"The Virtual Road: PopMart Live From Mexico City" - U2
- "Gone" (Live from Mexico City, Dec. 3, 1997 - Fade In) - U2 (04:49)
- "Even Better Than the Real Thing" (Live from Mexico City, Dec. 3, 1997 - No Fades) - U2 (04:47)
- "Staring at the Sun" (Live from Mexico City, Dec. 3, 1997 - No Fades) - U2 (05:56)
- "If You Wear That Velvet Dress" (Live from Mexico City, Dec. 3, 1997 - Fade Out) - U2 (03:00)
The Virtual Road was a series of concerts shown by U2 on YouTube in March and April of 2021. Each show had been previously released, but it was the first time they streamed complete on YouTube. Each was limited, and would eventually be removed from the service. To accompany the releases, a series of digital EPs were released to streaming services and digital storefronts.
The EP for the third show is “The Virtual Road: PopMart Live from Mexico City” and it features a number of tracks taken from the Mexico City concerts in 1997. Each EP is edited so that a continuous mix is heard with crowd noise flowing between tracks, even if the songs were not performed back to back in concert. The songs are new mixes of the audio from the original master tapes. The “cover” art for the EP uses the blue style PopMart show poster instead of the DVD artwork which had been used on prior EPs.
Previously tracks from the Mexico City show were released in audio format on the fan club only release Hasta La Vista Baby! in 2000. Additional tracks were released on the “Beautiful Day“ single in 2000. Neither of those sources is widely available, and neither contained the full show in an audio format. “Staring at the Sun” and “Gone” were both part of Hasta La Vista Baby! and “If You Wear That Velvet Dress” was released as part of the “Beautiful Day” single. “Even Better Than the Real Thing” had not previously been released in an audio only format.
The Virtual Road is a series of four previous concert releases, being shown on YouTube for free in March and April 2021, including the Slane Castle video from 2001, the performance from Red Rocks in 1983, Mexico City in 1997 and Paris in 2015. These follow on similar shows of Zoo TV Live From Sydney, Elevation Live from Boston, Vertigo Live from Chicago, and the Experience and Innocence Tour Live from Berlin all shown in high resolution via U2.Com in 2020. At this time no physical release is planned for these shows, and there is no known plans for a physical release of this digital EP.
The four EPs released for The Virtual Road are:
- 2021-03-17: The Virtual Road: U2 Go Home: Live from Slane Castle
- 2021-03-25: The Virtual Road: U2 Live At Red Rocks: Under A Blood Red Sky
- 2021-04-01: The Virtual Road: PopMart Live from Mexico City
- 2021-04-10: The Virtual Road: iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE: Live from Paris
Separate from the EP, U2 are also adding videos to their YouTube page, and various digital storefronts. Unlike the full performance, these will remain up after the initial 48 hours. On YouTube these have been posted at 1080p, on other services they are standard definition. Four videos from PopMart are available:
- Mofo (Live from Mexico City / 1997)
- Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me (Live from Mexico City / 1997)
- Staring at the Sun (Live from Mexico City / 1997)
- Bullet the Blue Sky (Live from Mexico City / 1997)
Although all four videos are available via YouTube, only three are available at services such as Tidal and iTunes, “Mofo,” “Staring at the Sun,” and “Bullet the Blue Sky” are the three available on these services.
Related Promotional Videos
- 2021-04-02 The Virtual Road: PopMart Mexico City (Original Story)
- 2021-03-15 U2 Announce “The Virtual Road” (Original Story)
- 2021-03-01 A Closer Look at U2’s Video Refresh (Original Story)