I was lucky enough to see U2 perform on their Zoo TV Tour at Wembley Stadium in London, and it was an experience that I will never forget. This was in the days before mobile phones and the internet, and the multimedia experience that U2 created was nothing short of mind-blowing.
The Zoo TV Tour was a landmark tour for U2, and it is still remembered as one of the most innovative and groundbreaking tours in rock history. The tour began in the United States in 1992 and concluded in Japan in 1993, touching down in London in August of that year. The ZOO TV ‘Outside Broadcast’ (itself an extension of Zoo Radio) was in support of U2’s album “Achtung Baby” (and later “Zooropa.” The tour was known for its massive stage setup, elaborate multimedia displays, and its exploration of themes related to media and technology.
The tour was also notable for its exploration of themes related to media and technology. The band used the stage setup to present a satirical critique of the way that media and technology were changing society. The tour featured a character called “The Fly,” played by Bono, who was a parody of a rock star and a media personality. The character was used to mock the excesses of celebrity culture and to comment on the power of media to shape public opinion.
The tour was also notable for its mix of old and new songs. The setlist included many tracks from “Achtung Baby,” as well as classic hits like “Pride (In the Name of Love),” “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” and “With or Without You.” The band also performed a cover of Lou Reed’s “Satellite of Love” during the tour, which became a popular live track and really introduced me to Lou Reed.
The concert began with DJ Paul Oakenfold providing a warm-up set that was a mix of electronic dance music and rock – not usually my thing but still cool.. The arena was buzzing with excitement as the audience waited for U2 to take the stage. And then, suddenly, the lights went down and the screen behind the stage came to life. The band appeared on the screen, dressed in futuristic outfits and surrounded by a sea of video screens and lights – Bono stuck to the ‘screen’ as the Fly. It was like nothing I had ever seen before.
As the pushed on the multimedia assault continued. The video screens displayed a collage of images and slogans, while live satellite feeds from around the world were mixed in with the band’s performance. The effect was surreal and disorienting, but also thrilling.
Throughout the show, U2 continued to push the boundaries of what was possible with multimedia and technology. The stage setup was massive and included dozens of video screens, elaborate lighting (with Trabant cars for lighting rigs). The giant video screen behind the stage was also used to display stunning visual themes and images, including constellations during the final song of “Love is Blindness.”
But it wasn’t just the multimedia experience that made the show so unforgettable. The band’s performance was also incredible. Bono’s vocals were powerful and passionate, while the rest of the band played with skill and energy. The setlist included many tracks from their “Achtung Baby” album, as well as classic hits like “Pride (In the Name of Love),” “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” and “With or Without You.”
As the show came to an end, I was left feeling exhilarated and amazed. U2 had created a multimedia experience that was unlike anything I had ever seen before – or since, and it had left a lasting impression on me. The Zoo TV Tour was a landmark tour for U2 and for rock history, and I felt lucky to have been a part of it. As I write now, I am debating on whether U2’s Acthung Baby concerts at the Las Vegas Sphere will live up to the hype of Zoo TV..