Zoo TV Tour

The Zoo TV Tour started off as an indoor tour of arenas, and later moved outside to stadiums. Both the USA and Europe got one leg inside, and then one leg outside. The fifth leg of the tour was an outside leg, in Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

The tour is well known for the televisions screens that covered the stage, as well as the trabants in use throughout the set as spotlights. (A small German car.) The tour also introduced us to two new personas for Bono, first the Mirrorball Man, and later MacPhisto himself.

The tour started in February 1992, and ran through until November 1993. Opening acts included the Pixies, The Fatima Mansions, The Sugarcubes, Pearl Jam, PJ Harvey, and Big Audio Dynamite II.

Zoo TV: Leg One [North America]

The first leg of the tour was an indoor arena tour. Tours had been in a bit of a slump and the tour was booked with caution, to test out the waters before moving to a bigger venue. To combat scalpers, U2 kept the announcement of the tour quiet until the last minute. The tour which began on February 29, 1992, was announced on February 13, 1992 on MTV. Tickets for the first leg of the tour were onsale two days later. Most cities saw only one date announced, with the only city getting two shows being Los Angeles in the initial announcement.

The intial announcement of the tour included a date for Portland, Oregon on April 20, 1992. That date never happened, and instead was substituted for a second night in Tacoma, WA, where the band had announced a show for the following night. Tacoma thus became only one of two cities to get two performances.

Rehearsals started for the tour in December in Dublin, where U2 used the space known as The Factory to rehearse. On February 19, they moved to Lakeland, FL where the first show would be held to rehearse on stage there. The rehearsal time included recording a performance of "One" which was used for Top of the Pops.

Zoo TV: Leg Two [Europe]

The second leg of the tour took the band to Europe, where they would continue to play smaller venues. Original plans for Europe called for several larger shows to be played, to offset the costs of playing in these smaller venues. Shows in Berlin, Turin, Poland and Vienna were planned, but in the end most were never announced and only the large concert in Vienna happened. The Vienna concert was attended by 60,000 people, and was the first time that Zoo TV was taken outdoors, and the main stage is bolstered by large video screens at either side of the stage and one behind the lighting tower.

As had been done in the North American leg to combat scalping, the tour was not announced until it was ready to start. The shows started May 7, 1992 in Paris, but the tour was only announced on April 30, with tickets going on sale immediately. As another attempt to combat scalpers, in some markets tickets were limited to two per purchaser.

Zoo TV: Leg Three [Outside Broadcast - North America]

Outside Broadcast took the Zoo TV concept outside for the remainder of the tour. The stage is redesigned for larger venues, a broadcast tower has been built, and new video walls are in place. The tour, with much higher availability of tickets is announced at the end of April when the second leg of the tour is announced for Europe.

The band rehearse for the outdoors show in Hershey, Pennsylvania between August 1 and 6. On August 5 a special rehearsal show is announced with tickets going on sale immediately for a show on the 7th with proceeds going to charity. Otherwise, the tour was due to start on August 11 in East Rutherford, NJ. The August 11 date is delayed a day to set up the stage when time does not permit it to be set up for opening night. The Outdoor Broadcast tour wound through Canada, the USA and wrapped up in Mexico.

Zoo TV: Leg Four [Zooropa - Europe]

The fourth leg of Zoo TV takes the outside shows to Europe, in a tour that is called the "Zooropa" leg of the tour. The band has recorded a new album in their downtime which will be released in June 1993, and the debut of many of the songs from that album happens on this leg of the tour.

The fourth leg is announced at the end of November 1992, with tickets going on sale quickly, and quickly selling out. The tour takes U2 through many areas of Europe which they have not previously played including the band's first show in Hungary. A rehearsal on May 7, 1993 in Rotterdam is opened to a small group of fans invited inside by Bono, which is the first hint of Macphisto, a new character by Bono, who will make his full costumed debut for opening night.

Zoo TV: Leg Five [Zoomerang / New Zooland - Australia / New Zealand / Japan]

The fifth and final leg of Zoo TV take U2 to Australia, New Zealand and Japan at the end of the year. The shows are announced in early August, with sales starting later in the month. Higher ticket sales means some of the shows struggle with sales.

It is during this leg that Adam Clayton, battling with addiction and illness, misses a show in Sydney. His role that night is filled by bass tech, Stuart Morgan. What makes it worse is the band are filming the shows in Sydney, meant for a Thanksgiving Pay-Per-View broadcast in the USA. It is also due to air in 46 additional countries in the weeks that follow. Adam does make it to the second night, and the video is not only aired on television, but goes on to be released to be a Grammy Award winning home video release.

Related News: ZooTV Tour