Band is expected to open new venue later this year
Further details about the pending U2 MSG Sphere Las Vegas residency have been unveiled. In an interview with actors Will Arnett, Jason Bateman and Sean Hayes for their SmartLess podcast, Bono confirms advanced talks are underway for the band to play the new venue.
“It’s nothing like Las Vegas has ever seen before. If this happens this will be really extraordinary,” Bono says, confirming the show is “not like anything we’ve ever done before.”
Hayes admits that The Edge has shown him renderings of the new spherical venue, saying, “It’s incredible.”
“You are a news network now, because that’s breaking news! Blame it on Edge! But it’s great,” Bono quips. “I’m interested in Las Vegas for all kinds of reasons, even going back to ‘The Fly.'”
The high-tech MSG Sphere is a 17,500 seat or 20,000 standing venue being constructed behind the Venetian along the Las Vegas Strip. It’s scheduled to open in fall of 2023 and be the largest spherical building and home to the world’s largest screen with a wraparound display.
In November, Bono all but confirmed to Brendan O’Connor that the band is set to do a series of shows when its complete.
“I hope it would be ready. I can’t announce Vegas. You’d have to shoot me. But if it happens, I can promise you it won’t be like anything you’ve ever seen in Las Vegas or anywhere ever. It is the most extraordinary — If it comes off, it’s grand madness by one hundred. It will center around Achtung Baby, which we feel we need to really honor. But it will also, but we have to have the new songs out don’t we?” he asks.
Later that month, drummer Larry Mullen, Jr. told The Washington Post that he needs surgery in order to keep playing, and says any shows the band may play in 2023 will likely be without him.
“I really miss the audiences. I miss that interaction even though I’m sitting behind a drum kit… My body is not what it used to be physically,” Mullen, Jr. states. “Like next year, I won’t be performing live next year. I don’t know what the band’s plan is. There’s talk of all kinds of things.”
The Las Vegas Review Journal reports that the Sphere is set to open September 29-30th with U2 performing 12 shows over non-consecutive Fridays and Saturdays. They also report that Harry Styles, Bon Jovi and Billy Joel are also in contention to perform in house residency shows at the new venue.
Despite the discussions, news of any residency at the MSG Sphere should be considered rumored until an official announcement is made by each respective act and/or The Venetian itself.
Last week, U2 announced its long-awaited Songs Of Surrender ― a collection of 40 seminal U2 songs from across the band’s catalog, re-recorded and reimagined. The project is due across multiple formats on March 17th via Island Records.
Also premiering the same day on Disney+ is Bono & The Edge: A Sort of Homecoming, with Dave Letterman, in which Academy Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville captures Dave Letterman on his first visit to Dublin to hang out with Bono and The Edge in their hometown, experience Dublin, and join the two U2 musicians for a concert performance unlike any they’ve done before.
In April, Bono begins an 11 date Stories of Surrender spring 2023 run at New York’s Beacon Theatre. The announcement of Bono at The Beacon in 2023 follows last year’s hugely successful run of Stories of Surrender, a show that left both audiences and critics cheering for more (read our review) – in support of Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story’ the New York Times and Sunday Times best-selling memoir by the rock star.