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 from pop culture, 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".
Read more about Zoo TV: Background, Conception, Stage Design and Show Production, Planning, Itinerary, and Ticketing, Sarajevo Satellite Link-ups, Bono's Stage Personae, Recording and Release of Zooropa, Broadcasts, Recordings, and Releases, Impact and Legacy, Tour Dates
Famous quotes containing the word zoo:
“The zoo cannot but disappoint. The public purpose of zoos is to offer visitors the opportunity of looking at animals. Yet nowhere in a zoo can a stranger encounter the look of an animal. At the most, the animals gaze flickers and passes on. They look sideways. They look blindly beyond.”
—John Berger (b. 1926)