|U2 at Mt Smart Stadium|
It was the first U2 concert for both of us and we were blown away. Absolutely blown away. It was an amazing show! It's awesomeness still lingers.
More pictures are posted at wogenwatching.com - click the link to the right to get there.
The venue was Mt. Smart Stadium, a huge open-air rugby stadium which added a new dynamic to the show - I've only seen concerts indoors. So that was pretty cool.
We conveniently missed the opening act Jay-Z because why would a U2 fan like rap for crap sake?? U2 played for over two hours with no intermission so it was nonstop music. They really know how to put on a show. Although our seats weren't super close they were close enough and with the 360 degree stage concept it was an excellent perspective - and of course the giant 360 video screen helped see them really up close.
At the start of the show the band strode out on stage to David Bowie's "Space Oddity" and then launched into Beautiful Day which was so perfect for us. The very first video we made following our first vacation to New Zealand in 2004 starts out with Beautiful Day and whenever we hear the song we associate it with Auckland and New Zealand. So we both enjoyed that!
They played a great variety of songs - from the ones you'd expect to hear at any of their shows like Pride, Where the Streets Have No Name, and Sunday Bloody Sunday - to unexpected ones like Ultraviolet Rays, Scarlet (albiet with Jay-Z, bleah) and One Tree Hill. Although maybe One Tree Hill was not so unexpected because One Tree Hill is an actual place in Auckland. So that was really cool. They played a couple of new songs from No Line on the Horizon which they really made rock.
The did a very moving tribute to the 29 lost miners on the South Island with I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For and seriously rocked the place with Elevation, Vertigo, and Mysterious Ways. In all they played some 25 songs - fully...awesome.
Part of the experience was getting there and back. Auckland provided free bus and train service to and from the stadium (about 20 minutes from downtown Auckland) and on the way there one rather outgoing Kiwi with perhaps a couple of beers in him decided that everyone on the bus was to stand up and say their name and a few words. Now if you're like me you've rolled your eyes and hoped he wasn't serious. He was. And you know, it was actually kind of cool. Anne got a boisterous round of cheers when she said "I'm Anne and I came all the way from the U.S. to see U2!" My comment of "I'll be pissed if they don't play One Tree Hill tonight!" got a tepid response at best...
Getting thousands and thousands of people onto buses for the way back was, as you can imagine, not an orderly task. Oh my gosh. We only had to wait for a few buses but when it was our turn I don't think my feet actually moved me onto the bus. The crowd managed that for us! It wasn't unsafe or disorderly mind you - Kiwis are very polite usually - but they wanted on that bus and moving as one mass seemed like the best way, I guess!
Long (very long) story short - one of the best shows we've ever seen. We were just giddy afterwards. And our hearing is now slowly starting to get back to normal. :-)