U2 also manage to reinvent a few of the chestnuts from its own catalog of hits here. "Bullet the Blue Sky," for example, takes on an almost funk sort of quality here, before The Edge completely explodes the song with a great guitar solo.
Saying that the band "rediscovered" the song "Sunday Bloody Sunday," after playing it at a concert in Sarajevo, The Edge performs (and sings!) the song solo accompanied only by his own guitar. Here, the normally rock anthem quality of the song from the War album takes on more a hymn like tone. For "Desire," Bono and Edge once again go the acoustic route, in a version which finds Bono humorously trying to work in a few lines of "La Bamba," before laughing the attempt off.
For a band which is often regarded as taking themselves far too seriously, humor is actually a pretty common theme during this DVD performance. At one point, Bono is seen wearing a "Bono Man" T-shirt, while bassist Adam Clayton sports one that says "Poptart" throughout the show. Speaking of Clayton, both he and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. are the rock solid foundation which anchors down the mothership here.
Still the coolest thing about this DVD — and what makes it something that warrants repeated viewings — is picking out all of the cool images seen on the big screens. There's all of the images of rock stars — from Elvis to Lennon to Morrison to Bolan and Bowie — seen during "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me" for example. I also got a kick out of U2's take on the classic "evolution calendar," where here we evolve from ape to a human pushing a shopping cart.
Even though the Popmart tour was seen by millions in stadiums around the world, for many it has always been sort of U2's own "missing link" in their evolution as a band. This DVD provides more than ample proof that the whole much maligned mid-nineties Pop period more than warrants a revisit.