“I gotta say, God really outdid himself down here.” – Bob Harper
New Zealand. My favourite country to visit. I thought for a bright second that I would save my budget and skip New Zealand so I could spend the money on a country I hadn’t already visited… Twice. But then I came to my senses. Like I’m -ever- going to skip New Zealand, especially when I’m already in those parts of the world. What a facepalm thought.
My first stop was, of course as always, Auckland. It’s where I’m used to landing when I arrive at this point. Coming from Australia, I probably could’ve flown to other cities in NZ, but I already had tickets to a -FREAKIN U2 CONCERT-!!!1111 and it was scheduled in Auckland so, New Zealand’s most boring city it was.
That’s a bit harsh. Auckland is legitimately growing on me. People say “it’s just another capital” and to some extent they are right, all capitals are major cities and don’t have any of the rural charm, have too many tourists, have too many people. The list goes on. But if you never went to capitals, you’d miss Paris, Washington D.C., Kuala Lumpur, Windhoek… (and if someone tells you to skip Oslo if you ever visit Norway, ignore them, Oslo is great!).
So anyway, not much to tell from Auckland. I walked around, enjoyed the windy sunlight, the cafés, the Starbucks, the Sky Tower and just randomly checked out the places Andreas and I visited when we were here in 2010. I stayed at TMACS Backpackers this time (cool kitchen/lounge area and great curtains for the beds!), close to the Sky Tower and therefore close to the Event Cinema with their “Gold Class” rooms. You know, the ones I keep harping on about every time I talk about Auckland. The enormous chairs (they’ve changed since we were there, but still super comfy though), the dinner and drinks menu, the call button if you require more “room service” while you’re watching the movie… God I love that stuff. I had dinner there one night watching “Terminator – Dark Fate” (I also loved the movie, shoot me).
U2: THE JOSHUA TREE TOUR 2019
Day two I headed towards the train station to get myself to Mount Smart Stadium. Apparently they have this cool thing in NZ (or maybe it’s just Auckland, who knows?) where the give you a free train ride to the venue if you have a ticket to the event. I didn’t know this so I paid anyway, but it was only about $3 US so no biggie. On the way back I caught a clue and got on with the rest of the crowd without so much as looking at the ticketing machines.
Getting to Mt. Smart I reminded myself of my “don’t spend any money”-rule that I had made beforehand, until I saw the merch shop and promptly bought a hoodie. It’s an awesome hoodie though and I love souvenirs I can use, and I wanted, nay!, NEEDED a memento from my first ever U2-concert so it was called for, really.
I bought my ticket not knowing the venue and having no idea if the overview was near accurate or not so when I found my seat I was overjoyed. I was pretty close to the stage and at a nice angle so I got a good view of the visual show (it was awesome).
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds provided the warm up and they did a pretty good job. It wasn’t all too memorable for me, but I remember sitting there enjoying the music and just chilling (so it was a massive difference from the a-ha concert in Oslo where a clusterf*ck of a band called “Shining (nor)” was the opening act and my brother and I went to get food because we couldn’t stand the noise…)
The concert itself started with my favourite U2 song ever, “Sunday Bloody Sunday” – I was thrilled right off the bat 😀
I sort of felt like Bono was a bit lackluster a few times, but a part from those he was engaging with the audience and energetic so I’m inclined to forgive. The sound was awesome and the visuals spectacular. Someone put a lot of effort into this show and made it worth my money. They deserve a prize. The set list was pretty long and they had quite an encore so all in all this was one of the better concert experiences of my life. (Like I said in my snap that I just rewatched: “The concert was amazing, I’m so glad I went! (Fucking GLAD it was amazing for THAt price)”
(I believe it was somewhere around $230 US) (I know, I know…) WORTH IT!!!11
The Whole of the Moon (The Waterboys song)
Sunday Bloody Sunday
New Year’s Day
Pride (In the Name of Love)
THE JOSHUA TREE
Where the Streets Have No Name
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
With or Without You
Bullet the Blue Sky
Running to Stand Still
Red Hill Mining Town
In God’s Country
Trip Through Your Wires
One Tree Hill
Mothers of the Disappeared
Angel of Harlem
Vertigo (with “Rebel Rebel” snippet)
Even Better Than the Real Thing
You’re the Best Thing About Me
Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
Love Is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way
One (with “Invisible” snippet)
Close to me were Cam and Jessaca (that’s right, Jessaca) – we bonded over love for U2 and travel. It was one of those chance meetings where you don’t exchange any contacts, you just enjoy the meet… I always get severe FOMO when I experience these, I wonder what they are doing now…
So anyway, I got back on the train and went home and I need to jot this down cause I don’t want to forget… Someone mentioned, I think it was “Adam”, really loudly on the train at one of the stops and after every stop after that more and more people on the train went “Is that you, Adam?”, “Is Adam onboard?”, “Where’s Adam?!”, like out loud. I laughed so hard… Like an in-joke between all the passengers in our train car… Freakin’ New Zealanders ❤
I was back by about 1.30am and slept like a baby, which was good cause I was leaving for Wellington the next day already.