U2 is gearing up to bring a special series of shows to a new venue in Las Vegas with one caveat — the band’s founding drummer Larry Mullen Jr. will be absent, marking the first the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers will perform without him, the Irish rockers announced on Sunday (Feb. 12).
The band will touch down in Las Vegas this fall for U2:UV Achtung Baby Live at the Sphere, a series of shows at the new MSG Sphere at the Venetian that will celebrate their 1991 album Achtung Baby. U2 will be the first act to perform at the venue and as Mullen Jr., 61, continues to recover from undisclosed surgery, Krezip drummer Bram van den Berg, 40, will fill in during the concert run. Though unlike his world-famous new bandmates, not much is known about van den Berg.
“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 band said in its statement about inviting the obscure-to-most Dutch musician into the fold. “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. 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.”
“VERY excited about this opportunity to join Bono, The Edge and Adam on stage in Las Vegas. It’s big shoes to fill but Larry and the band have been so supportive, I can’t wait!!” van der Berg said via Instagram following the announcement.
Here are a few things to know about van der Berg before he takes the stage with U2.
He’s a Longtime Fan of U2
Following the announcement of van der Berg’s big break with the rock band, his fellow Krezip members wished him a farewell on the official band Instagram page. “We are incredibly proud of him!! The fact that a legendary band like U2, and also one of Bram’s favorite bands, has now come his way is unbelievable! And again, because of course we’ve known for a long time how good he is..!” the band captioned a black and white group photo.
He’s Only Leaving Krezip Temporarily
van der Berg will not be in both bands simultaneously — Krezip’s post stated that the drummer will be unable to juggle his time between both bands. “He [van der Berg] will not be able to combine his drumwork for U2 with Krezip. We’re going to miss him terribly in the near future,” the Instagram post stated.
He Calls Netherlands Home
Krezip was formed as a cover band in 1997 in Tilburg, Netherlands and consisted of members Jacqueline Govaert (vocals), Anne Govaert and Annelies Kuijsters (guitar) and Joost van Haaren (bass). Thijs Romeijn served as the band’s drummer though 2004; a year later van der Berg joined the band in 2005 and he recorded a total of three albums with the group — What Are You Waiting For?, Plug It In and Sweet High. The band broke up in 2009, but reunited in 2019 and their sixth album, Any Day Now, is due out in April.