Posted on: March 8, 2023, 10:42h.
Last updated on: March 8, 2023, 06:17h.
U2 guitarist Dave “Edge” Evans revealed new specifics about his band’s Las Vegas residency in recent interviews with Rolling Stone and Britain’s The Telegraph. “U2:UV Achtung Baby Live at the Sphere” — announced during a brief Super Bowl commercial — is set to open the $2.2B MSG Sphere this fall. But, despite a New York Post report pinpointing a Friday, Sept. 29, 2023 launch, Edge said there is no firm opening date set yet.
“The timetable exactly is TBD because the building is still being constructed,” Edge told Rolling Stone. “It’s definitely in the fall, and definitely no earlier than September. But it could be later. We’re waiting to hear exactly when we will get the building.”
Perhaps tellingly, Edge referred to U2’s Las Vegas stint as a “venue launch” rather than a residency. This suggests that it may be even shorter than its previously reported 12 dates. And that may be because, despite the venue’s uncertain opening date, the band has a hard closing date in mind.
“What we’re hoping is that the run will end before Christmas,” Edge told Rolling Stone. “That’s the important thing,” he said, adding “Don’t think about it as a traditional Vegas residency. It’s not like that. It’s a short run.”
Achtung Baby Steps
Originally, Edge told The Telegraph, U2’s dates were scheduled — though never announced — for 2021. This explains the spotlight on the band’s seventh album, which turned 30 that year. Edge confirmed that the concerts will still include every single song from 1991’s “Achtung Baby,” though they may or may not appear in order, or consecutively.
“Oh yeah, that’s going to the centerpiece,” he told Rolling Stone. “We will play them all.”
Edge said that U2 never considered backing out of its commitment while waiting out the pandemic shutdown, even after it became apparent that founding drummer Larry Mullen, Jr. would spend most of 2023 recovering from surgery on his neck and elbows. Filling in with U2 will be Bram van den Berg, a virtually unknown musician from the Netherlands.
“Of course, we’ll be missing our pal Larry desperately,” Edge told Rolling Stone. “We’re so disappointed that he won’t be able to be there occupying the drum stool. Everyone has the right to call in sick. Forty years of working together, this is the first time it’s happened. I think it’s kind of amazing that we haven’t ever hit this in the past.”