Larry Mullen Jr. will not be performing with U2 at their first live show in four years at MSG Sphere
After a four-year absence, U2 will perform again, and one of the most eagerly anticipated new venues will open.
During a Super Bowl ad on Sunday, the superstar Irish rock band said that they will help launch the MSG Sphere this fall at The Venetian in Las Vegas with “U2: UV Achtung Baby Live at the Sphere.”
The $2.18 billion venue behind The Venetian in the northeast part of the Strip, which has been under construction since 2019, has yet to be given its final touches, so no show dates have been announced.
4D technology, immersive sound, and a 16K screen that wraps around the seating will all be available in the 17,500-capacity globe.
“We’re the right band, ‘Achtung Baby’ the right album and the Sphere the right venue to take the live experience to the next level,” U2 said in a statement.
Although the band has been rumored to open for the Sphere for some time, there will be one notable absence from the performances: Larry Mullen Jr., a drummer and founding member,
Mullen disclosed to The Washington Post that he would not be participating in any 2023 concerts and that he needed surgery to continue playing prior to U2’s Kennedy Center Honors induction in December.
Bram van den Berg, a beginning drummer, will take Bono, The Edge, and Adam Clayton’s place at the Las Vegas shows.
“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,” the band said.
Since the band started nearly 50 years ago, this is the first time a member of U2 has missed a series of concerts.
The decision to focus on U2’s 1991 album “Achtung Baby” for the Sphere concerts is a follow-up to the band’s Zoo TV appearance, a massive tour of stadiums and arenas in support of the album in 1992 and 1993.
At the time, the elaborate multimedia included live satellite transmissions to Sarajevo, prank calls to the White House, banks of television screens, and satirical messages about media oversaturation. The Fly and MacPhisto, two of Bono’s most memorable stage characters, were also born during the tour.