U2 Announces ‘Achtung Baby’ Las Vegas Residency Without Drummer Larry Mullen Jr.

U2: UV Achtung Baby Live At The Sphere will mark the group’s first live outing in four years.


Arielle Markowicz


Posted on February 12, 2023

Share on:

U2 in Philadelphia; Photo Courtesy of Steve Garfinkel

U2 teased millions this evening with a sneak peek of the band’s huge announcement— a Sin City residency at the world’s most state-of-the-art venue in Las Vegas.

The Irish rock band gave Super Bowl watchers a glimpse into their next ambitious project with a 15-second ad panning the Las Vegas skyline.

A muffled radio voice narrated, “An unidentified object has been spotted over the skies,” as a large spherical structure hung over the city. The commercial then cuts to the band walking towards the sphere, closing in on the unknown object that portrays a baby’s face while it recites “Achtung,” a reference to the band’s 1991 album, Achtung Baby

YouTube video

The full-length trailer announcement can be viewed at www.u2xsphere.com

The MSG Sphere is known as the world’s largest spherical structure, which is set to hold 20,000 standing spectators or 17,500 seated guests and 23 VIP suites. The building, which is worth $1.8 billion according to Billboard, is located in The Venetian.

The show, titled “U2: UV Achtung Baby Live At The Sphere,” marks the group’s first live outing in four years and will follow the colossal success of their Joshua Tree 30th anniversary stadium tour which was seen by over 3.2 million fans worldwide. U2 will be the first band to perform at the brand-new venue. 

U2 in Philadelphia; Photo Courtesy of Steve Garfinkel
U2 in Philadelphia; Photo Courtesy of Steve Garfinkel

The news follows an unfortunate confirmation that drummer of the group, Larry Mullen Jr., will be taking time off to undergo surgery in 2023. The Las Vegas shows will welcome drummer Bram van der Berg to sit in with the group. 

Bono, The Edge and Adam said in a press release, “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 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,” they continued. “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… 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.”

U2 in Philadelphia; Photo Courtesy of Steve Garfinkel
U2 in Philadelphia; Photo Courtesy of Steve Garfinkel

“The Sphere is more than just a venue, it’s a gallery and U2’s music is going to be all over the walls,” the band concluded.

The futuristic venue introduces a new medium of entertainment, including 4D technologies, state-of-the-art spatial audio and the first 16K screen that wraps up, around and behind the audience. 

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.”

U2 is scheduled to drop their highly anticipated album, Songs Of Surrender, on March 17th via Island Records. They released “One,” a track from the forthcoming record today (Feb 12) in celebration of the Las Vegas announcement. They have also recently dropped their new versions of “Pride (In the Name of Love)” and “With or Without You.” 

Songs Of Surrender will be a collection of 40 seminal U2 songs, re-recorded and re-interpreted from the group’s back catalog. The project was recorded over a two-year period of lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The same day as the album release, Disney+ is premiering Bono & The Edge: A Sort of Homecoming, with Dave Letterman. Directed by Morgan Neville, the documentary will feature clips of Bono and the Edge touring with Dave Letterman, a Dublin native, along with concert footage. 

YouTube video

A special world premiere of “One” can be heard during the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Super Bowl feature.

Fans can register HERE to receive more information regarding show dates and sale details once they are announced. 

Additionally, Bono has added more dates to his widely popular Stories of Surrender book tour in spring of 2023, which will take place at New York’s Beacon Theater. The critically acclaimed show runs in support of the New York Times and Sunday Times best-selling memoir by Bono, titled “Surrender: 40 Songs, One story.”

Share on:

Written by

More from Arielle Markowicz

See more posts from Arielle Markowicz