As Pop Mart, the current U2 tour extravaganza, makes its way around the world, it seems an appropriate time in which to return to the Zoo TV tour of 1992–93. Much of the commentary of the time focused on the uneasy relationship between U2, their previous incarnation as ‘saviours’ of rock'n'roll and their criticism/complicity with television. Instead, this paper focuses on the performing persona developed by the singer Bono, notably The Fly and MacPhisto. The specific reasons for this are twofold: first, to investigate the possibility of resistance articulated on the intersecting planes of performance and persona; and, second, to assess the impact of performance theory within the frame of cultural studies work, particularly in regard to performance studies avowed concern with plotting the shift from theory to practice. The wider frame of this paper is with a more rigorous application of interdisciplinary methods, which have long been (in principle) a core component of cultural studies work. Diamond argues, that ‘performance in all its hybridity would seem to make the best case for interdisciplinary thinking ... [where] the critique of performance merges with performance of critique’ (1996: 7–8).