A few months ago I heard U2's 360° tour was coming to Auckland; I knew I had to go. I'd seen them twice previously and thoroughly enjoyed them both times. In addition to the fact that I love their (older) stuff, they are amazing performers. Their shows never fail to entertain and it's always a good night out. I was also encouraged by the fact that tickets ranged from only $40 up to… well, a great deal more. I was lucky enough to score mid-range priced tickets and our seats were pretty great. I was also very excited to see Jay-Z… I was hoping that Beyonce would find it in her heart to join her darling husband on stage, but I suppose the poor woman needs time off too.
Kerry and I set off to the stadium, with our hopes high for an evening filled with entertainment and a whole lot of dancing. When we got there, we were greeted by the monolith of a stage in front of us. Unreal.
And then… A clock appeared on the screens… and I could barely contain my excitement… 2 minutes to Jay-Z!
He was fantastic. From the moment he came on up until an hour later when he left the stage, I didn't stop bouncing in my seat (I was far too cold to stand at that point.) I always kind of liked Jay-Z, but WOW!! He was an amazing performer. I do tend to wonder why U2 select opening acts like Jay-Z and Kanye West (the last time they were here) but at that moment, I really didn't care. From the energetic, thrumming bass of Bounce to everyone's favourite (right now) Empire State of Mind (which was when I was really hoping Beyonce would come out and since Alicia Keys' part) – he was great. I wasn't so concerned that he didn't rock the 360° stage, because the view on the screen was just amazing. The sound actually surrounded you, since there were speakers pointing in North, East, South and West… I was enveloped in Jay-Z!
He had his moment of silence for the miners who perished in the Pike River mine, which was touching… but I was a bit put off when he started rattling off Tupac and Biggie for their passing (I was okay with Aaliyah, because hers was a plane crash… I didn't say I was logical.) The thought was there I guess… and I liked the following graphic on the screen.
Rose and Maxwell arrived halfway through Jay-Z's opening act, and Rose was our sensible saviour with her little bag o'treats!
Kerry's dad was also at the concert, but he wasn't with the plebs. He was in a box… this is the text he sent Kerry just after Jay-Z was done (I nearly died.)
And then… the wait was on for U2!
|Seconds before they came on...|
They walked on and the crowd went nuts! We were all on our feet and ready for it! Bono strutted and danced around the stage (and I giggled, because all I could think about was a leprechaun – this could be because we were talking about them in class earlier that day.) They started with The Return of the Stingray Guitar, but more notably launched right into It's a Beautiful Day and it was indeed. They played a number of old favourites, smattered with a selection of their new songs (you can view the setlist here.) We danced and jumped and sang at the top of our lungs. It was brilliant. I didn't love that I could feel the stand swaying with the force of thousands of people jumping, dancing and gyrating… but it was a small price to pay. There was the message of social conscience and we all dutifully held up our phones to make the Milky Way (which did look REALLY cool…) but when Bono did a tribute to the 29 miners who passed away, there was more than just a tear in my eye. All 29 names scrolled across the big screen and then they launched into their tribute songs – I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For and One Tree Hill (written for a former U2 roadie who was a NZ'er who passed away.)
|One Tree Hill while koru patterns danced around them|
It was an altogether fantastic show – we trundled home, warmed by the dancing and great music… sleepy, but well worth staying up late on a school night. It was so good I seriously considered going again the next night… but I know my limits.