U2

Zoo TV Live

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Essentially an audio version of the Zoo TV: Live from Sydney DVD, this live album was released to members of U2’s fan club in November 2006, nearly 13 years (to the date) after the performance it documents. U2 are at the top of their game here, playing to a sold-out crowd in Sydney, Australia, during the last leg of their groundbreaking Zoo TV tour. It’s worth noting that one night before this performance, a hungover Adam Clayton stayed in bed while the rest of his bandmates took the stage, with bass technician Stuart Morgan handling the bass parts instead. That mishap -- which might have derailed the band completely, had it not convinced Clayton to give up the bottle permanently -- has some lingering effects here, with songs like “One” (“We’re one but we’re not the same; we get to carry each other”) taking on new significance. For U2 purists, Zoo TV Live isn’t quite as good as the unofficial bootleg from U2’s Dublin gig on August 28, 1993, which may be the band’s defining performance of the 1990s. The sound is better here, though, and the differences are too small to matter to most listeners.

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