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U2 residency to launch MSG Sphere Las Vegas

The band's U2:UV Achtung Baby Live At The Sphere concert series will kick off the state-of-the-art venue's live music programme this autumn

By James Hanley on 13 Feb 2023

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U2 will launch the state-of-the-art MSG Sphere at The Venetian in Las Vegas with a residency this autumn.

The band announced the project, U2:UV Achtung Baby Live At The Sphere, via a commercial during yesterday’s Super Bowl. Information regarding the Live Nation-presented show dates and on sale details is still to be announced.

Drummer Larry Mullen Jr. will miss the gigs as he takes time out to undergo and recuperate from surgery in 2023, with Bram van den Berg set to step in as a temporary replacement.

Bono, The Edge and Adam say, “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.”

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

This special run of concerts – based around the group’s classic 1991 album Achtung Baby, marks their first live outing in four years, following The Joshua Tree 30th anniversary stadium tour, which was seen by 3.28 million fans worldwide from 2017-19, and grossed US$390.8 million.

Their 2018 Experience + Innocence arena tour also played to a combined audience of almost one million across Europe and North America.

“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,” add the trio. “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.

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

“MSG Sphere’s advanced technology allows a legendary band like U2 to bring its music to life in entirely new ways”

MSG Sphere will introduce the first 16K screen that wraps up, around, and behind the audience, and also boasts Sphere Immersive Sound and 4D technologies.

“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,” adds The Edge. “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.”

“MSG Sphere’s advanced technology allows a legendary band like U2 to bring its music to life in entirely new ways,” says Madison Square Garden Entertainment (MSG) Corp. executive chairman and CEO James L. Dolan. “The Sphere is a new medium that will redefine entertainment.”

Last month, MSG promoted long-serving executive Josephine Vaccarello to EVP, live. Vaccarello will lead the company’s live entertainment bookings across all of its venues, including MSG Sphere Las Vegas

Madison Square Garden’s controversial MSG Sphere London scheme recently overcame another hurdle after officials backed its digital advertising display plans. The proposed venue, which was approved in principal in March last year, will be covered in LED panels designed to display “moving images, artistic content and branded advertising across the entire façade of the building”.

Despite a number of objections from various parties, the scheme won the support of the London Legacy Development Corporation’s (LLDC) at a meeting on 24 January, subject to a five-year review.


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