Later this year, U2 will perform live again for the first time since 2019, but one of the original quartets won’t be there because drummer Larry Mullen Jr. is sidelined with an injury.
In a Super Bowl commercial that aired on Sunday, the band hinted at its return to the biggest platform conceivable and said it would perform a string of concerts this fall to inaugurate the brand-new MSG Sphere arena in Las Vegas. The band’s 1991 album “Achtung Baby” will be the main focus of the performances.
“We need to get back on stage and see the faces of our fans again,” band members Bono, the Edge, and Adam Clayton said in a statement Sunday.
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Beyond Las Vegas, no further dates were disclosed, although it’s improbable that a performance would be created for only one city. The band performed a worldwide concert tour in 2017 and 2019 in support of its album “Joshua Tree.”
The band’s four members, arguably its creator, Mullen, met in his Dublin kitchen after responding to an advertisement he had placed looking for musicians on a high school bulletin board. Although U2 declined to discuss his health troubles, a November report in The Washington Post claimed that the drummer had elbow and neck problems that required surgery.
According to Bono’s book, “Surrender,” the band had only performed without all four members twice before: in 1978, when Mullen fractured his foot in a motorcycle accident, and in 1993 when Clayton missed a performance in Australia due to illness. Drummer Bram van den Berg from the Netherlands will take Mullen’s place in Las Vegas.
Next month U2 is planning to release the disc “Songs of Surrender,” featuring re-recorded and re-imagined versions of 40 songs from its catalog.
The Edge said he was impressed by the state-of-the-art sound and video system being constructed for the MSG Sphere. “We all thought about it and decided we’d be mad not to accept the invitation,” he said.