U2 announce return to stage with Las Vegas residency in ‘spy balloon’ Super Bowl trailer

U2 have announced that they will be embarking on their own concert residency in Las Vegas.

The Irish rock band will begin a run of dates at the newly opened MSG Sphere for an immersive show, titled U2:UV Achtung Baby Live At The Sphere, later this year.

News of the residency was confirmed during an advert at the Super Bowl on Sunday (12 February).

The extended trailer showed reports of an “unidentified flying object” with a large silver sphere floating through the air. It then saw a group of new and long-time U2 fans (along with a few band döppelgangers) coming together among a desert landscape.

The trailer caused many on social media to draw comparisons between the sphere and the recent spy balloon tensions between the US and China - though it appears to have merely been a coincidence.

The concert series will kick off in autumn 2023, but will go ahead without the band’s drummer Larry Mullens Jr, who is due to undergo surgery and subsequent rehabilitation.

He will be replaced by Bram van den Berg, who will join Bono, The Edge and Adam Clayton on stage.

In a statement, the band 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 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.”

The concert series will mark U2’s first return to the stage since before the pandemic in December 2019.

It comes just ahead of the band’s Songs of Surrender – a collection of 40 songs from U2’s back catalogue, re-recorded and reimagined – which is due to be released on Friday.

Achtung Baby, the album the live show will be based around, was released in 1991.

Additional reporting by Press Association