November 25, 2010 - Mt. Smart Stadium, Auckland NZ - U2 Feedback

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Old 11-25-2010, 12:35 AM   #1
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November 25, 2010 - Mt. Smart Stadium, Auckland NZ

Please post your experiences, pics, or reviews about this show here.

Also please upload pics to the gallery

November 25, 2010 - Mt. Smart Stadium, Auckland NZ - Photo Gallery (U2 Photos, U2 Concert Photos, Member Photos)

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Old 11-28-2010, 03:50 PM   #2
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An emotional and poignant, but also a fun first show for this tour leg here in Auckland last night.

I've been in New Zealand for ten days now, currently staying with my old housemate Amanda. Thursday's gig was played against the background of Wednesday's mining tragedy at Greymouth, which has been quite harrowing for the people in NZ. The show did go on, and whilst it did have a few opening night flubs, it was an uplifting show in front of a passionate crowd.

Bono told the crowd that there are many ways to grieve for “an unspeakable loss”, and that in Ireland people sing. Many U2 songs are forever tied to a specific location; One Tree Hill is the Auckland and New Zealand U2 hymn. As its original theme was the premature, accidental death of a New Zealander, it was perfectly suited for the band to make a visual tribute to the premature, accidental death of the miners, scrolling their names on the screen, and for Bono to make a lyrical tribute, changing the line “where poets speak their heart then bleed for it” to "where workers break their heart then bleed for it".

The audience below the stage held up red balloons during the song, and released them into the wind when Bono sang "and the moon has turned red over One Tree Hill". It was a windy night and the balloons blew all over the stage. My initial thought was that balloons were too frivolous for such a moving song and tribute, but watching hundreds of them being kept aloft by fans and then blowing around the stage as the song reached its peak was quite a stirring sight. It was one of those beautiful, affecting, communal goosebump moments that U2 and their fans mutually create with each other.

There were plenty of lighter moments too. Bono came out shouting “Kia ora” (Maori for hello) during Stingray Guitar to get the kiwis revved up. But for me it was a Larry show. I went into the inner circle after Jay Z with two old friends who now live in NZ, and all their many mates. We managed to find a little channel through the crowd just inside the outer rail, and there was more space for us to find good spots in the centre than at the sides. It was the closest I’ve ever been to the stage on this tour. As a crappy ex-drummer I found myself indulging in some drumming geekery and watching Larry, especially the little patterns he plays on the high hat, like during Magnificent and Elevation.

Larry did a little drum roll to end Pride, then sprinted off the stage for a couple of minutes. “That’s one large step for a little man”, Bono cheekily commented as the band waited for him. At the end of the show, Bono asked the band for their opinions on coming back to New Zealand, and Larry said he’s still hoping for Ireland to beat the All Blacks in rugby. (Rugby is the sporting religion in New Zealand and the All Blacks are the sporting gods.) Bono told Larry that the crowd didn’t really want to hear that. I’d got up at 6:15 am here last Sunday morning to watch Ireland lose that match, so I fully agreed with Larry.

The other big highlight and major “surprise” was Scarlet. (Someone had revealed it had been rehearsed on the concert thread.) It took the place of MLK, so whilst its “rejoice” refrain could celebrate the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, Walk On is now dedicated to the 2203 other political prisioners in Burma. Larry pounded out the tribal rhythm on his floor tom and Bono roared out the refrain as Jay Z rapped about freedom. It’s a superb, delicately powerful live song, and works perfectly in that slot in the setlist, just as much as Mothers of the Disappeared did in Istanbul.

Jay Z also rapped during Sunday Bloody Sunday, but he seemed to be a bit unsure what to do after his rap, and just said “yeah” repeatedly towards the end, which didn’t add anything except rap-parody to the song.

I realised that this was the first gig this year in an English-speaking country when the audience joined in and sang Amazing Grace with fabulous, church-like gusto, which seemed to me to be another shared emotional response to the mining disaster.

There was new video footage during Moment of Surrender, which I took to be based around that scary “I did not notice the passersby and they did not notice me” line. Bono tried to sing MoS in different voices, rapping, speaking, and changing keys which didn’t really work. It seemed like he was trying to freestyle, maybe influenced by Jay Z.

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Old 11-28-2010, 05:56 PM   #3
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Rapping MOS

What an amazing show to be at. Love those goose bumps moments!
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Old 11-28-2010, 07:28 PM   #4
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Yes kassandra, the rapping of mos was bad!!! Didn't get repeated on night two however
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Old 11-29-2010, 01:59 AM   #5
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Cathal. You write such a good review as always. The first night was such a special night for us kiwis. Like you in the back of my mind I wondered if it was the right thing to have red balloons as they represent fun and happiness. However when it was suggested to let them go when the moon turns red and that this was near the end of the song I knew that this was appropriate. I still get teary about that song it now means also much more to me. Bono was so surprised at what we did and you could see it affected him so deeply. He caught one of the balloons in his hand and held it up so that it looked liked a heart and when he he let go he bought his fist to his own heart. It was so moving. (if anyone has photos of this moment I would appreciate if you could forward one to me as my hubby failed to video or take photos (bar one) during the song.

It is always a special concert when it is played in your home town.
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Old 11-29-2010, 05:39 PM   #6
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i don't think this photo belongs in the gallery but i have no fucking clue what it's supposed to be:

it scares me.
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:46 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by KhanadaRhodes View Post
i don't think this photo belongs in the gallery but i have no fucking clue what it's supposed to be:

it scares me.
It looks a bitlike an alien.
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Old 12-11-2010, 02:21 PM   #8
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I have finally managed to upload the video for Magnificent so here it is:


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