'U2: Popmart Live from Mexico City'
(U2 / DVD / NR / (1997) 2007 / Island Records)
Overview: U2's PopMart Live from Mexico City is released on DVD for the first time on September 18th in two formats, a Special Limited Edition 2-DVD Deluxe Packaging version and a single disc, Standard version. Described as a sci-fi disco supermarket, the PopMart Tour opened in its "spiritual home", Las Vegas on April 25, 1997.
DVD Verdict: I have to admit that 'Pop' is kind of a flawed record. I wouldn't consider it their worst but it had some of the band's best songs so it was kind of half-and-half. However, Pop will probably earn its place in concert history as one of the most outlandish (and even ridiculous) tours. Featuring a massive stage complete with wide as hell screen [racing constantly with comic book imagery it gives anyone a headache after watching more than two songs!] and then you notice the band walking out with a muscle shirt for Bono - literally, a shirt with muscles on it - and inexplicably, a helmet and doctor's mask for Adam Clayton. So without going off on the presentation part, how's the music part? Excellent as always!
One of the great things about a catalogue as extensive as U2's is that you have your great tracks then you have excellent ones. Sure some don't quite mix (despite being on nearly every DVD, I never liked "Until the End of the World" or "Gone") but you have the classics and some welcome surprises. I have 2 complaints about the set list: the show just feels long after awhile despite it's only a hair over 2 hours but the second half just doesn't go quicker like the first half did. And this is really more of a personal criticism but I was excited to finally see Lemon on the set only to have it basically be a disco version and a glorified introduction for "Discotheque". Boo. And where's "Bad?" GRR!
But as far as what they did include, we have a great rendition of "New Year's Day", a surprising version of "Sunday Bloody Sunday" done entirely by Edge by himself, we FINALLY get "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me" and it's great to see "Discotheque" complete with probably the most ridiculous-yet-hysterical entrance I've ever seen.
As for the rest of the DVD, we have some bonus live tracks, videos as well as several documentaries. The package may be outlandish but got to admit it's one nicely outlandish one, especially since it's a DVD for a Popmart show. But, in truth, only hardcore fans; especially those who owned the VHS of this show, should pick this up. Otherwise, grab the Chicago Vertigo tour and/or Syndey Zoo TV DVDs to see these guys in full flight. This is a Full Screen Presentation (4:3) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.