and ours is just to my right.
"He wants to boldly go where no guitar players have ever gone before. He's Mr Spock to us, he's The Edge to you."
The singer went on to compare himself to "Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito with a little bit of Dennis Hopper thrown in".
It was the band's penultimate date of the year, with one more concert to take place in Vancouver, Canada, on Wednesday.
The 360 Degrees World Tour resumes next June in Anaheim, California.
Meanwhile, the band have been speaking candidly about the mixed reaction to their recent album, No Line On The Horizon.
Although it among the best-selling albums of the year to date, it has underperformed compared to their previous records.
It has been certified platinum in the UK - meaning 300,000 sales - while in the US it has shifted just over 1m copies. Those figures mean it is the band's least successful album since the experimental Zooropa in 1993.
The towering "claw" stage has allowed U2 to squeeze in bigger audiences
Speaking before Sunday's concert, Bono admitted the album had lacked a big, commercial hit like Vertigo or Beautiful Day.
"We weren't really in that mindset," he said.
"We felt that the album was a kind of an almost extinct species, and we should approach it in totality and create a mood and a feeling, and a beginning, middle and an end.
"And I suppose we've made a work that is a bit challenging for people who have grown up on a diet of pop stars."
"The commercial challenges have to be confronted," bassist Adam Clayton added.