U2 confirmed for 2023 Las Vegas residency at the MSG Sphere super-arena – the “world’s most state-of-the-art venue”

U2 performing live
(Image credit: Frank Hoensch/Redferns via Getty)

Last September, it was reported by multiple sources that U2 had signed up for a Las Vegas residency at the MSG Sphere – a $1.8 billion arena that has been described as “the world’s most state-of-the-art venue”.

Now, thanks to a commercial that aired during the Super Bowl over the weekend, the Irish rock band’s residency at the super-arena has been confirmed.

As part of the announcement, it was also confirmed that U2 would be taking the opportunity to celebrate their seminal record Achtung Baby during the event, which will be officially titled U2:UV Achtung Baby Live at The Sphere.

As many hypothesized when news first leaked of U2’s involvement at The Sphere, the prospect of hearing the band’s expansive sound at what is dubbed “a multi-sensory experience of sounds and light” is certainly a mouth-watering one.

Some of The Sphere’s highlights include “the first 16K screen that wraps up, around, and behind the audience”, as well as a Sphere Immersive Sound technology that promises to deliver “pitch perfect” audio to every seat in the house.

Beyond audio and visuals, The Sphere’s immersive 4D technology will “let the audience feel the wind on their face, the heat on their skin and the rumble of thunder”. All of this will be utilized by U2, apparently, with attendees set to experience “something completely new”.

In a statement, the band echoed the futuristic nature of the state-of-the-art venue, saying, “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 Sphere show has been in the works for a long time,” they continued. “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.”

The Edge added, “The beauty of the Sphere is not only the ground-breaking 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 an 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.”

In the same statement, it was confirmed that U2 drummer Larry Mullen Jr. will not be a part of the residency as he is set to undergo and recuperate from surgery this year. In his place, Bram van den Berg will take to the drum stool.

No official dates for the band’s residency have been confirmed yet, though those interested in attending can register their interest in finding out further details when they arrive in the near future.

As many noted last September, the fact MSG Entertainment has selected one of the world’s biggest and most expansive guitar bands to christen The Sphere – as opposed to more mainstream, chart-friendly modern artists – sets an interesting precedent, and begs the question as to which other guitar bands could grace the stage in the future.

For more information, head over to MSG Entertainment or the dedicate U2xThe Sphere website.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.