U2 will launch Las Vegas residency this fall, but without one of its founding members
U2 is heading to Sin City for a residency inaugurating the Las Vegas skyline’s latest architectural feat: the MSG Sphere at the Venetian Resort.
The Irish band, which hasn’t played live since December 2019, announced over the weekend that the “U2: UV Achtung Baby” residency o will debut in the fall. Exact dates have not yet been announced, but fans were told to register through Ticketmaster for ticket information and forthcoming details.
What we do know is that the quartet will be down one original band member when the band returns to the stage.
Bono, the Edge and Adam Clayton will be joined by drummer Bram van den Berg, who will be sitting at the kit instead of founding member Larry Mullen Jr. as the latter takes “time out to undergo and recuperate from surgery in 2023,” the band said in a statement.
“It’s going to take all we’ve got to approach the Sphere without our bandmate in the drum seat, but Larry has joined us in welcoming Bram van den Berg who is a force in his own right,” Bono, the Edge and Clayton said.
The band didn’t provide details about Mullen’s health concerns but the Washington Post reported in November that the 61-year-old had issues with his neck and elbows that needed surgery.
“The Sphere show has been in the works for a long time. We don’t want to let people down, least of all our audience… the truth is we miss them as much as they appear to miss us… our audience was always the fifth member of the band,” the group said in a statement on its website. “Bottom line, U2 hasn’t played live since December 2019 and we need to get back on stage and see the faces of our fans again.”
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers announced the MSG Sphere series of shows during a commercial that aired Sunday during the Super Bowl. The spot featured an imposing sphere looming over fans across the globe.
The new concerts will focus on the band’s critically acclaimed 1991 LP, “Achtung Baby,” which was nominated for an album of the year Grammy Award in 1993 and won the prize for rock performance by a duo or group with vocals that same year. Oscar winner Davis Guggenheim (“An Inconvenient Truth”) also chronicled the making of the album that revived U2’s early career slump for the 2011 documentary “From the Sky Down.”
Bono’s new book, ‘Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story,’ holds many surprises. Foremost among them: He’s a humble, colorful writer — and a convincing one.
U2 praised the Sphere’s “unique stage,” which Madison Square Garden Co. officials announced in 2018. The 17,500-seat arena is set to open in the fall and is designed “with sound quality as a priority” and boasts the first 16K screen “that wraps up, around, and behind the audience,” according to press statement.
The Dublin-found band has reportedly performed only twice without all four of its members since getting together in 1976. Mullen missed a show after breaking his foot in a motorcycle accident in 1978 and Clayton missed a performance in Australia because of health concerns in 1993, according to Bono’s new memoir, “Surrender.”
In January, U2 announced the March 17 release of its latest album, “Songs of Surrender.” The collection includes 40 songs from the band’s decades-long catalog that have been reimagined for 2023 and that were rerecorded over the last two years.
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