U2 drummer Larry Mullen will not play in band’s Las Vegas residency

Statement on band’s website says drummer will undergo surgery in 2023

U2 drummer Larry Mullen will not take part in the band’s residency in Las Vegas from next autumn.

A statement on the band’s website said: “Larry will take time out to undergo and recuperate from surgery in 2023.”

He will be replaced by Bram van den Berg, the drummer of Dutch rock band Krezip.

In the statement, Bono, the Edge and Adam Clayton said: “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 concerts will mark the Irish band’s first live gig in four years.

In July, Billboard magazine reported the residency, and it was confirmed in a Super Bowl trailer last night.

U2 will launch a new venue in Las Vegas called MSG Sphere. The 17,500-seater will host ‘U2:UV Achtung Baby Live At The Sphere’.

“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.

“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.”

The venue will be “the world’s most experiential venue which introduces the first 16K screen that wraps up, around, and behind the audience”, and 4D technologies will allow the audience to “feel the wind on their face, the heat on their skin and the rumble of thunder”, the statement said.

Released in 1991, Achtung Baby was the highly acclaimed follow-up to their 1987 album, The Joshua Tree, selling more than 18 million copies. It featured hit songs such as One and Mysterious Ways.

A trailer for the shows features a large sphere in the sky appearing to abduct U2 fans from around the world and bringing them to Las Vegas.

U2′s guitarist David Howell Evans, better known as the Edge, said: “The beauty of the Sphere is not only the groundbreaking technology that will make it so unique, with the world’s most advanced audio system, integrated into a structure which is designed with sound quality as a priority; it’s also the possibilities around immersive experience in real and imaginary landscapes. In short, it’s a canvas of unparalleled scale and image resolution and a once-in-a-generation opportunity. We all thought about it and decided we’d be mad not to accept the invitation.”

Tickets for the shows have not yet been released; U2.com subscribers will receive access to presale tickets

Conor Capplis

Conor Capplis

Conor Capplis is a journalist with the Irish Times Group