Author Topic: To all those who think Zoo TV is U2's best era/tour  (Read 30208 times)

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Offline bangandclatter

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To all those who think Zoo TV is U2's best era/tour
« on: July 28, 2011, 09:39:19 PM »
I'm confident in saying that 360 is right next to zoo TV, if not better.  The songs are being played better.  The technology is better.  The amount of people seeing the live show is way beyond that of zoo (or any other tour).

I never thought they could top Zoo TV, but I think U2's best touring effort is coming to an end in Moncton.  I was lucky enough to see the 360 show(time) four times, and Nashville has become my favorite show of all time...well done lads.

Felt good to get that off my chest.  I still love zoo though!



Offline U2-obsessed and proud

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Re: To all those who think Zoo TV is U2's best era/tour
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2011, 09:46:03 PM »
I agree wholeheartedly.

Zoo TV was revolutionary for U2 and for touring in general, but I think in terms of setlists and the efficiency of the band on stage, 360 wins.

I didn't see Zoo TV live though, so what do I know *waits for the elitist U2 fans to attack*

Offline soapit

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Re: To all those who think Zoo TV is U2's best era/tour
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2011, 10:06:36 PM »
well the songs should be being played better, most of them have been played for 10-20 years by now.

nothing like a big tour to go with 2 globally acclaimed albums, whole crowd cheering when every new song starts up as they've all heard them and like them but they've never heard them live before. only relying on oldies to break things up. thats what a real tour is all about.

so still zoo tv for me.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2011, 10:11:12 PM by soapit »

An Cat Dubh

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Re: To all those who think Zoo TV is U2's best era/tour
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2011, 10:27:52 PM »
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I agree wholeheartedly.

Zoo TV was revolutionary for U2 and for touring in general, but I think in terms of setlists and the efficiency of the band on stage, 360 wins.

I didn't see Zoo TV live though, so what do I know *waits for the elitist U2 fans to attack*

Im not going to attack you, but I do think if you had witnessed Zoo TV, you might have thought differently.

You know what I think of WOWY. Well it was EPIC on Zoo TV. The BTBS/RTSS/Streets segment was completely mind blowing.

Indoors, Zoo TV was monumental.

Boom Cha!

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Re: To all those who think Zoo TV is U2's best era/tour
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2011, 10:30:27 PM »
360 is the only U2 tour I've seen, but I really don't think it stacks up to ZooTV and Popmart.

Offline Joe90usa

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Re: To all those who think Zoo TV is U2's best era/tour
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2011, 10:32:00 PM »
I don't see the comparison at all. They were extremely different tours. I think the overwhelming majority of those who loved Zoo TV would not think that 360 was better.

Offline ABloodRedSky

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Re: To all those who think Zoo TV is U2's best era/tour
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2011, 10:40:19 PM »
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360 is the only U2 tour I've seen, but I really don't think it stacks up to ZooTV and Popmart.

+1

And I agree with what someone else said earlier...I think what really, really marks a tour as amazing is when there are solid crowd reactions for new songs. Let's face it, probably a lot of casual U2 fans who went to 360 weren't there for Magnificent or Crazy Tonight, sadly.  :( That's not to say that people who went to ZooTV weren't there for Joshua Tree songs...of course they were. But from what it looks like (from videos), people loved One and Mysterious Ways, etc.

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Re: To all those who think Zoo TV is U2's best era/tour
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2011, 01:26:31 AM »
I think the technology is better, yes, and the songs were performed incredibly well at the show I went to and I was entirely blown away, so no argument there...but ZOO TV and PopMart and 360 are three different beasts entirely so I think you'd need to give more reasons than you do to support your analysis of why one was better than the other, and the main thing missing here is context.

ZOO TV represented a constellation of not just U2's decision to tour with the stage and show that they did, but also with the expansion of mass media in general around the world from being channel-based to cable and satellite-based, especially where news and world events were concerned.  It's hard now to imagine a world without 24 hour instant news coverage and yet that's exactly how the media world was until cable, cable news, CNN, etc. and U2 tapped right into this shift with their stage show of piled televisions and live cable and satellite feeds.

I think it's not only safe but accurate to say that ZOO TV was "revolutionary" and "visionary" in numerous ways.  The two ZOO TV shows I saw (please don't call me an elitist, call me lucky) were pretty mind-blowing, and the second one at Foxboro Stadium after the band had toured around with it for a while and after the start of the first Gulf War and the Bosnia War was a disorienting overload...but not just the way it utilized the technology of the time, but also how the band had captured the essence of the shifts taking place around the world and made this essence their nightly playground.  With that thought in mind, ZOO TV was a media and cultural and political and musical event all rolled into one.  

On top of all this, the band as whole were completely out of their minds living the apex of their rock star decadence and creative wildness.  I think this spilled over into POP and PopMart (just watch the opening of the Mexico show...what an insane entrance), but PopMart was more performance art and conceptual art than the surrealism and dadaism and overall "grand madness" of ZOO TV.  For me, PopMart was all about the screen.  I was fortunate to have seats close to the stage for the first PopMart show I saw but felt like I was almost TOO CLOSE to really enjoy the full effect of the stage and screen.  It was beautiful and psychedelic and really pretty weird overall in several ways.  

I thought I was going to be underwhelmed by 360, having watched so many YouTube clips of the tour before going to the show I went to.  Remember, there was no YouTube for ZOO TV or PopMart, so it was very hard to have a full sense of what a show would be like before you went to it.  Now you can watch a hundred or a thousand versions of a single song shot and uploaded by a hundred or a thousand fans just a few minutes after the show ends...and tune into live streams broadcast from single individuals within the venue.  All of these changes are ZOO TV magnified and multiplied exponentially.

360 and Vertigo are/were both revolutionary as well, but more as vehicles to showcase new stage and lighting and screen and sound technologies than the cultural and historical zeitgeist that was/IS ZOO TV.

360 blew my mind.  When I first walked into the stadium and saw the magnitude of the stage and screen and heard the sound (the band was already playing, traffic and a late start causing me to miss the first two songs) I kept saying wow!, wow! as I took it all in, and each song brought with it its own video and lighting set-up.  It felt like being INSIDE a music video and INSIDE the stage.  Very, very cool.

That being said, the evening as a whole felt more like an entertainment "event" than a "happening."  After ZOO TV, I left each show I saw thinking "what the hell was THAT?", feeling simultaneously amused, overwhelmed, baffled, stimulated, thoughtful, AND entertained...and keep in mind that I was much younger then and much wilder, so it took a lot more to impress me then than it does now.  ZOO TV would probably have been too much for me if I'd seen the show at the age I'm at now (mid-40s) because it was ALMOST too much then, especially that Foxboro Show.  Grand madness indeed.

Trying to quantify tours, though, is a difficult task.  I know the Clash/Who show I saw at the L.A. Coliseum had no video screen and not much of a stage show but that my memory of it was that I had witnessed an incredible show, even with seats three quarters of the way to the back of the stadium.  Fast forward to 1987 and The Joshua Tree show I also saw there...I'm pretty sure there were no video screens for that show either but the band still did then what they continue to do now--make that huge stadium feel like a cathedral in which everyone felt included in the proceedings...

Fast forward ten, twenty, fifty, a hundred years from now and people will look at footage of the concert technologies of OUR time and wonder how any of us could get any enjoyment at all out of such a primitive set-up.

All of the above being said, I'd rank my experiences of War, The Unforgettable Fire, The Joshua Tree, Conspiracy Of Hope, ZOO TV, PopMArt, Vertigo, and 360 tours equally as far as my enjoyment of them goes as well as the infusion of energy each brought.  But if you want to discuss the broader contexts of ZOO TV vs. 360 as they each relate to the years they were presented, world events, culture, and media, ZOO TV has to rank at the top of the list.



« Last Edit: July 29, 2011, 01:32:16 AM by The Professor »

Offline wraitii

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Re: To all those who think Zoo TV is U2's best era/tour
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2011, 01:30:39 AM »
The ZooTV is still U2's best era, unless the next album and what comes along with it is mind-blowing.
The ZooTV is no longer U2's biggest. That's the achievement. They finally managed to make the ZooTV look "small".

As for which tour is better... 20 years have passed, and it's not the same thing anymore. I guess it will be more a matter of opinions and tastes.

Offline Gavin Tuesday

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Re: To all those who think Zoo TV is U2's best era/tour
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2011, 02:57:07 AM »
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I'm confident in saying that 360 is right next to zoo TV, if not better.  The songs are being played better.  The technology is better.  The amount of people seeing the live show is way beyond that of zoo (or any other tour).


Hmmmm.  Well, it's just an opinion, and therefore can't be wrong. It's all subjective.  I'm sure lots of people agree with you...but I don't think many people who saw both shows would be among them. :)

I agree with most of what the Professor said in his, um, treatise, about the relative cultural and musical influence of the shows, so I won't go into that again. He's pretty spot on. However, I will just say I believe two of your three criteria in determining that 360 is a better tour may be....suspect.  Certainly the songs "being played better" is a legitimate thing to judge a tour on.  However, saying that 360 is "better" because the "technology is better" and more people are seeing it, I think, misses the mark. And sort of misses the point of U2's music entirely.  I respect your opinion, and there's certainly nothing wrong with thinking 360 is their best tour, for whatever reason you wish.  I just believe there's more to greatness than technology & ticket sales.

You didn't mention whether you were at ZOO TV or not, but let me just say, that tour was about more than high tech and large audiences.  Let's put it this way...some movies have spectacular special effects and sell a lot of tickets, but there's no story.  Others have great special effects, but a compelling story and drama to go along with them.  I believe ZOO TV falls into the later category.

I've seen every tour since TUF (except Lovetown), and they were all special, and I really can't compare them.  I guess my best memories are of Elevation for a variety of reasons, but again that's of course purely subjective.  I will say...I saw 360 twice, and while there were certain, fleeting, quintessential "U2 moments" I thought that something was missing at both the shows I saw.  Who knows, perhaps all that was missing was my younger self, but those shows definitely felt a little more hollow than what I'd seen before. It seemed to me at certain points in the show I swear I could actually see Bono trying to create some of those magical (for lack of a better word) moments U2 concerts are known for.  Whereas previously those moments came effortlessly and spontaneously.  I think someone once said "the moment you try for genius you've failed".  Don't get me wrong....I thoroughly enjoyed 360, and those shows were admittedly quite spectacular in every measurable way. (that first sight of the Claw as you come out of the tunnel to get to your seats is pretty impressive...I felt the same way as I did the first time I saw Red Square and the Grand Canyon..though obviously on a different scale).  But the Claw, that huge screen and all those lights can only take you so far.  Any band with the resources can create a show that technologically spectacular. What separates U2 is their music and the sprit they conjure up when the stars align.

Again, your mileage may vary.



« Last Edit: July 29, 2011, 04:50:08 AM by Gavin Tuesday »

Offline Gavin Tuesday

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Re: To all those who think Zoo TV is U2's best era/tour
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2011, 03:01:09 AM »
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On top of all this, the band as whole were completely out of their minds living the apex of their rock star decadence and creative wildness.




Well, Prof, I'm pretty sure it was mostly just Adam who went down that particular road. :)
« Last Edit: July 29, 2011, 03:27:54 AM by Gavin Tuesday »

Offline Tumbling Dice

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Re: To all those who think Zoo TV is U2's best era/tour
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2011, 04:53:27 AM »
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On top of all this, the band as whole were completely out of their minds living the apex of their rock star decadence and creative wildness.




Well, Prof, I'm pretty sure it was mostly just Adam who went down that particular road. :)

No, I'm pretty sure Bono did too, and Larry and The Edge.


Offline The Unknown Caller

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Re: To all those who think Zoo TV is U2's best era/tour
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2011, 05:05:04 AM »
Completely depends on your taste, what concerts you saw and how your particular concert experience was. It's difficult to get more general than that. My dad, for instance, has seen every tour since the early days and his two favourite concerts are 360 from Torino and the Joshua Tree indoors in Belfast. No matter how many times the internet may conclude that Zoo, Pop and Elevation are the highlights, he just preferred those two to any of the others- and that's fine, because it means he had better concert experiences and they worked for him.

I  instinctively think that Zoo TV and PopMart were better tours than 360- but at the same time,I know that 360 trumps them on lots of counts, from range of songs to setlist flexibility to tour evolution to including lots of songs not even written then. Not to mention the fact that both those setlists had some very weak songs for the majority of the tours as far as I'm concerned (TTTYAATW and Satellite of Love, Miami and the 'karaoke' slot). That's all fine, and I recognise that 360 and Vertigo are better in those respects- but I still prefer those tours overall.

Offline HEY!youtwo!

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Re: To all those who think Zoo TV is U2's best era/tour
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2011, 05:46:48 AM »
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360 is the only U2 tour I've seen, but I really don't think it stacks up to ZooTV and Popmart.

+1

And I agree with what someone else said earlier...I think what really, really marks a tour as amazing is when there are solid crowd reactions for new songs. Let's face it, probably a lot of casual U2 fans who went to 360 weren't there for Magnificent or Crazy Tonight, sadly.  :( That's not to say that people who went to ZooTV weren't there for Joshua Tree songs...of course they were. But from what it looks like (from videos), people loved One and Mysterious Ways, etc.

I think that that is more the mark of a good album, but doesn't necessarily have an impact on how good the tour is

Offline Gavin Tuesday

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Re: To all those who think Zoo TV is U2's best era/tour
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2011, 05:54:34 AM »
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On top of all this, the band as whole were completely out of their minds living the apex of their rock star decadence and creative wildness.




Well, Prof, I'm pretty sure it was mostly just Adam who went down that particular road. :)

No, I'm pretty sure Bono did too, and Larry and The Edge.



Hence my use of the word "mostly".  I don't recall Bono, The Edge or Larry getting arrested for drug possession...or being too hung over to play a show.  But if you have anything to establish otherwise, I'd love to hear it. :)