The ZooTv Tour was my first U2 tour. U2 announced they would be touring America in the Spring of 1992, in support of their Achtung Baby album. I was a sophomore in college, so I could now go to concerts! I had a subscription toPropaganda, U2’s fan magazine, which gave me an opportunity to buy tickets to one or two concerts before they went on sale. But me being me, I wasn’t satisfiedto go to just one or two shows. No, I had to go to as many as I could, and for the ZooTv tour I went to eight shows. The months between the release of Achtung Baby and the ZooTv Tour were spent constantly watching and listening to U2. My U2 buddy Mike and I would spend hours and hours just watching U2 footage over and over that we had taped on VHS – MTV specials, interviews, videos, etc. It was during this time that I went from a U2 fan to, dare I say, U2 fanatic. 1992 was going to be a great year!
At the age of 19 ½, I saw my first U2 show. It was on the ZooTV tour on March 7, 1992 at Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia. It was the 5th show of the tour. My best friend, Cindy, went with me. We made the four-hour drive from Baltimore to Hampton and immediately walked over to the arena. We saw Bono standing in the middle of a bunch of fans and reporters. I didn’t speak with him, but got close enough to hear what he was saying to everyone else. For my first show, I was 4th row. Bruce Hornsby and Phil Joanou were also in attendance. The Pixies opened, and I did not like them at all. But then again, I just wanted to hear U2. I had waited 5 long years to see them!
My second U2 show was 3 days later on in March 10, 1992 at the Spectrum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, just under a two-hour drive from Baltimore. For this show, I was 9th row. I again saw Bono entering the arena and speaking with fans. I hid in the bathroom when the Pixies played.
I don’t remember the actual concerts, as far as the songs that were played, from this first leg of the ZooTv tour and I didn’t keep a journal back then, so I am relying on u2 fan sites for setlists. The setlists were pretty much the same for both ZooTv shows I attended on the first leg: Zoo Station, Even Better Than the Real Thing, Mysterious Ways, The Fly, One, Until the End of the World, Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses, Trying to Throw Your Arms Around the World, Angel of Harlem, Satellite of Love, Bad, All I Want is You, Bullet the Blue Sky, Running to Stand Still, Where the Streets Have No Name, Pride, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, Desire, Ultraviolet, With or Without You, Love is Blindness. The only difference was Love is Blindness was not played in Hampton and The Fly was played second in Philadelphia.
In the summer of 1992, U2 ditched the arenas for stadiums for their ZooTv Outside Broadcast Tour, and I went to the first five shows and another one a month later. Living in Maryland made it easy to travel to most of the East Coast shows. Washington DC, Philadelphia, and New York were all within a 3 hours drive. Plus U2 usually played two nights in each city. It was on this leg of the tour that I started meeting U2 fans and touring around with them. Mike and I traveled to all these ZooTv shows together and met the same folks along the way. Unfortunately, we did not keep in contact with our new friends after the tour ended. Mike and I found out U2 was going to be rehearsing for their tour in nearby Hershey, Pennsylvania. They wanted to rehearse at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, but the community freaked out and protested. So we went up to Hershey a couple of nights and sat outside to listen to the rehearsals, but we never saw the band. We did hear them play Acrobat andSo Cruel though. We got tickets to the rehearsal show on August 7, 1992 at Hershey Park Stadium. Tickets were only $15 and went to local charities. We were way in the back, but at least we were there and it was a great show. Instead of starting off the show with Zoo Station like all the other shows, U2 began with Sunday Bloody Sunday, New Year’s Day, and Pride before going into their regular set list starting with Zoo Station. Pride was played again before the encore. This was the first time I had heard New Year’s Day and Sunday Bloody Sunday, since they didn’t play them on the first leg. Edge sang Van Dieman’s Land, the first and only time I have heard it live. This show was the day before Edge’s birthday, so Bono led the audience in singing Happy Birthday.
On August 11, 1992 three friends and I drove up to New Jersey for the official opening of the ZooTv Outside Broadcast tour at Giants Stadium. Opening night had been pushed back one night to August 12th. Mike and I went over to the stadium anyway and ended up sneaking in and getting up on the stage and touching the trabants, which were used to light the stage. We eventually got kicked out of the stadium. We tried to figure out where U2 was staying. Even though it was August, it was cold at night, so while waiting on the curb for U2 to show up at the hotel, we huddled next to a bus keeping warm from the fumes. There were a bunch of fans standing outside Giants Stadium on the afternoon of August 12th waiting for U2 to arrive. Bono came out and went down the line talking with each of us, signing autographs and taking pictures. When Bono came to me, he noticed the tee shirt I had made with ‘One’ on it.
I handed Bono my Outside It’s America book for him to autograph. I noticed he was taking a while, so I looked at what he was doing and saw he was misspelling my name. I said, “No, Deena is spelled with two e’s.” Bono kind of gave me this sly smile. In my book, he wrote, “A nice t-shirt Din…Deena Bono 92”
Then I threw my camera to Mike, so he could take a picture of me and Bono, both with our big sunglasses. Bono’s head is on my shoulder. It’s a great picture! He autographed it a few days later in DC.
And if that wasn’t enough, Larry drove by us on his motorcycle and waved. He didn’t stop unfortunately, but I did get a picture. Then I ran away screaming – he just has that affect on me. I wouldn’t meet Larry for another 9 years.
Our seats for opening night on August 12, 1992 were in the second section on the floor in the fifth row. Larry sang Dirty Old Town as only he can! I was so excited that Jonathan tried to hold me back, so I hit him causing him to fall off his chair. Lou Reed joined U2 on the b stage for Satellite of Love, and his performance was used for the rest of the tour via video.
The next night on August 13th, we were in the front floor section in the 8th row. I remember running past security to get to the B Stage as Bono was walking down. I got a Zoo Dollar that night as they flew through the air during Desire.
Two days after Jersey on August 15th, Mike and I were back in our hometown for two more ZooTv shows. Well, sort of. As close as the ZooTv tour was going to get to Ellicott City, Maryland. We were at RFK Stadium in Washington DC in the rain. I met Bono again and he autographed the picture of the two of us from Giants Stadium. He wasn’t as talkative as in Jersey. I think the rain made him grumpy.
U2 ended both shows on August 15 & 16, 1992 with Can’t Help Falling In Love in honor of the 15th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley on August 16, 1977. For the first show, I was third row and Bono knelt in front of us and sang it. As an avid Elvis fan as well, this was an amazing, unforgettable moment for me! My worlds were colliding! For the rest of the tour, U2 ended their shows with Can’t Help Falling in Love.
My final ZooTv show was on September 3, 1992 at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There were two shows in Philadelphia and I was supposed to go to both shows, but was moving back to College Park so I only went to the second show. It was raining again, so they let the few of us waiting outside Veterans stadium in Philly inside for the sound check. We were also excited because our friend Maggie, who wrote a fanzine, got us Hospitality passes, but all that got us were some soda and chips. We didn’t see U2 back stage at all. But we did get to hear Whiskey in the Jar andWhen Loves Come to Town.
Primus and Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprosy opened the all the shows I saw on the ZooTv Outside Broadcast tour, except for the rehearsal concert in Hershey. Primus had a popular song called Jerry Was a Racecar Driverand U2 had been using Disposable’s Television Drug of a Nation to open their shows. This went along well with their television themed tour, complete with big screen tvs and Bono’s channel flipping. The setlist for the Outside Broadcast Tour was pretty much the same as the first leg with a couple of additions here and there. A few things that stand out in my memory are Adam introducing Trying to Throw Your Arms Around the World and the grocery cart, the belly dancer for Mysterious Ways, Larry twirling the trabant car light on the b stage for Satellite of Love, Bono’s grand entrance during Zoo Station, but mostly the Hallelujah chorus at the end of Running to Stand Still – it gave me chills every time, and still does. The ZooTV tour will always hold a special place in my heart as it was my first U2 tour.
This blog post is part of my A to Z April Challenge about ‘My U2′ – what I love about U2 from A to Z. Thanks for stopping by. I am also blogging the A to Z Challenge on my other blog Deena’s Days about ‘My Music’ – music I love from A to Z.