U2 Takes Fans Back To Pop Mart -On New DVD
In these tumultuous times, many people are longing for a time (not so long ago) when gas was cheap, the economy was good, we were at peace (basically), and neon, cool-blue, everything seemed like a great idea. I’m talking of course about the late nineties. The latest live DVD release from sonic-pop pioneers U2, is a testament to one of the great bands in a generation, indulging in an era that most people remember very fondly. Maybe because we had jobs?
Although I remember some negative press at the time and had heard that the band lost money on the Pop Mart tour, this DVD (and its ton of extras) shows the enormity of the tour and what a technical marvel it really was for 1997. Recently on the Discovery Channel I saw an entire documentary devoted to the Pop Mart Tour and its behind-the-scenes technical operation. U2 was the first major band to stream live audio and photos from a concert site over the web. That’s pretty impressive for 1997 and pretty advanced technology for your average rock band.
The Pop Mart DVD pops (pun intended) with color. From the packaging, to the extras, to the navigation menus, the designer of this DVD sleeve deserves a raise. This is the coolest and most detailed DVD cover I’ve ever seen. The actual concert performance is pretty great too. I must admit that I am slightly biased. I’ve been a fan of U2 since I the first time I heard the Joshua Tree album on my Sony cassette Walkman. (Hello 80’s)
I know few U2 fans who claim the Pop-album-era of U2. I personally liked the Pop album and really enjoyed this DVD. While not quite as complete as 2005’s Vertigo Tour- Live in Chicago, the Pop Mart disc offers some great rare performances like unplugged versions of ‘Staring at the Sun’, ‘Desire’, and a beautiful version of ‘Sunday, Bloody Sunday’ sung solo by Edge and his guitar.
Another highlight of the Pop Mart DVD is the live version of ‘Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me’, from the Batman Forever soundtrack. This tune is one of U2’s best from the nineties and sounds much better performed live.
On a musical note, the vivid sound recording of this performance allows Edge’s guitar playing and Adam Clayton’s bass to shine through in a way normally not heard so clearly in live performances. Played through a set of studio quality headphones, each performance is a sonic revelation. A nice home theater system would probably reveal similar sounds.
The stage show on Pop Mart is a performance all by itself. Enter the neon colored stage lights, giant jumbo-tron graphics, and giant, motorized lemon. This show was pretty fantastic and was a great snapshot of the sights and sounds of the pop-fascinated nineties.
So, if you are a U2 fan or just a citizen of earth who’d like to step back to the year of the Macarena dance and dollar per-gallon gas, check out U2’s Pop Mart, Live From Mexico City, now on DVD. Maybe you can watch it on your cool blue TV?