U2 Give an Update on Playing Las Vegas Shows Without Drummer Larry Mullen Jr.

At the end of September, U2 will take their live spectacle to the Sphere at the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas, unveiling their newest show called U2UV: Achtung Baby Live at Sphere. It’s always a big deal whenever U2 — who have long been pioneers of live rock concert staging — kick off a new concert adventure. But what’s different this time around is that for the first time since 1978, drummer Larry Mullen Jr. won’t be joining the band for the first couple of shows.

Videos by American Songwriter

Mullen will be recovering from surgery, so he’ll miss the start of the shows when they begin on September 29. The other half of the band’s rhythm section, bassist Adam Clayton, recently spoke about missing Mullen and how that will impact the show. “The whole band and I’m sure the audience are going to be very sad and miss Larry,” Clayton told U.K. tabloid the Daily Star, per 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.”

[RELATED: U2 Clear Song for ‘America’s Got Talent’ Singer Putri Ariani’s Stunning Performance]

“Those injuries” haven’t been elaborated upon. But Mullen has sat in the drummer’s seat with U2 since the band formed in its earliest incarnation in 1976. He’ll be replaced for those first few shows by Krezip drummer Bram van den Berg, a choice that Clayton said Mullen supports.

“He’s very much behind the idea of us going on stage with Bram,” Clayton 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.”

U2UV: Achtung Baby Live at Sphere will mark the opening of the state-of-the-art Sphere venue in Sin City and will mark the 30th anniversary of U2’s 1991 album Achtung Baby and possibly its follow-up, Zooropa, from 1993. The pair of albums found U2 going experimental and helped sustain their career throughout the 1990s and well into the new millennium.

[RELATED: What do the Lyrics to “Where the Streets Have No Name” by U2 Mean?]

Back in February, the band — rounded out by its most conspicuous members, Bono and The Edge — offered a statement, per Variety, about what the kickoff means, even if they have to do it without their drummer.

“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 band said. “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.”

Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images for MTV

Leave a Reply

3 Prohibition Era Jazz Artists to Know