It's been a whirlwind weekend as Mrs. Roddus and myself got flown up to Auckland to attend Coldplay's only New Zealand concert on their "MYLO XYLOTO" world tour.
Mrs. Roddus was dead keen to go see them play when she found about this concert several months ago, and although I have enjoyed Coldplay over they years and have their first three albums on CD, I had lost interest in them and wouldn't have bothered if Mrs. Roddus wasn't so excited about seeing them live.
This was my first trip to Auckland itself, except several times through the airport onto more far flung destinations, and fortunately this whole expedition, concert included, was organised by my Electrical wholesalers, which meant accommodation and transportation was all arranged as well as corporate VIP passes to the concert itself. This meant that we had about 5 hours after arriving at our hotel to see a bit of Auckland before we were whisked off to Mt Smart Stadium for the gig. Our short time was spent on a short stroll up Queen St for Mrs. Roddus to check out some shops and where I could pop into JB HIFI, as we had been told it was the biggest CD shop and Auckland and I was hoping to find some John Zorn CDs there(No chance, but did get some Sun Ra though). We jumped on the ferry and shot over to Devonport for lunch and a short ride on a horse drawn buggy before coming back across to prepare for the concert.
Here are a few shots of central Auckland I took.
|A hotel on the wharf|
|Heading to catch the ferry.|
|On the ferry heading away from the terminal.|
|Hilton on Wharf.|
|A strange building on wharf.|
|A short ride round Devonport|
|The horse hogging the photo.|
|Bloody hell, it's nearly Xmas already.|
|Skytower near our hotel, next time I might even get to go up it.|
|Our nice suite at the Heritage.|
We were picked up from our hotel by bus about 5:30PM and whizzed along the motorways to Mt Smart Stadium, getting to our box about 6:30 where we were presented with out VIP concert package of a tour book of art work and song lyrics in a cool bag and both a vinyl and CD copy of the New Coldplay Album "Mylo Xyloto" packaged in the book, very cool.We settled in with drinks and watched the crowd pour in while the first support band started their set very soon after.The stage set up and speaker systems were very impressive and no doubt state of the art for a stadium band of this calibre but as is usual for rock concerts the sound was very very loud. I don't mind loud but at this volume it makes it difficult to separate out the sounds of individual instruments and hear clearly what the singers are singing or saying, and for groups like both support groups, The female fronted The Pierces, from the USA and The Temper Trap from Australia, it makes it a bit more difficult to apprise their music when you are unfamiliar with it as I am. Neither group impressed me enough to want to explore their music any further but did give me time to acclimatise my ears ready for Coldplay.
Coldplay came on at 9PM and instantly dazzled the 47000 strong crowd with one of the best light shows I have seen, especially with the LED light arm bands that we all wore lighting up an impressive site. With fire works and balloons and confetti snow storms and inflatable blobs rounding out the gimmicks they certainly impressed and entertained me from that angle. The music, although almost overpoweringly loud was still mostly recognisable and the band played their hearts out and put on a magnificent show and had the crowd all worked up like the professionals they are. One part of the show, near the end, the group relocated to a small stage towards the back of the stadium quite near us and played a number from there. A good idea.
After playing most of our favourite songs and some good stuff from the latest album, which I am quite impressed with, they finished the show the same way they started with a nice set of fireworks from behind the stage. It all went off very well with the crowd responding the weather holding and the music booming. Overall a worthwhile experience and Mrs. Roddus loved it, and that's the main thing. I managed to bring my Panasonic Lumix camera with me and thought I'd try and video some short segments of the set to see what that looked like and the results were surprisingly better than expected, so enjoy three clips below of the opening song, the small stage song and the final song with fireworks after these photos.
|The Pierces again.|
|The crowd building.|
|An Impressive setup.|
|The Temper trap.|
|A shot of the crowd just before Coldplay came on.|