We've been having fun in Auckland, just wandering around and getting the Kiwi vibe. Lots of walking up and down the hills, with frequent cups of coffee and pots of tea to keep ourselves warm - often accompanied by lovely date scones, because, after all, this is part of the Commonwealth.
So - Coldplay!!!!! The ticket included train rides to and from the stadium, which is out of town - maybe a 20 or 30 minute ride through neighborhoods and then suburbs, into a business park. Long walk through the business area, queue up at the stadium, get bags checked (anyone who knows my tiny purses knows that not much fits in there), and get handed a wrist band. Me being me, I ask for a nice blue one instead of the yucky yellow the young woman tries to hand me - she smiles, gives me the lovely blue (with pink plastic attaching gizmos), and I wander in. Find my seat, about 5 rows up from the front, and about halfway down the rugby field from the stage.
This is a sports stadium - rugby fields are about 100 meters (close to yards) long and who knows how wide - with two tiers of people in the seats. And it is PACKED! I mean PACKED!!! Including tens of thousands of people mobbed into the field area, jammed in like schools of sardines, ebbing and flowing with the tide of humanity.
The stage is set to one end, seats covered in back of that end zone (or goal area, depending on your sport), and the stage is HUGE! Takes up the width of the field, goes up something like 100-120 feet into the air, has a roof, lights, cameras, big circles that are used as screens, who knows what else. And all the technical stuff in the middle of the field, more lights cameras action, platforms, counterweights.
There are pre-bands performing. Teenagers dancing. Mid-range people like myself sitting. I chat with my neighbors, a young-ish couple originally from England but now living south of Auckland.
And then Coldplay comes on!!!!!! Cheers, music, fireworks, laser light show, jumping up and down fans and musicians, and we realize our wristbands have lit up with chase LEDs inside, and are glowing!!!! All up and down the stands, in the field, utter dark black with pulsating lights like sparkling confetti or twinkle holiday lights!!!! WE THE AUDIENCE are the light show!!!!! How cool is THAT???? More cheers and lots of waving arms as we all realize this about the same moment!! More fireworks, swirling lights on the screens, then the stage lights up and the show begins, as our wristbands pulse light in time to the rhythm!
What can I say, I do like Coldplay's music, we were up and dancing and just enjoying the music! Many of the teens and 20-somethings spent the concert with smartphones in the air, video- or photographing the whole thing - so between the pulsing multi-colored wristband lights there were rectangles of pale whitish blue glows.
(Not my photo - from a review I'll post shortly)
About 2/3 of the way through the concert, the guys took a short break. Then came running down the track around the field and onto a mini stage in the field area and were DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF US about 20 meters away!!!! OMG, there they were, picking up guitars and singing dead in front of us!!! These mediocre seats were suddenly the BEST seats in the house as people came thundering down the steps to stand in the front, and the crowd in the field surged around the platform. And those of us with reserved seats in that section just stood and cheered until the music began, then we danced along (after all, one needs to stay warm, right?).
Chris Martin, lead singer/founder/guitarist/pianist is definitely one of the most energetic musicians I've seen, running up and down the stages, out into the crowd, jumping and twirling and dancing and singing - not quite Mick Jagger's edginess, but definitely a hottie in his own right. The set (and their clothes) continued their theme of urban shabby chic, with the almost graffiti paint jobs splashed around.
Then back to the main stage, lots of cheering, a few more songs, and a grand finale along with more fireworks and more pulsing wristbands!!!! Over too soon, souls happy and warm, and a trek back to the train and a ride home, along with my new British friends.
All in all, a wonderful evening and totally worth the price!!!! And no, Richard didn't go with me, he's not a Coldplay fan.