As we predicted here, U2 is headed to Las Vegas!
The band officially announced the “Sin City” run via a Super Bowl Sunday ad, which stated the “U2: UV Actung Baby Live At The Sphere'” would take place shows this fall at the new globe-shaped arena.
The MSG Sphere shows will mark the band’s first without drummer Larry Mullen, Jr., who is recovering from back surgery, and will feature stand-in Bram van den Berg for the 2023 concerts. No official dates have been announced for U2’s Vegas stand.
The full-length trailer announcement features a group of new and longtime U2 fans (along with a few band doppelgangers) coming together for a futuristic Achtung Baby adventure in a unique desert landscape.
According to the announcement, “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. 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. And what a unique stage they’re building for us out there in the desert. . . We’re the right band, Actung Baby the right album, and the Sphere the right venue to take the live experience of music to the next level. That’s what U2’s been trying to do all along with our satellite stages and video installations, most memorably on the Zoo TV Tour, which ended in Tokyo 30 years ago this fall. The Sphere is more than just a venue, it’s a gallery and U2’s music is going to be all over the walls.”
Bono, The Edge, and Adam Clayton touched upon performing with a new drummer for the first time in their career, explaining, “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 Edge added – “The beauty of the Sphere is not only the ground-breaking technology that will make it so unique, with the world’s most advanced audio system, integrated into a structure which is designed with sound quality as a priority; it’s also the possibilities around immersive experience in real and imaginary landscapes. In short, it’s a canvas of an unparalleled scale and image resolution and a once-in-a-generation opportunity. We all thought about it and decided we’d be mad not to accept the invitation.”
It was first reported back in July that U2 had signed on for a 2023 Las Vegas residency at the MSG Sphere at The Venetian. Billboard reported that for concerts, the $1.8 billion MSG Sphere “can hold 20,000 standing spectators or 17,500 seated guests, with 23 VIP suites.”
According to the report, “The Sphere will include 160,000 square feet of video viewing space — Sphere officials describe the technology as ‘interior immersive display’ — state-of-the-art spatial audio and an exterior exosphere that changes the building’s look via fully programmable LED technology. It will connect to the Venetian Resort via an approximately 1,000-foot-long pedestrian bridge.”
Construction on the Sphere is expected to begin in March 2023 with the venue opening in November 2023 with the FIA Formula One World Championship.
U2’s new album, Songs Of Surrender, drops on March 17th. The set will be available as a full 40-track digital set; a limited edition 40-track double CD with hardback deluxe book; and a limited edition 40-track four-vinyl collection.