24 November 2006
Show day, Auckland.
Its thirteen years since the last time U2 played in New Zealand. Joe and I have done shows here with R.E.M. since then, but even that seems like another lifetime now. The band came in for sound check and a noodle around, I think as much as anything to limber up and get a feel for where we are. This meant we had some time to kill between sound check and show countdown, so we continued a discussion that we have begun about (dont laugh) 'the next tour'. I think all of us can feel that whenever U2 goes out again, we need to advance the form to some degree. Now that every big touring show out there looks like a cross between ZooTV and PopMart, the onus appears to be on us to figure out what comes next. The alternative would be to continue in the same vein but when the parameters of the show remain the same, ultimately it becomes impossible not to repeat yourself. Take, for example, the last four Rolling Stones tours which, magnificent as they are, have very much settled into a consistent format. Im not sure whether its possible for us to break the mould again, but whilst we are all together it seems like a good idea to talk about it, at least.Back on the subject of todays show, there was some debate about where to place One Tree Hill in the set. Given that the song hasnt been played properly in public since about 1989, I was a little nervous about closing the show with it, just in case the wheels came off. Consequently, we put it before Sometimes, where it seemed the song would sit nicely.
There was some rain prior to the show, but the crowd clearly werent bothered and the show had a great spirit to it. One Tree Hill was beautiful.
After the show I ended up back at the crew hotel for some hours, before walking home at about 5am through the dark and silent streets of Auckland, with just the sound the ocean in the distance.