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U2
ZOO TV Live From Sydney
Universal Music/ Island Records
www.u2.com


Well, it is just about time. Some of us have been waiting about 13 years for the chance to witness the spectacle of Zoo TV, and I think there was probably not much better show than the Sydney concert. Now, U2 has graced us with a presentation of that finest of shows on astounding DVD… mastered in 5.1 surround sound and presented in astonishing visual clarity. More than 20 songs long, this concert must have been a sight to behold in person.

The performance is stunning. From the opening video/audio sensory montage and emergence of Bono - as Memphisto or the Fly or whoever he was being with those big glasses - to the closing notes of the show there is not one moment of lost opportunity to present the anti-television message. The band rolls through a set of songs from the amazing Achtung Baby album before hitting their stride and playing through a ton of older hits. The Edge turns in a great performance of Zooropa's "Numb" (I would have preferred "Van Diemen's Land"), giving Bono enough time to wipe off some sweat and grab an acoustic guitar for a rousing rendition of "Angel Of Harlem". The live version of Lou Reed's "Satellite Of Love" is as cool as the recording, stripped down to just Edge on acoustic and Bono singing. By the time the powerful "Bullet The Blue Sky" hits, the crowd is warmer than the band, but that doesn't stop a string of amazing live versions of songs like "Pride (In The Name Of Love)" and a heavy, emotional take on "Where The Streets Have No Name", which still to this day leaves shivers up my spine… all kicked off by a steadily throbbing keyboard underpinning the melancholy and beautiful "Running To Stand Still".

Then a quick make-up and costume change for Bono and he's back as Satan… even clearer on DVD editing than if you'd been in the audience. The night wraps with a blistering version of the anthemic "With Or Without You" segued into the hollow, haunting "Love Is Blindness" that leads into a tranquil and liltingly soft version of the classic "Can't Help Falling In Love".

Perhaps the best part of the DVD is not only reliving the experience of Zoo TV, but being able to enjoy it from a vantage point that no single member of the audience would have been able to have. Multiple camera locations, including on stage, make for a truly wonderful experience, for the U2 fan and casual listener. This is a band at their performance prime - better than the amazing Rattle And Hum performance - wiser and stronger than they'd ever been before.

Even better than the real thing, indeed, Mr.'s Hewson, Evans, Clayton and Mullen. Even better, indeed.

-Embo Blake

Track Listing:
1. Opening Sequence
2. Zoo Station
3. The Fly
4. Even Better Than The Real Thing
5. Mysterious Ways
6. One
7. Unchained Melody
8. Until The End Of The World
9. New Year's Day
10. Numb
11. Angel Of Harlem
12. Stay (Faraway, So Close!)
13. Satellite Of Love
14. Dirty Day
15. Bullet The Blue Sky
16. Running To Stand Still
17. Where The Streets Have No Name
18. Pride (In The Name Of Love)
19. Daddy's Gonna Pay For Your Crashed Car
20. Show Me The Way To Go Home
21. Lemon
22. With Or Without You
23. Love Is Blindness
24. Can't Help Falling In Love


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Mike Doughty



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