Hardcore U2 fans will be disappointed Larry Mullen Jr. won’t play the band’s series at The MSG Sphere.
One of those fans happens to be a founding member and the band’s guitarist.
“No one is more disappointed than us that Larry won’t be joining us in Vegas,” The Edge said in a published report over the weekend. The guitar great qualified, “We made a commitment. In the history of U2, you can count the shows we’ve missed on the fingers of one hand.”
The Edge said the three people who would miss Mullen most will be Bono, bassist Adam Clayton and himself.
“It’ll be strange to turn around and not see him behind us after all these years,” Edge said, in an interview published in the U.K. publication Telegraph. “But the shows will be amazing.”
The 61-year-old Mullen is taking a break for surgery to repair wear-and-tear on his body.
Sitting in for Mullen is Bram van den Berg, of the Dutch alt-rock, pop band Krezip.
“We’re lucky to have him. He’s a powerhouse,” Edge told the publication.
“U2: UV Achtung Baby Live At The Sphere” is set to open along with the new venue in September. The expected dates are Sept. 29-30, though those shows have not been formally confirmed and are conditional on progress on construction of the $2.2 billion facility. The announcement of the series is that it will open in the fall (the band is referring to “Achtung Baby” as a “venue launch” and not a series).
The Edge interview also revealed the extended time line for the U2 series. The dates were planned pre-pandemic and originally scheduled for 2021, lined up with the 30th anniversary of “Achtung Baby” and the original opening of The Sphere. The pandemic forced a postponement. Another Vegas pause was never in the cards.
U2 has been particularly prolific over the past several months.
The band releases “Songs of Surrender,” a collection of unvarnished, re-imagined variations of its greatest cuts, on March 17. Also that day, the Disney+ documentary, “Bono & The Edge: A Sort of Homecoming, With Dave Letterman,” will be released (the world premiere is Wednesday at Orpheum Theatre in L.A.).
Bono is a performing a run of eight dates for his critically acclaimed book “Stories of Surrender” at Broadway’s Beacon Theater beginning April 16.
U2’s many means of conveying its message makes a split to individually pursue careers unlikely.
“So every time I think of quitting, I kind of reinvent U2. We all know that we shine brighter by being in proximity to each other,” The Edge said. “That’s why it’s going to be very difficult to break up U2 – simply because it works so well for us all.”
I had a spirited chat with the great Kelly Hansen on Monday morning. Working on a column about the powerhouse vocalist, who has added years to Foreigner’s live performances. The band is back at The Venetian Theatre for eight shows running March 24-April 8.
These are Foreigner’s last scheduled dates in Las Vegas. But we are not saying farewell this year. The band is winding up its touring era with its “farewell” tour, running April through September of this year and continuing into 2024.
“The idea is to try to go to all the places that we’ve never been, even though I don’t think we’ll be able to do that completely,” Hansen said. “I think we owe it to the fans to never give them less than what they deserve.” The band has an opening for a run in ‘24. “I think it’s obviously safe to say it’s this time, or the next time, would be the last time we play Vegas.”
The sun never sets on yacht rock … Especially if you are The Windjammers. This is band leader Jerry Lopez’s breezy outfit, playing a weekly Wednesday series at Copa Room at Bootlegger Bistro beginning March 29. GA for these shows is $30, VIP (with one drink) is $50. Text 702.609.3390 for the show. Call 702.736.4939 for dinner.
Cool Hang Alert
The charismatic, leather-vested Chase Brown performs his “Vegas Country” showcase at Notoriety Live at 8 p.m. (doors 7 p.m.) on Fridays. Brown has effectively merged country and rock, and also mirrors and ladders. Or, at least one ladder. His “disco ladder” is a fantastic stage prop, and the guy’s got chops. Go to NotorietyLive.com for intel.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.