Customer Review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good concert ruined by quirky, frenetic editing, November 18, 2009
This review is from: U2 - Zoo TV, Live From Sydney (DVD)
The "Zoo TV" tour was one of U2's most interesting and enjoyable. And it's the one for arguably U2's greatest album, "Achtung Baby". So it's too bad that this is the representation for posterity. One problem is that this show was so late into the "Zoo TV" tour that it has some songs from the greatly inferior follow up album, "Zooropa" (such as "Numb", "Lemon", "Daddy's Crashed Car"). But that's not the biggest problem.

The biggest problem is the ridiculous editing and camera gimmickry, apparently attempts to make the concert more "interesting". With any concert video, 99% of the fans just want to see the video "straight", as one would see from the audience from a very good seat (or actually several very good seats, including at times on stage with the band). What people don't want to see are lengthy crowd shots, or "arty" fast editing and deliberate camera distortion - unfortunately we get far, far too much of all that on this DVD. It's as if they assumed that the viewer would be bored by simply watching a U2 concert, so they tried to make the editing the "star". Bad idea.

Probably worst for me are the text overlays, although thankfully those are dropped after a few songs here (however, they are there long enough to ruin what is one of the best parts of the concert). For those who don't know, someone decided that U2 needed some dopey slogans such as "all you know is wrong" and displayed these on monitors next to and behind the band. But there was no need to take these and overlay them on top of the band, annoying us and keeping us from seeing the band more clearly. Maybe if Bono or one of the other band members had written the text slogans, I'd have been more tolerant of these, but they are really ridiculous, written by someone (several someones?) with no presence in the band, and frankly with little understanding of the "Achtung Baby" lyrics themselves.

At any rate, if you close your eyes and just listen, and also if you skip over the weak "Zooropa" songs, this can be fairly enjoyable. But visually it's a mess, and frankly a poor representation of the actual concert experience. There are only about 3 good songs here where the jitterbug editing slows down and just shows the band "straight" and thus makes the video experience enjoyable, and that's a shame. I'd recommend the "Live at Red Rocks" (1983) and "Slane Castle" (2003) DVDs over this one (but not the "Popmart Mexico City" 1997 one, which is also an overly edited visual mess).
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