As expected, U2 is headed to Las Vegas. The band officially announced the "Sin City" run via a Super Bowl Sunday (February 12th) 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.
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."
Over the years, Bono has been no stranger to self-promotion, and admits that he has no problem doing that, since he sees it as a necessary part of the music business: ["I come from a long line of traveling salespeople on my mother's side. I mean, I will sell my wares, and I believe in them. Rock bands get all shy and don't like to discuss the filthy lucre and pretend that their songs exist entire to themselves, which we all know is not true. You've got to get them on the radio. You've got to get people to take them seriously. I mean, it's, y'know. . . the job is not over when you finish the song, sadly."] SOUNDCUE (:23 OC: . . . the song, sadly)
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.