Opening Act(s): The Sugarcubes, Public Enemy
Zoo Station, The Fly, Even Better Than The Real Thing, Mysterious Ways, One-Unchained Melody, Until The End Of The World, New Year’s Day, Dirty Old Town, Tryin’ To Throw Your Arms Around The World, Angel Of Harlem, When Love Comes To Town, Satellite Of Love, Bad-All I Want Is You, Bullet The Blue Sky, Running To Stand Still, Where The Streets Have No Name, Pride (In The Name Of Love), I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, Stand By Me. Encore(s): Desire, With Or Without You, Love Is Blindness, Can’t Help Falling In Love.
Rocky Mountain News
U2 ‘ZOO’ TOUR ONE BEAST OF A SHOW
by JUSTIN MITCHELL
Like technology run amok, U2’s combination of cyber-punk sound and video effects (including a rapid-fire manipulation of George Bush gibbering “We will rock you” a la Max Headroom) hit Mile High Stadium with a 2 1/2-hour software explosion Wednesday night. About 50,000 fans were on hand for the stadium version of the Irish band’s vaunted “Zoo TV’s Outside Broadcast.”
It’s a hefty, almost overwhelming affair and one that walks a narrow, carefully choreographed line between the quick-cut visuals thrown on the video screen over the stage and TV monitors scattered on the stage with the passionate music poured out by Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen and Adam Clayton.
But whatever extravagant, computer-driven (occasionally mixed) multimedia messages were being broadcast from the band’s mini-television station, one was drawn to Bono’s charismatic stage antics and vocals and The Edge’s rapid-fire, chattering guitar.
“Certainly the opportunity is there for the video to overtake the show,” commented the tour’s video director, Carol Dodds. “Especially the way our culture is at this time. Part of the charm and challenge of my job is to make the juxtaposition work, but it’s a three-way tug of war every night between the band, the technology and the audience. Ideally it’s an integration and if people leave talking about the videos they’ve missed the point.”
The night began on a comparatively subdued note, both in the visual and musical departments. A crawl sign broadcast news blips before and between the opening acts, the Sugar Cubes (a six-member band from Iceland) and the reigning gangstgers of the hiphop nation, Public Enemy. Both acts - particularly the Sugar Cubes - were more or less ineffective, wrestling with the vastness of the stadium and as their roles as ear stuffing for people there to worship U2.
The Sugar Cubes presented 30 minutes of quirky, edgy material that veered between occasionally intriguing and - with lead singer Bjork Gudmundsottir’s ear-popping shrieks and cries - sounds that were more often grating.
Public Enemy punched in with a performance that showed they still have a long way to go towards conquering the arena environment. The sprawling stage and yawning interior seemingly swallowed the rappers, diluting the sonic kick of material such as Hazy Shade of Criminal, 911 is a Joke, Lost at Birth and Fight the Power.
The night was, of course, ultimately U2’s anyway. A hefty share of songs from the current album, Achtung Baby, were the initial jolt, beginning with Zoo Station through The Fly, Even Better Than The Real Thing and Mysterious Ways - the last spiced up with the graceful writhings of belly dancer Marleigh Steinberg. Through it all Bono alternated among singing, changing the channels with a remote (the Shopping Network was a favorite) and panning the audience, band mates and himself with a video camera.
He delivered a snatch of Unchained Melody before picking the pace up with End of the World, which found him in the crowd carried on their adoring hands.
Those there for the old hits got their fix, too. A particularly rousing rendition of New Year’s Day and others later in the night such as Pride (In the Name of Love), Bullet the Blue Sky, Where the Streets Have No Name, and moving acoustic versions of Angel of Harlem and Lou Reed’s Satellite of Love (featuring a video duet with Reed) were delivered in polished, fervent fashion.
Bono, vocals, guitar; The Edge, lead guitar, vocals; Adam Clayton, bass; Larry Mullins, drums. With Public Enemy and the Sugar Cubes at Mile High Stadium.