U2 have announced details of a new Las Vegas residency during tonight’s (February 12) Super Bowl game.
The Irish band shared an advert for the upcoming dates during a break in the game between Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs, which is taking place in Glendale, Arizona.
U2 previously teased the announcement earlier tonight, sharing a clip of the ad on Twitter with the hashtag #U2SPHERE. The new advert featured a UFO theme, with reports of an “unidentified object the size of three football fields” read out on local radio in Belfast and U2 fans around the world becoming sheer digital wisps as the mysterious object flew over their cities.
The U2: UV Achtung Baby Live At The Sphere residency will take place across multiple nights in autumn, with dates to be announced here soon. The shows will, as the name suggests, centre around songs from their 1991 album ‘Achtung Baby’.
“The Sphere show has been in the works for a long time,” the band said in a statement, per Rolling Stone. “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.
“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. The Sphere is more than just a venue, it’s a gallery and U2’s music is going to be all over the walls.”
Drummer Larry Mullen Jr. will not join the band for the dates while he recovers from back surgery. His place will be filled in the meantime by Bram van den Berg, a Dutch drummer who has performed with the bands One In A Million and Krezip.
The MSG Sphere is loaded near Las Vegas’ The Venetian Resort on the strip and cost around $1.8billion (£1.4billion) to build. U2 will be the first artist to perform in the new space, which will boast 160,000 square feet of video viewing space, state-of-the-art spatial audio and an exterior exosphere that changes the building’s look through programmable LED technology.
The venue will also be connected to The Venetian via an approximately 1,000-foot-long pedestrian bridge.
Rihanna was this year’s Super Bowl halftime performer, delivering a career-spanning set. During the performance, she also confirmed her second pregnancy, nine months after giving birth to her first child with A$AP Rocky.