U2 Vertigo – Auckland 2

Bono, U2 Vertigo, Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, 24th November 2006

Gallery: U2 Vertigo

This was it. The last show in New Zealand, and the last U2 show I was destined to see for a number of years. With 6 shows behind me, I was still like a kid on Christmas morning waking up on the 25th November.

After the incredible show the night before, all the frustration of the ticket swapping fiasco (you can read about it in the Auckland 1 review) seemed a distant memory. While I did log on to the Ticketmaster website, and was able to find some General Admission tickets, I decided not to buy them. We had our B Reserve seats, and decided that the previous night would be tough to top from wherever we sat, so Naze and I decided to play tourists for a day instead.

After a breakfast at Melba Cafe in Auckland’s Vulcan Lane (where we bumped into two guys we’d met on the train home the night before as well, small place Auckland), we decided to kill some time by heading up to the Skytower, Auckland’s observation deck. And Aucklanders are very proud of it. A quick swipe of the dodgy student card (yes, I’m still studying Post-Grad at the Victorian College of Photography), and up we went. Good view.

This appears to have little relevance to U2, granted, but I’ll pull it back into line. While up the top of the Sky Tower, we noticed that we’d been walking the really long way around from our hotel to the city, and found a route back that was going to be quicker. So after a couple of beers at the highest point in Auckland, we started walking back.

Bono Meeting Fans, Auckland NZ

After a brief walk up vertical cliff (I’m not kidding, one of these streets was at least a 60°  incline), we saw a bunch of people outside a hotel. So we joined in, guessing that it had to be the band as how many other famous people are there in NZ at that time? So we waited a little while, and then all 4 of them came out for a chat, some autographs, and general kissing of babies and electioneering. Very cool. Naturally being humble tourists, Naze and I had little by way of things to sign. I had a newspaper which luckily had Bono on the cover, so that got a scribble (see setlist below) – but Naze’s presentation to Adam of a semi-rained on yet elegantly crushed Auckland ticket from the night before was the highlight of our – and Adam’s – day. He looked at it, had a bit of a chuckle, and signed it. Then off they went to the concert. And so did we.

So I guess it’s karma. While we didn’t have the tickets we originally wanted for Saturday, GA tickets would have seen us queueing in the big top again, so no band sightings would have occurred. Everything for a reason etc.

We grabbed a taxi out to the stadium, and after the transport debacle of the night before (2 hours to get home) we pre-booked a cab for pickup after the show. Naze and I indulged in a couple of the bizarrely packaged local beers – they definitely look like a high energy sports drink. So we didn’t feel so bad drinking them. Afterwards, I had to address something I’d put off for 6 shows. By now I had a fair order of merchandise to buy people, seeing as I’d told them all “don’t get it now, I’ll get it in New Zealand”. I queued for Kanye’s entire set (but still yelled “WE WANT PEANUTS” much to everyone’s confusion around me) and got nowhere. So I gave up and decided to try and buy after the show. So Kate’s Kanye West t-shirt was already looking under threat.

Up to our seats, which were a fair way back in the West stand. Actually close to as far back as you could be in the West stand, but being only a 30,000 seat rugby league venue, we were still a lot closer than we had been in Melbourne. We could see plenty, and weren’t disappointed at all with the seats we’d (un)luckily acquired.

After ripping through Elevation, and throwing a few lines of Split Enz‘s I Got You onto the end,  Until The End Of The World was back in, Edge giving his Les Paul gold top plenty. Too much as it turned out. “I think The Edge just blew up” said Bono. “You do make a beautiful explosion”.  Chatty as always, Bono told the crowd: “You’re all better looking than last night”, following it up by asking “is the Edge better looking than the Edge last night? Is Adam better looking than the Adam last night? Is Larry better looking…ah I don’t even want to go there”. One for the ladies I guess.

In A Little While closed out Beautiful Day, Walk On was back in, out to the B-Stage with an acoustic guitar, and Bad…what to say about Bad. There’s something about that song, all 2 chords of it, that pulls every single person inside a stadium into it. An incredible performance of arguably the greatest live U2 song of all time, it was amazing to hear it again for the 2nd time on this leg of the tour… I still think it should slot in where Bullet The Blue Sky currently sits.

On the topic of changes, Love and Peace Or Else was a casualty tonight – the first time it had been dropped for the entire tour. So after Bad it was straight into Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bono tonight pulling a young girl out of the crowd, putting his Coexist bandana around her head, and extracting some very loud “NO MORE”s from her. The whole crowd – all 40,000 of them – were on their feet for the whole show.

The sound tonight from the stands was superb, no echo, we had no regrets about the seats at all. Everything works out in the end.

Setlist

  • City of Blinding Lights
  • Vertigo
  • Elevation
  • Until The End of the World
  • I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
  • Beautiful Day
  • Angel of Harlem
  • Walk On (acoustic)
  • Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own
  • Bad
  • Sunday Bloody Sunday
  • Bullet the Blue Sky
  • Miss Sarajevo
  • Pride
  • Where the Streets Have No Name
  • One

————————————

  • The Fly
  • Mysterious Ways
  • With or Without You

————————————

  • The Saints are Coming
  • Desire
  • One Tree Hill (Koru paintings, right)

Coming out after With or Without You, Bono was sporting the #7 All Blacks jersey of Richie McCaw. “You know who this is? ” he asked. I’m tipping the crowd did by the response. Shortly after though, he peeled off the black jersey, revealing the #13 Irish Rugby jersey of superstar Irish centre Brian O’Driscoll – “you know who this is?” he asked.

Ripping through The Saints Are Coming and Desire, the boys chose to end the night with the epic One tree Hill. Greg Caroll’s family were here tonight, and the song was dedicated to them. A clearly emotional Bono sang the song with everything, leading a singalong of 40,000 for the final two lines.

Oh great ocean, oh great sea
Run to the ocean, run to the sea

A perfect finish to the perfect show. And the perfect tour.

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