U2 Announces ‘Achtung Baby’ Las Vegas Residency During Super Bowl
In a 15-second spot airing during the fourth quarter of the big game, an otherworldly sphere hovered above the Earth. Average citizens were seen looking to the sky, with Bono appearing briefly. A baby's face was seen within the sphere, before a title card revealed that U2 would be playing Achtung Baby concerts at the new, state-of-the-art MSG Sphere at The Venetian, Las Vegas.
A four-minute version of the spot, which you can watch below, takes the the alien-invasion theme deeper, with fans from across the globe beamed to the desert to see the acclaimed Irish rockers.
Fans can register now at U2xSphere.com to receive updates regarding ticketing and show dates.
The concerts will take place without U2's drummer, Larry Mullen, who previously announced that he would not be performing with the group in 2023.
"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 other members of U2 said via statement, confirming Mullen's replacement.
"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 statement 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."
Last summer, Billboard reported that the 17,500-seat venue cost $1.8 billion and is the "largest spherical structure ever created." It will feature "160,000 square feet of video viewing space (Sphere officials describe the technology as 'interior immersive display'), state-of-the-art spatial audio and an exterior exosphere that changes the building’s look via fully programmable LED technology."
In their statement, U2's excitement to open the venue was evident. "The Sphere is more than just a venue, it’s a gallery and U2’s music is going to be all over the walls,” it declared.
Bono was coy about the prospect of a U2 Vegas residency when the subject came up during his January appearance on the Smartless podcast, co-hosted by Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett. “We haven’t signed off on it, but if we do, if we do sign off on this, I will say that if we can pull off what we’re talking about, it’s not like anything we’ve ever done before. It’s nothing like Las Vegas has ever seen before,” he said.
U2 will also release Songs of Surrender, a new album featuring reinterpretations of 40 classic songs from their catalog, on St. Patrick's Day.