17 September 2009, eric99 @ 11:57 am
Sketches From ZOO TV (Apocalypse Sound AS173)
The Zoo TV Tour for U2 has been somewhat forgotten about in rock and history. Achtung Baby and this tour marked the single most successful transformation ever, of any band. The tour was influential in a multitude of ways. U2 wanted to leave behind being postmen carrying a message and grab a part of the atmosphere of the huge rave movement in England and combine that with a new sound and blend of the new age of instant gratification the world was now moving into. This was years before Al Gore would invent the internet, and the constant bombardment of cable news on multiple channels for 24 hours. Their stage set up consisted of a truckload of monitors and TV’s some of which where showing current live TV via satellite from around the world or local TV.
Usually some cheesy local cable channel, along with ca constant flow of statements and subliminal messages. They made their point brilliantly, and the public got it. The second leg of the tour also marked what could have been their somewhat intended and unintended downfall. The stadium tour was way over the top, with the seemingly on TV everywhere, and it completely abandoned many of their fans who were there from the start. If you weren’t their, you don’t get it. It took the band until the end of the Pop Mart tour to realize that.
ApocolypseSounds’ Sketches From Zoo TV is a brilliant, unintended documentary of the evolution of the band during this great tour. The video footage is primarily taken from the stage displays and the sound quality is overall excellent. The dvd starts out with one of the earlier shows, in Boston Mass. on St. Patricks Day. Bono starts out Zoo Station by singing, ‘I’m ready for the St. Patricks Day’ , I’m ready to shake that snake”. The video footage is blended with the constant subliminal massages and words flashing across the monitors and stage screens. During the Boston songs, Bono continuosly sings of key and seems to forget some lyrics. Three days later the footage from the NYC Madison Square Garden show show, Bono is on key, hitting all the correct lyrics and does not play guitar during “The Fly” and band is really on that night as well. The constant flashing of statements and words are present here as well. Until The End Of The World is from an MTV broadcast while playing in Sacramento, CA. Along with “One” and “She Moves In mysterious Ways”, are really the only other song other than Zoo Station, The Fly, and Even better than The Real Thing.
One is the sound check from the first show of the tour, in Lakeland Florida. There is a great silver release of this show also, probably hard to find now though. They play the song as if they are in front of a crowd, and we actually get to see Bono in non-Merlin McFly mode. The song is cut off half way into it however. The Detroit Silverdome show starts the U.S.A. stadium leg of the tour where the band would start it’s all out media blitz of the world. The show starts with footage of the President Bush Sr. edited to say “we will rock you” taken from a speech made during the first Gulf War. He’s also edited saying, Th\”The U.S. will rock the world”. It is the coverage of the Gulf War that would influence U2′s stage setup and theme for the whole tour. A unique feature for this set of songs however is the addition of “She Moves In Mysterious Ways” that would feature a belly dancer with a running theme in which Bono would try as hard as he could to touch her without actually getting close to her, by reaching from the stage as she danced up a catwalk. Maybe this would also work on “Even Better Than The Real Thing”. The irony here though, in real life, the belly dancer would marry the Edge in 1994.
More MTV footage of the Edge singing “Numb” solo from Universal City in Hollywood. European footage comes from MTV Europe, and interview w/Bono thats not listed on the DVD case, and concert footage thats taken from TV broadcasts. There is no flashing of the messages of words like in the U.S.A. footage and the sound is a bit canned comparatively, but still excellent. Some interesting footage from Rome shows what the band has to go through via a Police escort just to get out of their hotel and to the show. There is also an interview with Italian TV in which we hear the questions in Italian and the Edge and Adam Clayton answering in English. Clayton’s one sentence answers are pretty entertaining as well.
Bonus footage includes an audience shot video of U2 taking the stage in Milan Italy. The footage is from the audience to Bono’s back, he then turns around and somehow looks straight into the camera and smirks, as if he knows it’s there. Always a ham. This is and outstanding document of a tour ahead of time. U2 is obviously a band not stuck in their past like so many others, but it would be real interesting if the band was to revisit some of what they did on this tour. This DVD is very limited in what it offers musically, but it does show the evolution of U2 on one tour. It’s amazing to see how in 1992 U2 seemed to see what’s coming in this age of over-information, especially the mis-information, because some of the messages displayed by them in the dvd states, “everything you think is right, is wrong”. Highly recommended for any U2 fan, and most especially for any fan that may have been there at the start, and felt this band lost it.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]U2 - Sketches From ZOO TV (Apocalypse Sound AS173),