Zoo TV Tour
|World tour by U2|
|Location||North America, Europe, Australasia, Japan|
|Associated album||Achtung Baby, Zooropa|
|Start date||29 February 1992|
|End date||10 December 1993|
|Number of shows||157|
|U2 concert chronology|
The Zoo TV Tour (also written as ZooTV, ZOO TV or ZOOTV) was a worldwide concert tour by rock band U2. Staged in support of their 1991 album Achtung Baby, the tour visited arenas and stadiums from 1992 to 1993. To mirror the new musical direction that the group took with Achtung Baby, the tour was intended to deviate from their past and confound expectations of the band. In contrast to U2's austere stage setups from previous tours, the Zoo TV Tour was an elaborately staged multimedia event. It satirised television and media oversaturation by attempting to instill "sensory overload" in its audience. To escape their reputation for being overly serious, U2 embraced a more lighthearted and self-deprecating image on tour. Zoo TV and Achtung Baby were central to the group's 1990s reinvention.
The tour's concept was inspired by disparate television programming, the desensitising effect of mass media, and "morning zoo" radio shows. The stage featured dozens of large video screens that showed visual effects, video clips, and flashing text phrases. Live satellite link-ups, channel surfing, prank calls, and video confessionals were incorporated into the shows. Whereas U2 were known for their earnest live act in the 1980s, the group's Zoo TV performances were intentionally ironic and theatrical; on stage, Bono portrayed several characters he conceived, including "The Fly", "Mirror Ball Man", and "MacPhisto". In contrast to other U2 tours, each of the Zoo TV shows opened with six to eight consecutive new songs before older material was played.
Comprising five legs and 157 shows, the tour began in Lakeland, Florida, on 29 February 1992 and finished in Tokyo, Japan, on 10 December 1993. The first four legs alternated between North America and Europe, before the final leg visited Australasia and Japan. After two arena legs, the show's production was expanded for stadiums for the final three legs, which were branded "Outside Broadcast", "Zooropa", and "Zoomerang/New Zooland", respectively. Although the tour provoked a range of reactions from music critics, it was generally well received. Along with being the highest-grossing North American tour of 1992, Zoo TV sold around 5.3 million tickets over its five legs. The band's 1993 album Zooropa, which expanded on Zoo TV's mass media themes, was recorded during a break in the tour, and its songs were played in 1993. The tour was depicted in the Grammy Award–winning 1994 concert film Zoo TV: Live from Sydney. Critics regard the Zoo TV Tour as one of rock's most memorable tours—in 2002, Q's Tom Doyle called it "the most spectacular rock tour staged by any band".
- 1 Background
- 2 Conception
- 3 Stage design and show production
- 4 Planning, itinerary, and ticketing
- 5 Show overview
- 6 Sarajevo satellite link-ups
- 7 Bono's stage personae
- 8 Recording and release of Zooropa
- 9 Broadcasts, recordings, and releases
- 10 Reception
- 11 Impact and legacy
- 12 Tour dates
- 13 See also
- 14 References
- 15 External links
U2's 1987 album The Joshua Tree and the supporting Joshua Tree Tour brought them to a new level of commercial and critical success, particularly in the United States. Like their previous tours, the Joshua Tree Tour was a minimalistic, austere production, and they used this outlet for addressing political and social concerns. As a result, the band earned a reputation for being earnest and serious, an image that became a target for derision after their much-maligned 1988 motion picture and companion album Rattle and Hum, which documented their exploration of American roots music. The project was criticised as being "pretentious", and "misguided and bombastic", and U2 were accused of being grandiose and self-righteous. Their 1989 Lovetown Tour did not visit the United States, and at the end of the tour, lead vocalist Bono announced on-stage that it was "the end of something for U2" and that "we have to go away and ... just dream it all up again", foreshadowing changes for the group.
U2's first ideas for Zoo TV emerged during the Lovetown Tour in 1989, when various aspects of radio programming intrigued the group, particularly the large radio audience their Dublin concerts reached. The wild antics of "morning zoo" radio programmes inspired the band to consider taking a pirate radio station on tour. They were also interested in using video as a way of making themselves less accessible to their audiences. The band developed these ideas in late 1990 while recording Achtung Baby in Berlin at Hansa Studios. While in Berlin, they watched television coverage of the Gulf War on Sky News, which was the only English programming available. When they became tired of hearing about the conflict, they tuned into local programming to see "bad German soap operas" and automobile advertisements. The band believed that cable television had blurred the lines between news, entertainment, and home shopping over the previous decade, and they wanted to represent this on their next tour.
The juxtaposition of such disparate programming inspired U2 and Achtung Baby co-producer Brian Eno to conceive an "audio-visual show" that would display a rapidly changing mix of live and pre-recorded video on monitors. The idea was intended to mock the desensitising effect of mass media. Eno, who was credited in the tour programme for the "Video Staging Concept", explained his vision for the tour: "the idea to make a stage set with a lot of different video sources was mine, to make a chaos of uncoordinated material happening together... The idea of getting away from video being a way of helping people to see the band more easily ... this is video as a way of obscuring them, losing them sometimes in just a network of material."
While on a break from recording, the band invited production designer Willie Williams to join them in Tenerife in February 1991. Williams had recently worked on David Bowie's Sound+Vision Tour, which used film projection and video content, and he was keen to "take rock show video to a level as yet undreamed of". The band played Williams some of their new music—inspired by alternative rock, industrial music, and electronic dance music—and they told him about the "Zoo TV" phrase that Bono liked. Williams also learned about the band's affection for the Trabant, an East German automobile that derisively became a symbol for the fall of Communism. Williams thought their fondness for the car was "deeply, deeply bizarre", but nonetheless, he incorporated it into his ideas for the tour. In May, he brainstormed the idea to construct a lighting system using Trabants by hanging them from the ceiling and hollowing them to carry spotlights.
On 14 June 1991, the first tour production meeting was held, with Williams, the band, manager Paul McGuinness, artist Catherine Owens, and production managers Steve Iredale and Jake Kennedy in attendance. Williams presented his ideas, which included the Trabant lighting system and the placement of video monitors all over the stage; both notions were well received. Eno's original idea was to have the video screens on wheels and constantly in motion, although this was impractical. Williams and the group proposed many ideas that did not make it to the final stage design. One such proposal, dubbed "Motorway Madness", would have placed billboards advertising real products across the stage, similar to their placement beside highways. The idea was intended to be ironic, but was ultimately scrapped out of fear that the band would be accused of selling out. Another proposed idea building a giant doll of an "achtung baby", complete with an inflatable penis that would spray on the audience, but it was deemed too expensive and was abandoned.
By August, a prototype of a single Trabant for the lighting system was completed, with the innards gutted and retrofitted with lighting equipment, and a paint job on the exterior. Williams spent most of the second half of 1991 designing the stage. Owens was insistent that her ideas be given priority, as she thought that men had been making all of U2's creative decisions and were using male-centred designs. With bassist Adam Clayton's support, she recruited visual artists from Europe and the United States to arrange images for use on the display screens. These people included video artist Mark Pellington, photo/conceptual artist David Wojnarowicz, and satirical group Emergency Broadcast Network, who digitally manipulate sampled image and sound. Pellington envisaged a collection of text phrases into the visual displays, inspired by his working with artist Jenny Holzer. The idea was first put into practice in the video for Achtung Baby's lead single, "The Fly". Bono devised and collected numerous phrases during development of the album and the tour. Additional pre-recorded video content was created by Eno, Williams, Kevin Godley, Carol Dodds, and Philip Owens.
On 13 November, U2 settled on the "Zoo TV Tour" name and the plans to place video screens across the stage and build a lighting system out of Trabants. McGuinness led a trip to East Germany to buy Trabants from a recently closed factory in Chemnitz, and in January 1992, Catherine Owens began to paint the cars. As she described, "The basic idea was that the imagery on the cars should have nothing to do with the car itself." One such design was the "fertility car", which sported blown-up newspaper personal ads and a drawing of a woman giving birth while holding string tied to her husband's testicles. Williams and Chilean artist Rene Castro also provided artwork on the cars.
Stage design and show production
The Zoo TV stages were designed by Willie Williams, U2's stage designer since the War Tour of 1982–1983. In place of U2's austere and minimalist productions of the 1980s, the Zoo TV stage was a complex setup, designed to instill "sensory overload" in its audience. The set's giant video screens showed not only close-ups of the band members performing, but also pre-recorded video, live television transmissions (intercepted by a satellite dish the group brought on tour), and text phrases. Electronic, tabloid-style headlines ran on scrawls at the ends of the stage. The band's embracing of such technology was meant as a radical departure in form, and as a commentary on the pervasive nature of technology. This led many critics to describe the show as "ironic".
Several versions of the stage were used during the tour. The first two legs of 1992 were indoors and used the smallest of the sets, which included four Vidiwalls (Philips-branded giant television screens); six painted Trabants suspended above the stage; 36 television monitors; and a B-stage, a small remote platform connected to the main stage by a ramp. A seventh Trabant by the B-stage doubled as a DJ booth and a mirror ball.
To redesign the set for the 1992 North American stadium leg—dubbed "Outside Broadcast"—Williams collaborated with stage designers Mark Fisher and Jonathan Park, both of whom had worked on The Rolling Stones' Steel Wheels Tour stage set. The set was expanded to include a 248-by-80-foot (76 by 24 m) stage, and the Vidiwalls were supplemented by four larger mega-video screens. Williams faced difficulties in designing the outdoor lighting system, as the stage did not have a roof. He settled on using the venues' house spotlights and strategically placed lights in the structure behind the band. The spires of the stage, intended to resemble transmission towers, were tall enough that the Federal Aviation Administration required them to have blinking warning lights. The stage's appearance was compared to the techno-future cityscapes from Blade Runner and the works of cyberpunk writer William Gibson. The B-stage was located at the end of a 150-foot-long (46 m) catwalk. The larger set used 176 speaker enclosures, 312 18-inch (46 cm) subwoofers, 592 10-inch (25 cm) mid-range speakers, 18 projectors, 26 on-stage microphones, two Betacam and two Video-8 handheld video cameras, and 11 Trabants suspended by cranes over the stage. The outdoor stage used for the 1993 legs of the tour was smaller due to budget concerns, and it discarded the Trabants hung from cranes, instead featuring three cars hanging behind the drum kit. All of the projection screens were replaced with "video cubes", as the projectors were not bright enough for the European summer nights, when daylight remained later into the evening.
To accommodate the video production, the equivalent of a television studio control room—costing US$3.5 million—was built for the tour. Beneath the stage, Dodds, the video director, operated a system custom-built by Philips called CD-i. It used five broadcast camera systems, 12 Laser Disc players, and a satellite dish, and it required 12 directors, 19 video crew members, and two separate mix stations to operate. Despite the production's complexity, the group decided that flexibility in the shows' length and content was a priority. Guitarist The Edge said, "That was one of the more important decisions we made early on, that we wouldn't sacrifice flexibility, so we designed a system that is both extremely complicated and high-tech but also incredibly simple and hands-on, controlled by human beings... in that sense, it's still a live performance." This flexibility allowed for improvisations and deviations from the planned programme. Eno recommended that U2 film its own video tapes so that they could be edited and looped into the video displays more easily, instead of relying entirely on pre-sequenced video. Eno explained, "their show depends on some kind of response to what's happening at the moment in that place. So if it turns out they want to do a song for five minutes longer, they can actually loop through the material again so that you're not suddenly stuck with black screens halfway through the fifth verse." The band shot new video for the displays over the course of the tour.
The 180-person crew travelled in 12 buses and a chartered jet known as the Zoo Plane. For the American stadium shows, 52 trucks were required to transport 1,200 short tons (1,089 tonnes) of equipment, 3 miles (4.8 km) of cabling, 12 forklifts, and a 40-short-ton (36 t) crane; the million-dollar stage was constructed in a 40-hour process with the help of 200 local labourers. The sound system used over one million watts and weighed 30 short tons (27 t).
Planning, itinerary, and ticketing
Rehearsals for the tour began in December 1991 at The Factory in Dublin. During this time, Eno consulted U2 on the visual aspects of the show. The band found it challenging to recreate all the sounds from the new album. They considered using additional musicians, but their sentimental attachment to a four-piece prevailed. They left Dublin on 19 February 1992 to set up at Lakeland Civic Center in Lakeland, Florida for rehearsals before the opening show at the venue on 29 February.
Unlike many of the group's previous tours, which began ahead of or coincident with the release of a new album, Zoo TV started four months after Achtung Baby was released, giving fans more time to familiarise themselves with the new songs. By opening night, the album had already sold three million copies in the US and seven million worldwide. The first two legs of the 1992 tour were indoor arena shows, comprising 32 concerts in North America from February to April and 25 in Europe from May to June. While the band had toured North America every year between 1980 and 1987, they were absent from the North American tour circuit for over four years before Zoo TV. The US concert business was in a slump at the time, and the routing of the first two legs generally allowed only one show per city. This was intended to announce the band's return to major cities, to gauge demand for ticket sales, and to re-introduce the notion of a "hot ticket" to concertgoers. Tickets for the opening show in Florida sold out over the phone in four minutes, demand exceeding supply by a factor of 10 to 1. To combat ticket scalping, the band avoided selling tickets in box offices as much as possible, preferring to sell over the telephone instead. Several cities' telephone systems were overwhelmed when Zoo TV tickets went on sale; Los Angeles telephone company Pacific Bell reported 54 million calls in a four-hour period, while Boston's telephone system was temporarily shut down.
In Europe, ticketing details were kept secret until radio advertisements announced that tickets had gone on sale at box offices. In many cases, tickets were limited to two-per-person to deter scalping. Due to the production costs and relatively small arena crowds, the European arena leg lost money. McGuinness had planned larger outdoor concerts in Berlin, Turin, Poland, and Vienna to help the tour break even, but only the Vienna concert occurred.
Two stadium legs were tentatively planned and dependent on the success of the arena tour: the North American "Outside Broadcast" leg from August–November 1992, and the European "Zooropa" leg from May–August 1993. While their playing stadiums was motivated by pragmatic concerns, U2 saw it as an artistic challenge as well, imagining what Salvador Dalí or Andy Warhol would do with such spaces. Rehearsals for "Outside Broadcast" began in Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, Pennsylvania in early August 1992; a public rehearsal show was held on 7 August. Technical problems and pacing issues forced refinement to the show. Six days before the official leg-opening Giants Stadium show, the group delayed the concert by a day, due to the difficulty of assembling the large outdoor production and the destruction of the largest screen in a windstorm. By the time "Outside Broadcast" began, Achtung Baby had sold four million copies in the US. Tickets for the "Zooropa" leg went on sale in November 1992. The leg, which began in May 1993, was the band's first full stadium tour of Europe and marked the first time they had visited certain areas. Scheduling for the "Zoomerang" stadium leg in the Pacific from November–December 1993 afforded the band more off-days between shows than previous legs, but this amplified the exhaustion and restlessness that had set in by the tour's end.
Although the tour was listed as co-sponsored by MTV, the group decided against explicit corporate sponsorship; band members, especially drummer Larry Mullen, Jr., were uncertain that the tour would be profitable. The daily cost of producing the tour was US$125,000, regardless of whether a show was held on a given day. An attempt to convince Philips to donate the video equipment was unsuccessful, and the band had to pay for it themselves. In order to defray the heavy expenses of the Pacific shows, U2 asked for large guarantees from local promoters up front, rather than sharing the financial burden as they had in the past. This sometimes caused promoters to raise ticket prices above usual levels, which in turn sometimes resulted in less than full houses. Profit margin was a slim four to five percent at most sold-out shows.
Between the support acts and U2's performance, a disc jockey played records. For the 1992 legs, Irish rock journalist and radio presenter BP Fallon filled the role. Originally hired to write the Zoo TV tour programme, he played music from inside a Trabant on the B-stage, while providing commentary and wearing a cape and top hat. His official title was "Guru, Viber and DJ". He hosted Zoo Radio, a November 1992 distributed radio special that showcased select live performances, audio oddities, and half-serious interviews with members of U2 and the opening acts. At the group's suggestion, Fallon eventually published a book about the tour entitled U2 Faraway So Close. Paul Oakenfold, who became one of the world's most prominent club DJs by the decade's end, replaced him later on the tour.
Beginning with the group's 24 May 1992 show, Fallon played "Television, the Drug of the Nation" by hip-hop artists The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy as the last song before the venue darkened and U2 took the stage. U2 saw the song, a commentary on mass media culture, as encapsulating some of the tour's principal themes. The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy became one of the supporting acts for the "Outside Broadcast" leg, and after their supporting stint, "Television" was retained as the pre-show closer until the tour's conclusion. After the venue darkened, one of several audio-video pieces was played to accompany the group taking the stage. During the "Outside Broadcast" leg, the piece was one by Emergency Broadcast Network that reorganised video clips of American President George H. W. Bush to make him sing Queen's "We Will Rock You". A different piece, created by Ned O'Hanlon and Maurice Linnane of Dreamchaser video productions, was used on the 1993 legs; it wove looped video from Leni Riefenstahl's films Triumph of the Will and Olympia with various video clips featuring war and news.
The concert began with a fixed sequence of six to eight consecutive Achtung Baby songs, a further sign that they were no longer the U2 of the 1980s. For the opening song, "Zoo Station", Bono entered as his primary stage persona, "The Fly", appearing silhouetted against a giant screen of blue and white video noise interwoven with glimpses of xerox animations of the band members. "The Fly" usually followed, with the video monitors flashing a rapidly changing array of textual words and aphorisms. Some of these included "Taste is the enemy of art", "Religion is a club", "Ignorance is bliss", "Watch more TV", "Believe" with letters fading out to leave "lie", and "Everything you know is wrong". (During the first week of the tour, media outlets incorrectly reported that the words shown included "Bomb Japan Now", forcing the band to issue a statement denying the claim.) Before "Even Better Than the Real Thing", Bono channel surfed through live television programming, and during the song, as random images from television and pop culture flashed on screen, he filmed himself and the band with a camcorder.
In a Zoo Radio interview, The Edge described the visual material that accompanied the first three songs:
"'Zoo Station' is four minutes of a television that's not tuned into any station, but giving you interference and shash and almost a TV picture. 'The Fly' is information meltdown—text, sayings, truisms, untruisms, oxymorons, soothsayings, etc., all blasted at high speed, just fast enough so it's impossible to actually read what's being said. 'Even Better Than the Real Thing' is whatever happens to be flying around the stratosphere on that night. Satellite TV pictures, the weather, shopping channel, cubic zirconium diamond rings, religious channels, soap operas..."
"Mysterious Ways" featured a belly dancer on-stage. For the 1992 indoor legs, Florida resident Christina Petro was the dancer. Tour choreographer Morleigh Steinberg assumed the role starting with the "Outside Broadcast" leg. "One" was accompanied by the title word shown in many languages, as well as Mark Pellington-directed video clips of buffalos leading to a still image of David Wojnarowicz's "Falling Buffalo" photograph. For "Until the End of the World", Bono often played with a camera, kissing the lens and thrusting it into his crotch, a stark contrast from his more earnest stage behaviour of the past. Beginning with "Outside Broadcast", the band began playing "New Year's Day" afterwards. During "Tryin' to Throw Your Arms Around the World", Bono danced with a young female fan from the crowd (a ritual he had done more solemnly on past tours), shared camcorder video filming duties with her, and sprayed champagne. At this point in the show, Mullen sometimes sang a solo performance of "Dirty Old Town".
The group played many Achtung Baby songs very similarly to the way they had appeared on record. Since this material was complex and layered, most numbers featuring pre-recorded or offstage percussion, keyboard, or guitar elements underlying the U2 members' live instrumentals and vocals. U2 had used backing tracks in live performance before, but with the need to sync live performance to Zoo TV's high-tech visuals, almost the entire show was synced and sequenced. This practice has continued on their subsequent tours.
Zoo TV was one of the first large-scale concerts to feature a B-stage, where performances were intended "to be the antidote to Zoo TV". The idea had been inspired by the successful informality of the Elvis Presley '68 Comeback Special. Here, the band played quieter songs, such as acoustic arrangements of "Angel of Harlem", "When Love Comes to Town", "Stay (Faraway, So Close!)", and Lou Reed's "Satellite of Love". Many critics compared the B-stage performances to "busking" and singled them out as the shows' highlights.
After leaving the B-stage, U2 often played "Bad" or "Sunday Bloody Sunday", with performances of "Bullet the Blue Sky" and "Running to Stand Still" following. For "Bullet the Blue Sky", the video screens displayed burning crosses and swastikas; during "Running to Stand Still", Bono mimed the actions of a heroin addict from the B-stage, rolling up his sleeves and then pretending to spike his arm during the final lyric. Afterwards, red and yellow smoke flares came out from either end of the B-stage, before the band re-grouped on the main stage for U2 classics played straight. "Where the Streets Have No Name" was accompanied by sped-up video of the group in the desert from The Joshua Tree's photo shoot. U2 often finished their set with "Pride (In the Name of Love)" while a clip from Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famed "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech was played on the video screens. The group was initially unconvinced that the leap from the rest of the show's irony and artifice to something more sincere would be successful, but they thought that it was important to demonstrate that certain ideals were so strong and true that they could be held onto no matter the circumstance. The group alternated performances of "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" in acoustic form on the B-stage with using it to close the main set.
Commencing with the "Outside Broadcast" leg, clips from the tour's "video confessional booth" were displayed on the set's screens between the main set and the encore. Concertgoers were encouraged to visit the booth prior to the concert and say whatever they wanted. These "confessions" varied from a woman flashing her breasts to a man revealing he had killed his friend in a car accident. Once the encore began, Bono would return as a different alter ego—Mirror Ball Man in 1992, and MacPhisto in 1993. Performances of "Desire" were accompanied by images of Richard Nixon, Margaret Thatcher, Paul Gascoigne, and Jimmy Swaggart, and were meant as a criticism of greed; cash rained the stage and Bono often portrayed Mirror Ball Man as an interpretation of the greedy preacher described in the song's lyrics. Bono often made a crank call from the stage as his persona of the time. Such calls included dialing a phone sex line, calling a taxi cab, ordering 10,000 pizzas (the Detroit pizza parlor delivered 100 pizzas during the show), or calling a local politician. Bono regularly called the White House in an attempt to contact President Bush. Though Bono never reached the President, Bush did acknowledge the calls during a press conference.
"Ultraviolet (Light My Way)" and "With or Without You" were frequently played afterwards. Concerts initially ended with Achtung Baby's slower "Love Is Blindness". Beginning with the "Outside Broadcast" shows, it was often followed by Bono's falsetto take on Elvis Presley's long-time show-closing ballad, "Can't Help Falling in Love", culminating in Bono softly stating that "Elvis is still in the building". Both songs presented a low-key, introspective conclusion to the show, in contrast to the dynamic, aggressive opening; the group also wanted to move away from its tradition of ending concerts with the fan sing-along favourite "40". The night finished with a single video message being displayed: "Thanks for shopping at Zoo TV".
On 11 June 1992, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus of ABBA appeared on-stage in Stockholm for the first time in years to perform "Dancing Queen" with the band, which U2 had frequently performed on the tour up to that point. Other guest performers on the tour included Axl Rose, Jo Shankar, and Daniel Lanois.
On 19 June 1992, during the European indoor leg, U2 played the "Stop Sellafield" concert in Manchester, alongside Kraftwerk, Public Enemy, and Big Audio Dynamite II, to protest the operation of a second nuclear reactor at Sellafield. For the group's performance, the stage was made to resemble their Zoo TV stage. The following day, the band participated in a demonstration organised by Greenpeace in which protesters landed on the beach at Sellafield in rubber dinghies and displayed 700 placards for the waiting media.
At the first "Outside Broadcast" show on 12 August 1992 at Giants Stadium, Lou Reed performed "Satellite of Love" with the band; he and Bono dueted using their contrasting vocal styles. Bono re-confirmed the singer's influence on the band by announcing, "Every song we've ever written was a rip-off of a Lou Reed song." For the second show and the remainder of the tour, a taping of Reed singing the song was used for a virtual duet between him and Bono.
Novelist Salman Rushdie joined the band on stage in London's Wembley Stadium on 11 August 1993, despite the death fatwā against the author and the risk of violence arising from his controversial novel The Satanic Verses. In reference to the novel's satanic references, Rushdie, when confronted by Bono's MacPhisto character, observed that "real devils don't wear horns". In 2010, Clayton recalled that "Bono had been calling Salman Rushdie from the stage every night on the Zoo TV tour. When we played Wembley, Salman showed up in person and the stadium erupted. You [could] tell from Larry's face that we weren't expecting it. Salman was a regular visitor after that. He had a backstage pass and he used it as often as possible. For a man who was supposed to be in hiding, it was remarkably easy to see him around the place."
As the "Zooropa" leg unfolded in 1993, U2 became concerned about the volatile political situation in post-communist Europe and the resurgence of radical nationalism. The opening of the show was modified to reflect this, with sounds from Lenin's Favourite Songs mixed with "Ode to Joy" mixed with monotone voices asking "What do you want?" in different European languages. A visual of the Flag of Europe was presented which then crumbled after one of the stars fell off.
A number of these European shows featured live satellite link-ups with people living in war-torn Sarajevo during the siege of Sarajevo/Bosnian War. The transmissions were arranged with help from American aid worker Bill Carter. Before their 3 July show in Verona, Italy, the band met with Carter to give an interview about Bosnia for Radio Televizija Bosne I Hercegovina. Carter described his experiences helping Sarajevans while surviving the dangerous living conditions. While in Sarajevo, Carter had seen a television interview on MTV in which Bono mentioned the theme of the "Zooropa" leg was a unified Europe. Feeling that such an aim was empty if Bosnia went overlooked, Carter sought Bono's help. He requested that U2 visit Sarajevo to bring attention to the war and break the "media fatigue" that had occurred from covering the conflict. Bono wanted the band to play a concert in the city, but their tour schedule prevented this, and McGuinness believed that a concert there would make them and their audience targets for the Serbian aggressors.
Instead, the group agreed to use the tour's satellite dish to conduct live video transmissions between their concerts and Carter in Sarajevo. Carter returned to the city and was able to assemble a video unit. The band had to purchase a satellite dish to be sent to Sarajevo and had to pay a £100,000 fee to join the European Broadcasting Union. Once set up, the band began satellite link-ups to Sarajevo on a near nightly basis, the first airing on 17 July 1993 in Bologna, Italy. To connect with the EBU satellite feeds, Carter and two co-workers had to traverse "Sniper Alley" at night to reach the Sarajevo television station, and they had to film with as little light as possible to avoid the attention of snipers. This was done a total of ten times over the course of a month. Carter discussed the deteriorating situation in the city, and Bosnians often spoke to U2 and their audience. These grim interviews deviated from the rest of the show, and they were completely unscripted, leaving the group unsure of who would be speaking or what they would say. U2 stopped the broadcasts in August 1993 after learning that the siege of Sarajevo was being reported on the front of many British newspapers. Though this trend had begun before the first link-up, Nathan Jackson suggested that U2's actions had brought awareness of the situation to their fans, and to the British public indirectly.
Reactions to the transmissions were mixed, triggering a media debate concerning the ethical implications of mixing rock entertainment with human tragedy. The Edge said, "A lot of nights it felt like quite an abrupt interruption that was probably not particularly welcomed by a lot of people in the audience. You were grabbed out of a rock concert and given a really strong dose of reality and it was quite hard sometimes to get back to something as frivolous as a show having watched five or ten minutes of real human suffering." Mullen worried that the band were exploiting the Bosnians' suffering for entertainment. In 2002, he said, "I can't remember anything more excruciating than those Sarajevo link-ups. It was like throwing a bucket of cold water over everybody. You could see your audience going, 'What the fuck are these guys doing?' But I'm proud to have been a part of a group who were trying to do something." During a transmission for the band's concert at Wembley Stadium, three women in Sarajevo told Bono via satellite, "We know you're not going to do anything for us. You're going to go back to a rock show. You're going to forget that we even exist. And we're all going to die." Some people close to the band joined the War Child charity project, including Brian Eno. Writer Bill Flanagan believes that the link-ups accomplished Bono's goal for Zoo TV of "illustrating onstage the obscenity of idly flipping from a war on CNN to rock videos on MTV". U2 vowed to perform in Sarajevo someday, eventually fulfilling this commitment on their 1997 PopMart Tour.
Bono's stage personae
Bono assumed a number of costumed alter egos during Zoo TV performances. The three main personae that he used on stage were "The Fly", "Mirror Ball Man", and "MacPhisto". Additionally, during performances of "Bullet the Blue Sky" and "Running to Stand Still", he appeared on-stage wearing a military utility vest and cap, and a microphone headset. As this character, he ranted and raved in an act he said was set in the Vietnam War.
To escape their reputation for being overly serious and self-righteous, U2 decided to alter their image by being more facetious. Bono said, "All through the Eighties we tried to be ourselves and failed when the lights were on. Which is what set us up for Zoo TV. We decided to have some fun being other people, or at least other versions of ourselves." The Edge said, "We were quite thrilled at the prospect of smashing U2 and starting all over again." The group viewed humour as the appropriate response to their negative perception and that although their message would not change, they needed to change how they delivered it to their audience.
Bono conceived his "Fly" persona during the writing of the song of the same name. The character began with Bono wearing an oversized pair of blaxploitation sunglasses, given to him by wardrobe manager Fintan Fitzgerald, to lighten the mood in the studio. Bono wrote the song's lyrics as this character, composing a sequence of "single-line aphorisms". He developed the persona into a leather-clad egomaniac, describing his outfit as having Lou Reed's glasses, Elvis Presley's jacket, and Jim Morrison's leather pants. To match the character's dark fashion, Bono dyed his naturally brown hair black.
Bono began each concert as The Fly and continued to play the character for most of the first half of the concert. In contrast to his earnest self of the 1980s, as The Fly, Bono strutted around the stage with "swagger and style", exhibiting mannerisms of an egotistical rock star. He adopted the mindset that he was "licensed to be an egomaniac". He often stayed in character away from the tour stage, including for public appearances and when staying in hotels. He said, "That rather cracked character could say things that I couldn't", and that it offered him a greater freedom of speech.
Mirror Ball Man
As the Mirror Ball Man, Bono dressed in a shining silver lamé suit with matching shoes and cowboy hat. The character was meant to parody greedy American televangelists, showmen, and car salesman, and was inspired by Phil Ochs' Elvis persona from his 1970 tour. Bono said that he represented "a kind of showman America. He had the confidence and charm to pick up a mirror and look at himself and give the glass a big kiss. He loved cash and in his mind success was God's blessing. If he's made money, he can't have made any mistakes." As the character, Bono spoke with an exaggerated Southern American accent. Mirror Ball Man appeared during the show's encore and made nightly prank calls, often to the White House. Bono portrayed this alter ego on the first three legs of the tour, but replaced him with MacPhisto for the 1993 legs.
MacPhisto was created to parody the devil and was named after Mephistopheles of the Faust legend. Initially called "Mr. Gold", MacPhisto wore a gold lame suit with gold platform shoes, pale make-up, lipstick, and devil's horns atop his head. As MacPhisto, Bono spoke with an exaggerated upper-class English accent, similar to that of a down-on-his-luck character actor. The character was created as a European replacement for the American-influenced Mirror Ball Man. The initial inspiration for MacPhisto came from the stage musical The Black Rider. Realisation of the character did not come about until rehearsal the night before the first of the 1993 shows. According to Bono, "We came up with a sort of old English Devil, a pop star long past his prime returning regularly from sessions on The Strip in Vegas and regaling anyone who would listen to him at cocktail hour with stories from the good old, bad old days." MacPhisto sang the closing "Can't Help Falling in Love" with an oddly childlike manner that many reviewers found one of the most poignant moments of the show.
Bono continued making crank calls as MacPhisto, but the targets changed with the location of each concert. Many of them were local politicians that Bono wished to mock by engaging them in character as the devil. He enjoyed making these calls, saying, "When you're dressed as the Devil, your conversation is immediately loaded, so if you tell somebody you really like what they're doing, you know it's not a compliment." The band intended for MacPhisto to add humour while making a point. Said The Edge, "That character was a great device for saying the opposite of what you meant. It made the point so easily and with real humor." A female Cardiff fan who was pulled on-stage questioned Bono's motives for dressing as the devil, prompting the singer to compare his act to the plot of the C. S. Lewis novel The Screwtape Letters.
Recording and release of Zooropa
U2 recorded their next album, Zooropa, from February to May 1993 during an extended break between the third and fourth legs of the tour. The album was intended as a companion EP to Achtung Baby, but soon expanded into a full LP. Recording could not be completed before the tour restarted, and for the first month of the "Zooropa" leg, the band flew home after shows, recording until the early morning and working on their off-days, before travelling to their next destination. Clayton called the process "about the craziest thing you could do to yourself", while Mullen said of it, "It was mad, but it was mad good, as opposed to mad bad." McGuinness later said the band had nearly wrecked themselves in the process. The album was released on 5 July 1993. Influenced by the tour's themes of technology and mass media, Zooropa was an even greater departure in style from their earlier recordings than Achtung Baby was, incorporating further dance music influences and electronic effects into their sound. A number of songs from the album were incorporated into the subsequent "Zooropa" and "Zoomerang" legs, most frequently "Numb" and "Stay (Faraway, So Close!)". For the "Zoomerang" leg, "Daddy's Gonna Pay For Your Crashed Car" and "Lemon" were added to the encore and "Dirty Day" to the main set.
Broadcasts, recordings, and releases
On 9 September 1992, a portion of U2's performance at the Pontiac Silverdome was broadcast live to the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards. The band performed "Even Better Than the Real Thing" while VMA host Dana Carvey, dressed as his Wayne's World Garth persona, accompanied the band on drums in Los Angeles. A Zoo Radio special included live selections from 1992 shows from Toronto, Dallas, Tempe, and New York City. On 28 and 29 November 1992, a TV special entitled Zoo TV Featuring U2 was aired, featuring portions of several "Outside Broadcast" leg shows as well as William S. Burroughs' reading of the sardonic poem "Thanksgiving Prayer"; directed by Kevin Godley, the programme was broadcast in North America on Fox, and in Europe via Channel 4, Premiere, France 2, Rai Uno, RTVE, TV1000, and Veronica. Several 1992 shows, including the 11 June concert in Stockholm and 27 October concert in El Paso, were broadcast into the homes of fans who had won contests. In October 1992, U2 released Achtung Baby: The Videos, The Cameos, and a Whole Lot of Interference from Zoo TV, a VHS compilation of nine music videos from Achtung Baby. Interspersed between the music videos were clips of so-called "interference", comprising documentary footage, media clips, and other video similar to what was displayed on tour.
Two November 1993 "Zoomerang" shows in Sydney were filmed as part of a worldwide television broadcast. The 26 November show was to be a rehearsal for the production crew for the official filming the following night; however, Clayton, who began drinking excessively on the latter stages of the tour, suffered an alcoholic blackout from the previous night and was unable to perform. Bass guitar technician Stuart Morgan filled in for him, marking the first time any member of U2 had missed a show. Clayton recovered in time to play the 27 November show, which was broadcast and was the only show used in the resulting video release. The concert was broadcast in the United States on tape-delayed pay-per-view. U2 originally planned to produce the concert with MTV for a January 1994 "triplecast" that would have offered three different perspectives of the show on three separate channels. However, the group cancelled the "triplecast" after realising they had not fully developed the concept. The show was subsequently released as the concert video Zoo TV: Live from Sydney in 1994, and the double CD Zoo TV Live in 2006 to subscribing members of U2's website. The video won the Grammy Award for Best Long Form Music Video at the 37th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony.
Reviews written during the initial arena legs reflected the dramatic change in U2's approach. Many critics published favourable reviews about the tour; the San Francisco Chronicle praised the special effects for supplementing the music. The reviewer wrote, "The often-surrealistic effects always served the songs, not the other way around." The review concluded, "this magnificent multimedia production will serve as a pinnacle in rock's onstage history for sometime [sic] to come". Edna Gundersen of USA Today said that U2 was dismantling its myth and wrote that the show was "a trippy and decadent concert of bedazzling visuals and adventurous music". Melody Maker's Jon Wiederhorn wrote that he expected to dislike the show based upon their past stage history, "But, alas, I cannot be negative about U2 tonight. Their Zoo TV show is visually stunning, musically unparalleled, downright moving and, dammit, truly entertaining." Hot Press' Bill Graham said of the show, "U2 don't so much use every trick in the book as invent a whole new style of rock performance art." For Graham, the tour resolved any doubts he had about the band—particularly about Bono—following their reinvention with Achtung Baby.
Other critics indicated befuddlement as to U2's purpose. The Asbury Park Press wrote that the long string of Achtung Baby song presentations that opened the show made one forget about the band's past, and that "almost everything you knew about U2 a couple years ago is, in fact, wrong now". The Star-Ledger said that the band shortchanged its music with its video presentations and that especially during the opening sequence, "one was only aware of the music as a soundtrack to the real 'show'". It concluded by saying that the group had lost the sense of mystery and yearning that made it great and that they had succumbed to the style of music videos. Jon Pareles of The New York Times acknowledged that U2 was trying to break its former earnest image and that they were a "vastly improved band" for being "trendy" and "funny"; yet, he commented, "U2 wants to have its artifice and its sincerity at the same time—no easy thing—and it hasn't yet made the breakthrough that will unite them."
The stadium legs of the tour received more consistent praise than the arena shows. Critics noted that while the show and its setlist were largely the same as before, the tour mostly benefited from the increased scale. The New York Daily News said that the stage "looked like a city made of television sets—an electronic Oz" and that "glitz was used not as a mere distraction (as it has been by so many video-age artists), but as a determined conceit". Gundersen also made the comparison to Oz, saying that even though the band was dwarfed by the setting, their adventurous musicianship still shone through. She concluded that the group had "deliver[ed] a brilliant high-wire act" between mocking and exploiting rock music clichés, a comparison also made by stage designer Williams. Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times said of the outdoor American leg, "Zoo TV is the yardstick by which all other stadium shows will be measured." David Fricke of Rolling Stone said that the band had "regained critical and commercial favor by negotiating an inspired balance between rock's cheap thrills and its own sense of moral burden". He praised the band for "retool[ing] themselves as wiseacres with heart and elephant bucks to burn". Fricke noted that the increased visual effects for the "Outside Broadcast" leg increased the shows' "mind-fuck" factor. Many critics described the tour as "post-modern". The writers of Rolling Stone, in a best-of-1992 issue, named U2 co-winners of "Best Band", while awarding the Zoo TV Tour honours for both "Best Tour" and "Worst Tour".
The Independent praised the "Zooropa" leg, with the reviewer stating, "I came as a sceptic, and left believing I had witnessed the most sophisticated meeting of technical wizardry and mojo priestcraft ever mounted." Dave Fanning of The Irish Times praised the "Zooropa" leg, stating, "If this is the show by which all other rock circuses must be measured, then God help the new music." Fanning observed that the group, particularly Bono, exhibited "style, sex and self-assurance". Billboard wrote, "No one is dancing on the edges of rock'n'roll's contradictions as effectively these days as U2." The stadium legs had their detractors, as NME called the shows a "two-hour post-modernist pot noodle advert made by politically naive, culturally unaware squares with the help of some cool, arty people". Graham thought that the scale of the stadium shows led to more predictability and less interaction with the audiences.
The group and the music industry were unsure how fans would receive the tour beforehand. During the first week of shows, Bono said, "This show is a real roller coaster ride, and some people will want to get off, I'm sure." He remained optimistic that their devoted fans would continue following them, but cautioned he had no intention of resisting the glamour and fame: "Oh, but it's fun to be carried away by the hype. Where would you be without the hype?... You can't pretend all the promotion and all the fanfare is not happening." Some hardcore fans, particularly in the US, objected to the tour as a blatant sellout to commercial values, while others misinterpreted the tour's mocking of excess, believing that, according to VH1's Legends, "U2 had 'lost it' and that Bono had become an egomaniac". Many Christian fans were offended the band's antics and believed they had abandoned their religious faith.
By the outdoor legs, many fans knew what to expect, and Pareles observed that Bono's admonitions to never cheer a rock star were greeted with idolatrous applause; he concluded that the show's message of scepticism was somewhat lost on the audience and that, "No matter what Bono tells his fans, they seem likely to trust him anyway." By the end of the tour's first year, U2 had won over many fans. In a 1992 end-of-year poll, readers of Q voted U2 "The Best Act in the World Today". The band's almost clean sweep of Rolling Stone's end-of-year readers' poll—which included "Best Artist", "Best Tour", and Bono as "Sexiest Male Artist"—reconfirmed for the magazine they were the "world's biggest rock band".
On the opening leg, U2 sold 528,763 tickets and grossed US$13,215,414 in 32 shows. They grossed US$67 million overall in 73 North American shows in 1992, easily the highest amount for any touring artist that year. At the time, this was the third-highest gross for a North American tour, behind The Rolling Stones' 1989 Steel Wheels Tour and New Kids on the Block's 1990 Magic Summer Tour. For 1992, Zoo TV ticket sales in America and Europe totalled 2.9 million. The "Zooropa" stadium leg the following year played to more than 2.1 million people over 43 dates between 9 May and 28 August. In total, the Zoo TV Tour played to about 5.3 million people. The band incurred heavy expenses to produce the tour, leading to only a small profit. According to McGuinness, "We grossed $30 million in T-shirt sales. Without those we'd be fucked." Bono later said, "When we built Zoo TV, we were so close to bankruptcy that if five percent fewer people went, U2 was bankrupt. Even in our irresponsible, youthful and fatal disregard of such material matters, it was terrifying."
Impact and legacy
For the Zoo TV Tour, U2 embraced the "rock star" identity they had struggled with and were reluctant to accept throughout the 1980s. They drew the attention of celebrities, including American presidential candidate Bill Clinton, and they began partying more than they had in the past. During parts of the tour, the band attracted the fashion crowd; Clayton's romantic relationship with supermodel Naomi Campbell and Bono's friendship with supermodel Christy Turlington made them the subjects of unwanted tabloid attention. By the "Zoomerang" leg, Clayton's relationship with Campbell was fracturing and he was drinking frequently. After missing the group's 26 November 1993 show in Sydney from an alcoholic blackout, Clayton quit drinking altogether. The incident resulted in tensions within the group in the tour's final weeks. The Edge began dating the belly dancer Morleigh Steinberg during the tour, and the two later married in 2002.
The tour's two-year length, then U2's longest, exhausted the band as the final legs unfolded. Following the conclusion of Zoo TV, U2 took an extended break from recording as a group. Mullen and Clayton moved into Manhattan apartments in New York City, where they sought out music lessons to become better musicians. The Edge and Bono spent most of 1994 living in newly renovated houses in the South of France.
After the tour, although The Fly character was retired, Bono began to wear tinted glasses, similar to his Fly sunglasses, in most public appearances. The glasses have since become a stylistic trademark of the singer in both his musical and activist roles. The Fly and MacPhisto characters appeared in the animated music video to U2's 1995 song "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me" from the soundtrack to Batman Forever. Author Višnja Cogan wrote that "the video crystallises and concludes the Zoo TV period and the changes that occurred". Director Joel Schumacher attempted to create a role for Bono as MacPhisto in Batman Forever, but both later agreed it was not suitable.
As the tour drew to a close, the group entered prolonged discussions about creating a Zoo TV television channel in partnership with MTV. This never materialised, but in 1997, MTV ran a brief miniseries called Zoo-TV, which featured Emergency Broadcast Network extending their tour role in creating contemporary surrealist satirical video. U2 endorsed the effort as a representation of what the tour would have been like as a news magazine, but their direct role was limited to providing half-financing and outtakes from the Zooropa album. Wired magazine said the series "pushe[d] the edge of commercial—even comprehensible—television".
U2's subsequent concert tour, 1997's PopMart Tour, followed in Zoo TV's footsteps by mocking another social trend, this time consumerism. Paul McGuinness said the group wanted "the production [of PopMart] to beat Zoo TV", and accordingly, the tour's spectacle was a further shift away from their austere stage shows of the 1980s; PopMart's stage featured a 150-foot-long (46 m) LED screen, a 100-foot-tall (30 m) golden arch containing the sound system, and a mirrorball lemon that served as a transport to the B-stage. Although critics were much less receptive to PopMart, in a 2009 interview, Bono said that he considers that tour to be their best: "Pop(Mart) is our finest hour. It's better than Zoo TV aesthetically, and as an art project it is a clearer thought."
The Pixies' stint as a support act produced a controversy that partially contributed to their break-up. In July 1992, Spin featured a controversial cover story titled "U2 On Tour: The Story They Didn't Want You to Read", which detailed author Jim Greer's travels on the tour's first weeks with his unidentified girlfriend (who turned out to be Pixies' bassist Kim Deal). The article featured their criticisms of U2 for the supposed poor treatment the Pixies received. Both U2 and the Pixies disagreed and were livid at Deal, particularly Pixies frontman Black Francis. In 1993, following tensions within the group, Francis announced the Pixies had dissolved.
In 2005, during their Vertigo Tour, the group often played a short set of songs as a homage to the Zoo TV Tour—"Zoo Station", "The Fly", and "Mysterious Ways"—as part of the first encore; performances of "Zoo Station" included the interference in the background visual effects, and "The Fly" used flashing text effects on the LED screens similar to the Zoo TV visuals.
Critics regard the Zoo TV Tour as one of rock's most memorable tours. During the "Zooropa" leg of the tour, Guy Garcia of Time called Zoo TV "one of the most electrifying rock shows ever staged". In 1997, Robert Hilburn wrote that "It's not unreasonable to think of it as the Sgt. Pepper's of rock tours." In 2002, Tom Doyle of Q called it "still the most spectacular rock tour staged by any band", and in 2013, the magazine listed it as one of the "ten greatest gigs of all time". In 2009, critic Greg Kot said, "Zoo TV remains the finest supersized tour mounted by any band in the last two decades." Ryan Dombal of Pitchfork wrote in a review of Achtung Baby's 20th anniversary reissue, "Even 20 years on, the tour looks like something to behold, a singularly inventive experience that no band—including U2 itself—has been able to really expound upon in a meaningful way." The Edge said, "as a band I think it stretched us all. We were a different band after that and touring was different." Producer Nellee Hooper later told Bono that Zoo TV "ruined irony for everyone".
|Leg 1: arenas in North America|
|29 February 1992||Lakeland||United States||Lakeland Civic Center||Pixies||7,251 / 7,251||$181,275|
|1 March 1992||Miami||Miami Arena||14,000 / 14,000||N/A|
|3 March 1992||Charlotte||Charlotte Coliseum||22,786 / 22,786||$569,650|
|5 March 1992||Atlanta||The Omni||16,336 / 16,336||$408,400|
|7 March 1992||Hampton||Hampton Coliseum||10,187 / 10,187||$254,675|
|9 March 1992||Uniondale||Nassau Coliseum||17,397 / 17,397||$434,275|
|10 March 1992||Philadelphia||The Spectrum||18,349 / 18,349||$458,725|
|12 March 1992||Hartford||Hartford Civic Center||16,438 / 16,438||$385,662|
|13 March 1992||Worcester||Centrum in Worcester||13,835 / 13,835||$345,875|
|15 March 1992||Providence||Providence Civic Center||13,680 / 13,680||$324,900|
|17 March 1992||Boston||Boston Garden||15,212 / 15,212||$380,300|
|18 March 1992||East Rutherford||Brendan Byrne Arena||19,880 / 19,880||$497,000|
|20 March 1992||New York City||Madison Square Garden||18,179 / 18,179||$454,475|
|21 March 1992||Albany||Knickerbocker Arena||16,258 / 16,258||$398,218|
|23 March 1992||Montreal||Canada||Montreal Forum||N/A||N/A|
|24 March 1992||Toronto||Maple Leaf Gardens||16,015 / 16,015||$387,837|
|26 March 1992||Richfield||United States||Coliseum at Richfield||18,083 / 18,083||$452,075|
|27 March 1992||Auburn Hills||The Palace of Auburn Hills||21,064 / 21,064||$526,600|
|30 March 1992||Minneapolis||Target Center||18,256 / 18,256||$447,272|
|31 March 1992||Rosemont||Rosemont Horizon||17,329 / 17,329||$433,225|
|5 April 1992||Dallas||Reunion Arena||17,999 / 17,999||$447,175|
|6 April 1992||Houston||The Summit||16,342 / 16,342||$418,875|
|7 April 1992||Austin||Frank Erwin Center||16,768 / 16,768||$416,950|
|10 April 1992||Tempe||Arizona State University Activity Center||13,302 / 13,302||$332,550|
|12 April 1992||Los Angeles||Los Angeles Sports Arena||31,692 / 31,692||$792,300|
|13 April 1992|
|15 April 1992||San Diego||San Diego Sports Arena||13,824 / 13,824||$345,600|
|17 April 1992||Sacramento||Arco Arena||15,893 / 15,893||$397,325|
|18 April 1992||Oakland||Oakland Coliseum Arena||14,431 / 14,431||$360,775|
|20 April 1992||Tacoma||Tacoma Dome||43,977 / 43,977||$1,099,425|
|21 April 1992|
|23 April 1992||Vancouver||Canada||Pacific Coliseum||N/A||N/A|
|Leg 2: arenas in Europe|
|7 May 1992||Paris||France||Palais Omnisports Bercy||The Fatima Mansions||N/A||N/A|
|9 May 1992||Ghent||Belgium||Flanders Expo|
|11 May 1992||Lyon||France||Halle Tony Garnier|
|12 May 1992||Lausanne||Switzerland||CIG de Malley|
|14 May 1992||San Sebastián||Spain||Velodrome Anoeta|
|16 May 1992||Barcelona||Palau Sant Jordi|
|18 May 1992|
|21 May 1992||Assago||Italy||Forum di Assago|
|22 May 1992|
|24 May 1992||Vienna||Austria||Donauinsel|
|25 May 1992||Munich||Germany||Olympiahalle|
|27 May 1992||Zürich||Switzerland||Hallenstadion|
|29 May 1992||Frankfurt||Germany||Festhalle|
|31 May 1992||London||England||Earls Court Exhibition Centre|
|1 June 1992||Birmingham||National Exhibition Centre|
|4 June 1992||Dortmund||Germany||Westfalenhalle|
|5 June 1992|
|8 June 1992||Gothenburg||Sweden||Scandinavium|
|10 June 1992||Stockholm||Globen|
|11 June 1992|
|13 June 1992||Kiel||Germany||Sparkassen-Arena|
|15 June 1992||Rotterdam||Netherlands||Ahoy|
|17 June 1992||Sheffield||England||Sheffield Arena|
|18 June 1992||Glasgow||Scotland||SECC|
|19 June 1992||Manchester||England||GMEX Centre|
|Leg 3: stadiums in North America ("Outside Broadcast")|
|7 August 1992||Hershey||United States||Hersheypark Stadium||WNOC||N/A||N/A|
|12 August 1992||East Rutherford||Giants Stadium||Primus,
The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy
|109,000 / 109,000||$3,269,790|
|13 August 1992|
|15 August 1992||Washington, D.C.||Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium||97,038 / 97,038||$2,765,583|
|16 August 1992|
|18 August 1992||Saratoga Springs||Saratoga Gaming and Raceway||30,227 / 35,000||$906,810|
|20 August 1992||Foxborough||Foxboro Stadium||148,736 / 148,736||$4,427,100|
|22 August 1992|
|23 August 1992|
|25 August 1992||Pittsburgh||Three Rivers Stadium||39,586 / 39,586||$1,028,783|
|27 August 1992||Montreal||Canada||Olympic Stadium||42,210 / 43,000||$1,010,864|
|29 August 1992||New York City||United States||Yankee Stadium||104,100 / 104,100||$3,123,000|
|30 August 1992|
|2 September 1992||Philadelphia||Veterans Stadium||88,684 / 88,684||$2,691,880|
|3 September 1992|
|5 September 1992||Toronto||Canada||Exhibition Stadium||108,043 / 108,043||$3,021,488|
|6 September 1992|
|9 September 1992||Pontiac||United States||Pontiac Silverdome||36,740 / 40,680||$1,102,200|
|11 September 1992||Ames||Cyclone Stadium||48,822 / 48,822||$1,452,630|
|13 September 1992||Madison||Camp Randall Stadium||Big Audio Dynamite II,
|62,280 / 62,280||$1,868,400|
|15 September 1992||Tinley Park||World Music Theatre||89,307 / 89,307||$2,457,690|
|16 September 1992|
|18 September 1992|
|20 September 1992||St. Louis||Busch Memorial Stadium||48,054 / 48,054||$1,389,930|
|23 September 1992||Columbia||Williams-Brice Stadium||28,305 / 40,136||$776,568|
|25 September 1992||Atlanta||Georgia Dome||53,427 / 53,427||$1,602,810|
|3 October 1992||Miami Gardens||Joe Robbie Stadium||45,244 / 46,000||$1,289,454|
|7 October 1992||Birmingham||Legion Field||35,209 / 41,632||$1,021,061|
|10 October 1992||Tampa||Tampa Stadium||41,090 / 42,500||$1,194,407|
|14 October 1992||Houston||Houston Astrodome||31,884 / 35,000||$925,560|
|16 October 1992||Irving||Texas Stadium||The Sugarcubes,
|39,514 / 39,514||$1,144,500|
|18 October 1992||Kansas City||Arrowhead Stadium||The Sugarcubes,
The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy
|37,867 / 40,000||$1,154,944|
|21 October 1992||Denver||Mile High Stadium||The Sugarcubes,
|54,450 / 54,450||$1,654,390|
|24 October 1992||Tempe||Sun Devil Stadium||35,177 / 40,000||$1,055,310|
|27 October 1992||El Paso||Sun Bowl Stadium||35,564 / 39,500||$1,066,920|
|30 October 1992||Los Angeles||Dodger Stadium||108,357 / 108,357||$3,250,710|
|31 October 1992|
|3 November 1992||Vancouver||Canada||BC Place Stadium||77,448 / 83,000||$2,143,567|
|4 November 1992|
|7 November 1992||Oakland||United States||Oakland-Alameda County Stadium||59,800 / 59,800||$1,793,700|
|10 November 1992||San Diego||Jack Murphy Stadium||33,575 / 55,000||$999,765|
|12 November 1992||Whitney||Sam Boyd Stadium||27,774 / 37,011||$860,994|
|14 November 1992||Anaheim||Anaheim Stadium||48,640 / 48,640||$1,462,800|
|21 November 1992||Mexico City||Mexico||Palacio de los Deportes||Big Audio Dynamite II||83,068 / 83,068||$4,148,756|
|22 November 1992|
|24 November 1992|
|25 November 1992|
|Leg 4: stadiums in Europe ("Zooropa")|
|9 May 1993||Rotterdam||Netherlands||Feijenoord Stadion||Utah Saints, Claw Boys Claw||N/A||N/A|
|10 May 1993||Einstürzende Neubauten, Claw Boys Claw|
|11 May 1993||Claw Boys Claw|
|15 May 1993||Lisbon||Portugal||Estádio José Alvalade||Utah Saints|
|19 May 1993||Oviedo||Spain||Estadio Carlos Tartiere||Utah Saints, The Ramones|
|22 May 1993||Madrid||Estadio Vicente Calderón|
|26 May 1993||Nantes||France||Stade de la Beaujoire||Urban Dance Squad, Utah Saints|
|29 May 1993||Werchter||Belgium||Festival Grounds||Stereo MCs, Urban Dance Squad|
|2 June 1993||Frankfurt||Germany||Waldstadion||Stereo MCs, Die Toten Hosen|
|4 June 1993||Munich||Olympiastadion|
|6 June 1993||Stuttgart||Cannstatter Wasen|
|9 June 1993||Bremen||Weserstadion|
|12 June 1993||Cologne||Müngersdorferstadion|
|15 June 1993||Berlin||Olympiastadion|
|23 June 1993||Strasbourg||France||Stade de la Meinau||Stereo MCs, The Velvet Underground|
|26 June 1993||Paris||Hippodrome de Vincennes||Belly, The Velvet Underground|
|28 June 1993||Lausanne||Switzerland||Stade Olympique de la Pontaise||The Velvet Underground|
|30 June 1993||Basel||St. Jakob Stadium||Stereo MCs, The Velvet Underground|
|2 July 1993||Verona||Italy||Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi||An Emotional Fish, Pearl Jam|
|3 July 1993|
|6 July 1993||Rome||Stadio Flaminio|
|7 July 1993|
|9 July 1993||Naples||Stadio San Paolo||The Velvet Underground|
|12 July 1993||Turin||Stadio Delle Alpi||An Emotional Fish, Ligabue|
|14 July 1993||Marseille||France||Stade Vélodrome||An Emotional Fish|
|17 July 1993||Bologna||Italy||Stadio Renato Dall'Ara||An Emotional Fish, Galliano|
|18 July 1993|
|23 July 1993||Budapest||Hungary||Stadium Puskás Ferenc||Ákos|
|27 July 1993||Copenhagen||Denmark||Gentofte Stadion||PJ Harvey, Stereo MCs|
|29 July 1993||Oslo||Norway||Valle Hovin Stadion|
|31 July 1993||Stockholm||Sweden||Stockholm Olympic Stadium|
|3 August 1993||Nijmegen||Netherlands||Goffertpark|
|7 August 1993||Glasgow||Scotland||Celtic Park||Utah Saints, PJ Harvey|
|8 August 1993||Utah Saints, Stereo MCs|
|11 August 1993||London||England||Wembley Stadium||PJ Harvey, Big Audio Dynamite II|
|12 August 1993|
|14 August 1993||Leeds||Roundhay Park||Marxman, Stereo MCs|
|18 August 1993||Cardiff||Wales||Cardiff Arms Park||Utah Saints, Stereo MCs|
|20 August 1993||London||England||Wembley Stadium|
|21 August 1993||Björk, Stereo MCs|
|24 August 1993||Cork||Ireland||Páirc Uí Chaoimh||Engine Alley, Utah Saints|
|27 August 1993||Dublin||RDS Arena||Marxman, The Golden Horde||72,000 / 72,000||$2,413,370|
|28 August 1993||Scary Éire, Stereo MCs|
|Leg 5: stadiums in Australasia ("Zoomerang/New Zooland")|
|12 November 1993||Melbourne||Australia||Melbourne Cricket Ground||Big Audio Dynamite II, Kim Salmon and the Surrealists||N/A||N/A|
|13 November 1993|
|16 November 1993||Adelaide||Football Park|
|20 November 1993||Brisbane||Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre|
|26 November 1993||Sydney||Sydney Football Stadium|
|27 November 1993|
|1 December 1993||Christchurch||New Zealand||Lancaster Park||3Ds, Big Audio Dynamite II|
|4 December 1993||Auckland||Western Springs Stadium|
|9 December 1993||Tokyo||Japan||Tokyo Dome||Big Audio Dynamite II|
|10 December 1993|
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- "AB Boxscore: Top 10 Concert Grosses" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 104 no. 12. 21 March 1992. p. 22. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "AB Boxscore: Top 10 Concert Grosses" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 104 no. 13. 28 March 1992. p. 14. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "AB Boxscore: Top 10 Concert Grosses" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 104 no. 15. 11 April 1992. p. 10. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "AB Boxscore: Top 10 Concert Grosses" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 104 no. 16. 18 April 1992. p. 15. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "AB Boxscore: Top 10 Concert Grosses" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 104 no. 17. 25 April 1992. p. 15. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "AB Boxscore: Top 10 Concert Grosses" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 104 no. 18. 2 May 1992. p. 18. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "AB Boxscore: Top 10 Concert Grosses" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 104 no. 19. 9 May 1992. p. 16. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "AB Boxscore: Top 10 Concert Grosses" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 104 no. 20. 16 May 1992. p. 12. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "AB Boxscore: Top 10 Concert Grosses" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 104 no. 22. 30 May 1992. p. 19. ISSN 0006-2510.
- de la Parra (2003), pp. 146–151
- de la Parra (2003), pp. 151–158
- North American stadium tour boxscore data:
- "AB Boxscore: Top 10 Concert Grosses" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 104 no. 35. 29 August 1992. p. 16. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "AB Boxscore: Top 10 Concert Grosses" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 104 no. 37. 12 September 1992. p. 18. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "AB Boxscore: Top 10 Concert Grosses" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 104 no. 39. 26 September 1992. p. 18. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "AB Boxscore: Top 10 Concert Grosses" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 104 no. 40. 3 October 1992. p. 17. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "AB Boxscore: Top 10 Concert Grosses" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 104 no. 42. 17 October 1992. p. 19. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "AB Boxscore: Top 10 Concert Grosses" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 104 no. 43. 24 October 1992. p. 22. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "AB Boxscore: Top 10 Concert Grosses" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 104 no. 44. 31 October 1992. p. 14. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "AB Boxscore: Top 10 Concert Grosses" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 104 no. 45. 7 November 1992. p. 20. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "AB Boxscore: Top 10 Concert Grosses" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 104 no. 46. 14 November 1992. p. 17. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "AB Boxscore: Top 10 Concert Grosses" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 104 no. 47. 21 November 1992. p. 22. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "AB Boxscore: Top 10 Concert Grosses" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 104 no. 48. 28 November 1992. p. 18. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "AB Boxscore: Top 10 Concert Grosses" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 104 no. 49. 5 December 1992. p. 26. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "AB Boxscore: Top 10 Concert Grosses" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 104 no. 51. 19 December 1992. p. 15. ISSN 0006-2510.
- de la Parra (2003), pp. 160–170
- European stadium tour boxscore data:
- de la Parra (2003), pp. 171–172
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- U2 (2006). McCormick, Neil, ed. U2 by U2. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 0-00-719668-7.
- Zoo TV: Live from Sydney (DVD). Special Edition: Island / UMG. 2006.