Fact: U2 is going to play the MSG Sphere in Las Vegas. That’s been confirmed. Fact: Those six consecutive weekend performances (12 shows) will happen. What’s unclear is when those shows will begin. There are…problems.
You may have noticed that since the big build-up/announcement surrounding the Super Bowl, we’ve heard nothing new, save for the fact that Dutch drummer Bram Van Den Berg will sit in for Larry Mullen Jr. Larry will be at the gigs, but won’t be behind the kit as he continues to recover from surgery.
Or will he?
The MSG Sphere has already cost US$2.4 billion and it’s not done yet. There are persistent stories of supply chain issues, missed construction targets, and timing problems for other big Las Vegas events. For example, the first-ever Las Vegas F1 race is scheduled for November 16-18. That means hotel rooms are already at a premium for the week leading up to the race–and the circuit itself surrounds the Sphere. Add in the US Thanksgiving rush (November 23-26) and you can see the problem. U2 and The Sphere need a clear six consecutive weeks to make this happen.
Could all this conspire to push U2’s Sphere gigs from September to late 2023 or even into January? If so, that gives Larry more time to heal–maybe enough time to be fit enough to properly join in. That would be excellent, of course.
(With files from Raven–including this.)