U2 discuss playing Las Vegas Sphere shows without drummer Larry Mullen Jr

“The whole band and I'm sure the audience are going to be very sad”

U2 have discussed their upcoming shows at the Las Vegas Sphere, which will see them take to the stage without drummer Larry Mullen Jr.

The Irish rock veterans are set to kick off their Las Vegas residency later this month at the highly-anticipated new Sphere venue, and have confirmed that they will be playing the first few shows without their resident drummer.

Set to launch on September 29, the ‘U2:UV Achtung Baby Live at Sphere’ shows will be Bono and co.’s first live shows since the end of 2019, but will see a replacement for Mullen as he continues to recover from surgery.


“The whole band and I’m sure the audience are going to be very sad and miss Larry,” said bassist Adam Clayton, speaking to the Daily Star newspaper’s Wired column (via Irish Mirror). “He wants to come back, he wants to be able to have a long career and continue his drumming so he’s taking care of those injuries.”

He also explained that, while Mullen continues to recover, Krezip drummer Bram van den Berg will be taking his place and performing at the first run of Nevada shows. This, Clayton continued, was a choice which the band decided on after they were given their bandmate’s blessing.

U2 Bono
U2’s Bono CREDIT: Han Myung-Gu/WireImage

“He’s very much behind the idea of us going on stage with Bram,” he said. “I’m sure for Larry it’s a difficult moment to know that your band are going on stage and you’re not with them.”

Clayton also referred to a previous incident, that left frontman Bono unable to perform at various shows and led to some surprise guests taking the lead position for the band’s scheduled tour dates.

Bruce Springsteen stepped in which is quite a strange one as well. Actually, Chris Martin did a turn as well… It happens in the life of bands,” he explained. “I think Larry is probably quite sanguine about it and realises he needs to get his health back together again.”


This isn’t the first time that the band have opened up about their sadness at performing without Mullen. Back in March, they first revealed to fans that the drummer would be sitting out various Sphere shows, but stressed why they refuse to postpone the impacted dates.

U2 Las Vegas 'Zoo Station' hub
U2 Las Vegas ‘Zoo Station’ hub. CREDIT: Press

“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,” they said (via Variety).

“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.”

In other U2 news, last week the band announced ‘Zoo Station’ – an immersive experience for fans, designed ahead of their upcoming shows.

Opening on September 28, the immersive fan portal, called ‘Zoo Station: A U2:UV Experience’ is designed to help fans gather a deeper understanding of the band’s acclaimed album ‘Achtung Baby’.

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