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I'm very surprised to read some mild, almost negative reviews about this show. To me the band were in top form, in the very middle of their absolute historical peak of live performances (March-June 1992). I might agree this isn't the most stellar show of that period but it isn't nowhere near "mediocre" or "average" either.
I Could've Lost You and Zoo Station kick things off in a really satisfactory way. The audience go nuts to every increase in the intensity. Huge cheers to Bono's "Could have looost you", huge cheers to Edge's opening riff, huge cheers to the lights turning on, HUGE cheers to "it's alright, it's alright, it's Austin-Texas tonight!", huge cheers to everything. I wish American audiences were still this passionate.
Obviously The Fly is the weak link in this show and there is no point in denying that. They messed up from the very beggining - and also the backing tracks were ahead, that wasn't their fault and it's actually hilarious to listen to the band first trying to catch up with the backing tracks, and then giving up and ignoring them altogether. But they recovered quickly with really really good performances of Even Better (although it was just about to fall apart in the beggining too!) and specially Mysterious Ways. No matter how many times I listen to Zoo TV versions of MW, the final solo always catches me off guard and gives me goosebumps.
The show really achieves lift off with One though. You can really tell this was a classic for most U2 crowds from the very moment Achtung Baby hit the stores. The crowd dug it and the band did too. It's really fascinating to see the development of the One ending with the birth of the Hear Me Coming snippet and also Bono feeling some kind of segue needed to be added between One and UTEOTW and therefore developing his Unchained Melody interlude a couple weeks later.
UTEOTW has some interesting lyric changes by Bono and also the final part is not as polished as it came to be in the following weeks. The segue into Wild Horses was seamless and perfect though. I can't be impartial with Wild Horses, and even though this is not a "stellar" performance like some in the previous weeks, it's still a pretty amazing version of the song. I think Bono was quite emotional, maybe almost in tears. "Hang on, hang on, hang on, show some love, haaaaaang on!!!". Wow.
Tryin' was nothing special (as usual), from what I can tell from the audio and the crowd reaction Bono was far more interested in flirting with the champagne lady than in remembering the right lyrics; having Adam presenting the song was the nicest part of it lol. Some other reviewer said that Angel Of Harlem wasn't as notoriously well received as was in some other Zoo TV shows (until New Year's Day replaced Wild Horses, AOH was usually the first pre-Achtung Baby song that they played after the 8 opening AB songs, quite a run!) and I agree, but man they really exploded when Bono sung "New York like a Xmas tree, tonight it's Texas what matters to me!". I never quite dug the conga version of this song and I tend to skip it unless it has some interesting snippets - which is sadly not the case. The crowd taking over the "Yeah yeah"s after the bridge was very nice though.
Satellite Of Love was just a standard early '92 version too, you can tell the audience loved seeing the flying Trabant lit up (a bit of Zoo TV trivia here: Lou Reed didn't appear on the screens and "duetted" with Bono until they hit New York on the Outside Broadcast leg) and in general I'd say they appreciated the version (crowds used to be much quieter/bored during this tune).
But then comes Bad and the whole thing goes a step further. I agree with whoever said the Zoo versions of Bad are wildly underrated. They might be shorter and have less snippets than the 80s versions, but crowds were more familiar with the song by then than in the mid 80s and that made it easier for a mid-tempo song to be a highlight of the show. Austin was no exception: Larry really wanted to expolode during the first round of "Let it go" and it's hilarious to hear. There's this interlude at the end, right before AIWIY, where I swear I could almost hear The First Time. Too many 1993 bootlegs lol
Nothing I can say that hasn't been said about Bullet The Blue Sky into Running To Stand Still into Where The Streets Have No Name, it's such a rousing sequence. Edge's solo in BTBS wasn't as developed and brutal as it was a few months later but it's still flaming hot. RTSS felt like it was a bit faster than Zoo TV's usual but it might have been just a perception. And well, Streets was Streets. The crowd roar when they identified the opening synth was almost as loud as my goosebumps.
Pride wasn't particularly brilliant, Bono was missing and Edge took over the vocals in some of the choruses (don't know exactly why, maybe to preserve his voice or something). Still Haven't Found was the usual, kinda chaotic Zoo TV version. it didn't cut the mustard on the bootleg but I'm sure it was an enjoyable version being there. Nice ending by Larry a la ''40''.
After being a bit off for some of the middle set, Bono was really into Desire (very good performance) but fell a bit off during Ultraviolet again. A shame. Just like Mysterious Ways' extra solo, it doesn't matter how many million times I listen to these '92 WOWYs: the extra solo at the end always catches me unprepared and conquers me. Every. Single. Time. The dark ending with Love Is Blindness was certainly colder than the much brighter Can't Help Falling In Love but in my opinion it fits the show like a glove. The whole of Zoo TV was a big WTF for the audience so ending the gigs with the darkest song on the album, a desperate ballad with no singalong or joyful parts whatsoever was only fitting.
Powerful and defined, but a few defects made it less enjoyable than I wished (specially the stereo oscillation, which probably went unnoticed to those listening with speakers or stereo system, but it was quite dizzying listening with IEMs). I've listened to all these early 92 shows a lot in the past 2 decades and I seemed to recall Austin being one of the best recordings... seems I was wrong, or my audio taste has become a bit more sybarite Either way it's a pretty good and enjoyable recording. Just not stellar.
Recording: "Bono Is A Dinky Trabant" - 3.5 stars
They were superb in every single aspect. Loud when they had to be loud (but not overwhelming), passionate when they had to be passionate, not a single trace of not digging the AB songs. Bono thanks them on the intro to ISHFWILF because apparently getting tickets for these early '92 shows was really complicated. You can tell they were having a great time and making the most out of the concert. Lovely crowd.
All in all I think this is a very good bootleg (as in show + recording + crowd + performance). It might lack a headline-worthy moment or song like many other gigs from the first half of 1992 but it delivers consistently in every single aspect.
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"Bono Is A Dinky Trabant"
ZooTV Tour (indoor)
Leg 1 - North America
April, 7, 1992
Austin, Texas, USA
Frank Erwin Center
Silver CD by Insect Records (Cat. # Ins 34-35)
Source : Audience
Lineage: Silver CD > CD-R > .WAV via xACT > .FLAC via xACT
Disc 1 (01:00:58)
1. Zoo Station
2. The Fly
3. Even Better Than The Real Thing
4. Mysterious Ways
6. Until The End Of The World
7. Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
8. Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World
9. Angel Of Harlem
10. Satellite Of Love
11. Bad / All I Want Is You
12. Bullet The Blue Sky
Disc 2 (01:02:56)
1. Running To Stand Still
2. Where The Streets Have No Name
3. Pride (in The Name Of Love)
4. I Still Haven't Found (what I'm Looking For)
6. Ultraviolet (light My Way)
7. With Or Without You
8. Love Is Blindness
9. Mysterious Ways
10. Even Better Than The Real Thing
11. Zoo Station
12. Angel Of Harlem
13. Satellite Of Love
Disc 1 & Disc (1-8) Austin, TX, April 7, 1992
Disc 2 (9-13): Dallas, TX, April 5, 1992 (soundchecks).
Audio / MP3
Bit rate: 192, bit depth: 16, sample rate: 44100, channels: 2
Date: 1992-04-07 (07th of April 1992)
Venue: Frank T. Erwin Center, Austin, USA
Bootleg: "Ride Your Wild Horses"
Label: Christie Records– CR 26957
Genre: Perfect Audience
Rating: 5 Stars!!!
Duration : 76:42:05
Lineage: Bootleg CDs > Nero StartSmart > WAV > Trader's Little Helper > FLAC8
Artwork: 300 dpi included
Lossless: Certified through TLH
01 Zoo station
02 The fly
03 Even better than the real thing
04 Mysterious ways
06 Until the end of the world
07 Who's gonna ride your wild horses?
08 Tryin' to throw your arms around the world
09 Satellite of love
11 Bullet the blue sky
12 Running to stand still
13 Where the streets have no name
14 Pride (In the name of love)
15 With or without you
Ultra Rare Bootleg...With an amazing sound & a great beautiful front artwork.
Deserving the optimal rating with no hesitation!!!
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what they said
"I'm the group lyricist and I have this incredible responsibility of putting into words what the musicians are expressing. I often feel that I achieve my purpose less when I am too specific, too precise, because there aren't any appropriate words for what I want to say."
- Bono, 1993
did you know
In the New Year's Day video, the people on horses are not the band, but are Swedish girls dressed like the band due to the cold.