U2 announce Las Vegas residency with intergalactic Super Bowl commercial

It’s a bloody good Sunday, as U2 announced a Las Vegas residency with an out-of-this-world Super Bowl commercial during the big game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles.

That’s right, baby: U2 will launch the very first shows at MSG Sphere, the highly-anticipated sphere-shaped entertainment arena at the Venetian resort, once it opens in the fall.

The U2: UV Achtung Baby Live at the Sphere residency will feature music from the band’s seventh studio album, 1991’s Achtung Baby. The show is described as a “futuristic adventure in a unique desert landscape” and marks U2’s first live outing in four years, following the success of their acclaimed Joshua Tree 30th anniversary stadium tour and the eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE tour.

Drummer Larry Mullen Jr., however, will be sitting out the residency to undergo and recuperate from surgery. (Mullen already indicated last year that should U2 decide to tour in 2023, it would be without him as he prepares for procedures for his elbows, knees, and neck.) Bram van den Berg will be filling in and joining Bono, The Edge, and Adam Clayton at the Sphere.

“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 in a joint statement, adding that the shows at the Sphere have “been in the works for a long time.”

“We don’t want to let people down, least of all our audience,” the trio continued. “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, Achtung Baby the right album, and the Sphere the right venue to take the live experience of music to the next level.”

MSG executive chairman and CEO James L. Dolan added, “MSG Sphere’s advanced technology allows a legendary band like U2 to bring its music to life in entirely new ways.”

Bono previously teased the prospect of a Sphere residency during an appearance on Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett’s SmartLess podcast last month. “We haven’t signed off on it but if we do, if we do sign off on this, I will say that if we can pull off what we’re talking about, it’s not like anything we’ve ever done before,” he told the hosts.

For more information regarding show dates and on sale details, register on Live Nation. Watch U2’s Super Bowl ad for the residency above.

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