Will U2 Launch Vegas Residency Without Larry Mullen Jr?

Could U2 do its Las Vegas residency next year without Larry Mullen Jr. on drums?

Fans are left wondering after the 61-year-old musician told The Washington Post he needs to undergo surgery. Geoff Edgers wrote: “He’s blunt — he says if the band plays live in 2023 it will probably be without him, as he needs surgery to continue playing — and admits the dynamics in the band are not the same as they were decades ago.”

On Twitter, Edgers elaborated on the conversation, quoting Mullen Jr. as saying: “My body is not what it used to be physically. Like next year, I won’t be performing live next year. I don’t know what the band’s plan is. There’s talk of all kinds of things.

“I’d like to take some time, which I will do to get myself healed.”

Edgers wrote that Mullen Jr. “has issues with his neck and elbows” and said they talked about “how sad it was to watch Phil Collins so frail and damaged performing on the last Genesis tour.”

Edgers added: “Larry is not, as he put it, ‘Happy clappy.’ He likes a bit of tension. He never said he was leaving U2 or retiring.”

Edgers pointed out that U2 paused performing when Edge’s daughter Sian was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2010 and after Bono’s horrific 2014 bike accident and his 2016 heart crisis. “What’s to say they won’t wait for Larry?”

Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist John Katsilometes reported that U2 is still scheduled to open The MSG Sphere beginning at the end of September with six weekends of shows. No official announcement has been made.

During a recent appearance on Ireland’s The Brendan O’Connor Show, Bono said: “I can’t announce Vegas, you’d have to shoot me! But if it happens, I can promise you it won’t be like anything you’ve ever seen in Las Vegas or anywhere, ever.

“It will centre around Achtung Baby, which we feel we need to really honour.”

U2 will be fêted this weekend at the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C. which will be broadcast on Dec. 28.

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