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U2

We travelled up to Auckland last week, primarily to see U2 on Thursday night at Mt Smart Stadium. Along with Keryn’s parents, Travis and Sophie we drove to the stadium (so glad we didn’t use public transport) and found parks easily enough, if a little distant from the stadium itself. Approaching the stadium we could hear Jay-Z starting his set and he was still playing when we got to our seats. We had cheap seats in the temporary North stand which had cost $40 each (if you don’t count the exorbitant fees charged) and we were right behind the stage in the middle with four seats at the front and two more a couple of rows back. The stage resembled a giant claw, the giant 360 video screen giving us a good view of any action we couldn’t directly see. Anyway, Jay-Z seemed to be enjoying himself and sections of the crowd were dancing away but I wasn’t that fussed. He was entertaining enough, just not to my musical taste. Jay-Z’s wife Beyonce was also in attendance, Keryn and I didn’t see her but the others did from their front row seats.

IMG 0955Photo by Brendon & Keryn

The claw during Jay-Z’s set.

Once done warming up the crowd the stage was cleared by a small army of crew, there seemed to be one person for everything on stage and they were like ants crawling up and back with the gear. The Elbow song One Day Like This came over the PA and three of the crew came down in front of our seats and attempted to start a Mexican wave. It took a while, the north section of the crowd picked it up quite quickly but getting the transfer to the west stand took longer but eventually the wave took hold, just as the song picked up. It was a good stadium moment and did more to get the crowd going than the previous live music.

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U2 arrive on stage.

Then U2 arrived. We were treated to a couple of hours of songs, new and old. There was less stage clutter and the band moved around the vast stage, a number of times performed for us at the back. The lights and sound were great (though it was very very loud) and if the temperature had been just a bit warmer with less of a breeze then it would have been fantastic. There was a lovely tribute to the victims of the Pike River Mine disaster, songs pulled from the classic back catalogue and a few newer numbers as well. The stadium was turned into a starry night near the end of the set, the lights off and thousands of phones twinkling in the blackness, it looks great from our viewpoint. We had watched the band arrive and got to wave them goodbye as they left below our seats.

IMG 0964Photo by Brendon & Keryn

Bono coming around the stage.

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The claw all lit up.

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Mirrorball action.

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A sea of stars.

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All done.

U2 get mocked for being pretentious, spouting dogma in the form of self indulgent music. I enjoyed the performance and the music, there were political messages but I didn’t mind it and didn’t find anything preachy at all. There was good music, a good show and we had a great time in the cheapest seats in the house, no complaints from me.

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