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Old 08-21-2007, 10:41 AM   #1
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Popmart: 10 years on

Since its now a decade since this tour began, along with the Mexico DVD coming out at the end of the year, it seems like a good time to get peoples feelings on it. Is it anybody's favourite tour? Best tour of the ninties? Anyone think its the low point of the bands live career?

I always felt that Zoo TV was a colder, more distant tour, it was partly to do with the change of image, but it was a stark contrast to the warm, communal tours of the 80's. Popmart was much more emotional, Mofo, Gone and Please are intense songs and need to connect in order to work.

Bono's vocal problems give the tour a sporadic feel IMO, Zoo TV was much more consistent, listen to any of 1992 bootlegs and you can tell that this is a band on form (although admittedly this was due to the static setlist), but nights like Leeds 97, Rotterdam 97 and Santiago 98 are amongst the best of the bands entire career.
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Old 08-21-2007, 10:55 AM   #2
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Well bono's vocals were getting worse, sometimes very bad but there are some very very good bootlegs out there where he sings like a bird, and yes the concerts were great, clunky in the beginning due to lack of rehearsel but it really got started later on.

I still rate it as one of their best tours, when they figured it out, the whole setting and possibilities of the screen etc it just kicked everyones ass. From that day on the set another standard for every tour to come.

People sometimes say the need for a big screen isnt there but come on, if your in the back of a large stadium etc then i bet you would want a big screen to see whats happening and besides that a big screen gives songs a possibility to connect even more and to give them a visual feel.
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Old 08-21-2007, 11:01 AM   #3
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I saw PopMart in the Seattle Kingdome, and it was a cool spectacle. But I was MUCH more moved by their 2001 show in Tacoma. I preferred the more intimate setting, and I thought their show was a lot more focused.
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Old 08-21-2007, 11:31 AM   #4
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It's their fourth best in my opinion, behind Zoo TV, Lovetown, and JT. It's a good tour. When Bono's vocals were on, it was a GREAT tour. They didn't figure it out till aroundabout the second leg, but once they did, hells yeah.
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Old 08-21-2007, 12:26 PM   #5
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I was thinkin the other day it was coming up for 10 years since Popmart tour. Hard to believe. I loved the shows. But I am of the school of thought that there is no such thing as a bad u2 tour. Highlight for me was Please and erm.....ahem.....eh Miami
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Old 08-21-2007, 12:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by SeattleVertigo
I saw PopMart in the Seattle Kingdome, and it was a cool spectacle. But I was MUCH more moved by their 2001 show in Tacoma. I preferred the more intimate setting, and I thought their show was a lot more focused.
I think I know wat you mean. I think it may be down to the fact that ATYCLB was a far more emotional set of songs to tour with.
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Old 08-21-2007, 01:07 PM   #7
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The first tour that I ruined for myself by knowing every detail beforehand by spending too much time online. Not that I've stopped...

And my seats were crap, so I mostly watched the big screen. I felt disconnected and sad. Also, Columbus, OH, didn't sell out.
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Old 08-21-2007, 01:36 PM   #8
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My first concert ever, and one of the fondest memories of my life. Also of fun emotional note is that as I was going through this very heavy experience at the concert, I was also grounded by the fact that my dad had played Soccer in college on the very field that the stage was on (Franklin Field at UPenn in Philadelphia).

I prefer Popmart to Elevation without a doubt, but Vertigo has challenged it, especially having been able to see the final show in Hawaii. Popmart was fun, and while meticulously staged, seemed very sporadic and lively... Elevation didn't do much for me, other than the obvious fact of being able to see U2 live. But when stacked against any other tour, especially Popmart, I think it's kind of a dud.
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Old 08-21-2007, 02:00 PM   #9
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Re: Popmart: 10 years on

Quote:
Originally posted by DevilsShoes
Anyone think its the low point of the bands live career?



Bad vocals, over the top "let's outdo Zoo TV at its own game" stage setup, and stupid outfits.

Possibly the strongest set of songs in a U2 tour, though. It flows really well.
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Old 08-21-2007, 03:13 PM   #10
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Hmmm....I think by the end of the 1st leg things were starting to come together nicely for Popmart.

So by the time I saw them ( the two Rotterdam shows and Hanover ) they were in super form.
Bono`s vocals were definetly on in Rotterdam that was a plus point.
I still enjoy the Popheart EP since it contains 3 songs of a show I attended.
So you can imagine I am very glad they added the Rotterdam footage of Please - Streets - Discotheque - Velvet Dress to the Popmart dvd extras.

Overall it was an amazing tour.
The performances of Mofo , LNOE , Gone , Please , HMTMKMKM were just amazing.
I think it was impossible to recreate another Zoo-TV but on it`s own Popmart is a state of musical art on it`s very own.

Only Zoo , Lovetown and Vertigo passes it for me.
Vertigo mainly of old gems like Electric Co etc...!

Cheers ,

Mauwer

p.s. Wouldn`t it be great if the next tour had these two monsters - Electric Co and HMTMKMKM
Why haven`t they brought out HMTMKMKM again beats me.
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Old 08-21-2007, 04:55 PM   #11
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Re: Popmart: 10 years on

Quote:
Originally posted by DevilsShoes
Anyone think its the low point of the bands live career?
Yes, me. From the shows & tours I've witnessed since '92, I'd strongly say, that POPmart has to be on the last spot regarding the U2 live shows; I do want to enjoy. Why? It has been said a lot, repeated a lot and overhyped a lot even here in this forum: The setlist mix was heavily based on the current album (fine, because POP is a great album, you could call it a masterpiece, too, and I do love the tunes live) plus the rest filled with the obvious 'Greatest Hits' (crap, because there should be alway some 'obscure' tunes in, too).
That U2 decided to play a cut short, slowed down version of "Pride" plus an abbreviated "All I Want Is You" later on, didn't do any better. Only "Until The End ..." & "Bullet The Blue Sky" didn't match the 'Greatest Hits' pattern, but belong to the staples, U2 play every tour. This changed in the last part of the tour, where the setlist were much better ('40', "Mothers Of The Disappeared", "Desire", "Sunday Bloody Sunday" newly arranged, "Bad"), but that didn't help, when you saw the usual shows in Europe.
Another negative highlight, apart from the show overshadowing the music: The encore part with "Mysterious Ways" & "One" ending the shows, was one of the least inspired endings U2 have ever thought of.
This said, there were many highlights, beautiful concerts & single moments, I don't want to miss – but it's much less than, what I celebrated with ZOO TV, Elevation and Vertigo ...
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Old 08-21-2007, 06:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by pacemaker
My first concert ever, and one of the fondest memories of my life.

(Franklin Field at UPenn in Philadelphia).
I was at that show, too. It wasn't my first concert ever, but it was my first U2 show.

In a lot of ways, I feel like Popmart was the last time U2 really took some risks. It was ridiculous, yes, and it wasn't nearly as successful financially as Elevation or Vertigo, but there was a sense of creativity and a willingness to play around that I really miss from U2.

I guess a lot of it has to do with the fact that the world was a much different place 10 years ago. It just wouldn't work now for Bono to spend his days rallying for debt relief and aid to Africa, then to descend each night from a giant piece of fruit to sing about lovey dovey stuff. But wouldn't it be nice if he could? I miss live versions of Pop songs. It makes sense to me why they didn't get played on Vertigo, though, since I don't know that they'd have worked with the stage setup or the overall tone of the tour. But I wish the band could find some sort of balance between playfulness and creativity and their social conscience. I don't feel like it has to be either/or.

Bono spent a lot of the 90s looking inward with his lyrics. Songs like Mofo and Gone and Wake Up Dead Man are some of his most deeply personal, I think. He wasn't necessarily trying to connect with listeners as much as he was trying to work through things for himself. It was ironic, then, that such a huge and impersonal tour rose out of those deeply personal songs. I think Popmart was a lot more social commentary than many people realized. It was ridiculous in part because the band wanted to call attention to the ridiculousness of their huge fame. They hadn't sold out; they'd only learned to laugh at themselves and at the culture that had allowed them to get so famous.
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Old 08-21-2007, 07:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoIsMyMuse



I guess a lot of it has to do with the fact that the world was a much different place 10 years ago. It just wouldn't work now for Bono to spend his days rallying for debt relief and aid to Africa, then to descend each night from a giant piece of fruit to sing about lovey dovey stuff. But wouldn't it be nice if he could? I miss live versions of Pop songs. It makes sense to me why they didn't get played on Vertigo, though, since I don't know that they'd have worked with the stage setup or the overall tone of the tour. But I wish the band could find some sort of balance between playfulness and creativity and their social conscience. I don't feel like it has to be either/or.

Wow... that's pretty deep.
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Old 08-21-2007, 09:18 PM   #14
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Popmart is the only tour I went to where the crowd wasn't already completely in love with the songs. A lot of factors there, and I am not judging the Pop songs. And God bless U2 for plugging away at selling those new songs night after night.

The whole package just didn't click with Joe Average. But maybe Joe Average is a moron.

I probably would've been better off seeing them in Latin America or something!
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Old 08-21-2007, 09:41 PM   #15
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i saw them the night after michael hutchence passed.

the san antonio show. very sombre. very weird.

i guess you could say i hadn't fallen in love with the songs at that point, but i think it's more accurate to say i was put off by what was going on a decade of U2 glazing themselves over with irony and sarcasm.. maybe i was too dense to get it, maybe POP was too far ahead of its time, maybe a combination of the two... but seeing PRIDE played with a pause for MLK to speak words of idealism from the video screen, and the openness of STREETS, thrown in the midst of POPMART- didn't quite fit for me.

This thread has made me look up some of the POPMART SANTIAGO shows on (where else) utube... and i agree they're incredible and electrifying performances... popmart seems like a golden age to u2 fans now that we've had two albums and nearly a decade of fairly predictable music from them, but at the time it did seem like a low point to me.

maybe they were (as usual) just ahead of their time. ;-)

the SANTIAGO clips are amazing. what amazes me even more is the sheer number of u2 clips on the internet now... most of them taken before the internet was really understood or widely known - their commitment to making each show the best yet shines through in every performance.
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Old 08-22-2007, 12:10 AM   #16
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I saw Dallas(at the beginning) then San Antonio and Houston(a little later), good tour, but suffered from not being ready and Bono's vocals.

If this tour had the live strength that Vertigo did it could have gone down as one of the greatest tours ever...
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Old 08-22-2007, 12:43 AM   #17
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Does anyone think they should have kept trying to improve the electric version of Staring at the Sun. I think that has potential as a live song for future tours if done right. I also think they should have worked more on Do You Feel Loved and not have dumped it so fast.
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Old 08-22-2007, 12:49 AM   #18
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DYFL should have definately been worked on more! But they just never had time, if they had soundchecked it longer before playing it to an audience we would have gotten something, but when it failed they shelved it and we'll never see it again, that's the type of band U2 is.

Songs evolve for U2 but rarely do they bring back one and completely rework it, so I doubt we'll see SATS again in any other form...
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Old 08-22-2007, 12:49 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
I saw Dallas(at the beginning) then San Antonio and Houston(a little later), good tour, but suffered from not being ready and Bono's vocals.

If this tour had the live strength that Vertigo did it could have gone down as one of the greatest tours ever...
Hey whaddayaknow, we both saw the SA show. I drove down from Austin. Did you see an opening act? We didn't; at the time I thought there wasn't one, but I've since read there was one scheduled- but I've never known whether they cancelled or we missed them. I think it was third eye blind- no great loss. ;-)

...i agree with you about the potential of the tour- and if you look up the Santiago show (if you haven't already) you'll see it. (!!!)
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Old 08-22-2007, 12:54 AM   #20
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Yeah I saw TEB, you didn't miss anything...

Problem with the Alamodome is it's probably the worst sound of any stadium concert I've ever been to...

As far as the Santiago show, it was great but it still never reached the full potential...
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