Thursday, December 16, 2010

U2 360° Tour

In the scheme of things I haven’t been a U2 fan for that long, maybe 8 years or so, but in that time I’ve grown to love their music and have managed to see this great Irish band twice now.

In Nov 2006 I saw them as they toured the world as part of their Vertigo Tour. I took the extraordinary lengths of camping outside the ticketek office in Wollongong to ensure I got a ticket after their first show sold out in minutes. Back then, the concert was my first at the ANZ stadium and I along with 80000 other’s weren’t disappointed with their performance.

This year U2 announced they were returning Australia as part of their 3600 Tour. Once again I took the extraordinary lengths of camping out to ensure my seat. I was the first in line as tickets went on sale and was very pleased to secure 2 A-reserved seats.

On the 13th Dec, Leonie and I headed up to the ANZ stadium to see U2 once again. We were blown away by the amazing stage, which is where the tour obviously gets its name, nicknamed the “Claw” this 4-legged amphitheatre towers high above the band. It has revolving screens and walkways linking a 360° platform.

As with the previous concert, the boys didn’t disappoint. They played plenty of their renowned famous old songs along with a mix of new stuff. Fortunately my favourite song “Beautiful Day” was amongst them. For 2.5 hours the band rocked out song after song, they dazzled the crowd with an amazing lighting and sound spectacular and only after 3 encores did they finally close the curtain on a great night.

Thank you U2, for an awesome concert.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

V8 Supercars – Sydney 2010

This year’s Telstra 500 had a little more hype associated with it than last year, because this round would decide the championship. James Courtney had a slim lead of defending champion Jamie Whincup and nether team could sit back and watch what the other would do.

As with last year I headed up on the Saturday to par-take in the days’ activities. Cloudy skies with the forecast of rain were expected, this coupled with rain over the past few days had kept teams guessing on race setup. As we arrived on track the heavens had opened making the Fujitsu V8 cars very unstable as they tried to qualify for their race.

We watched a few laps before heading through some of the pavilions and onto the pits where we were amazed to see the biggest indoor pit garage I’ve ever seen. The pit pavilion housed 8+ B-double racecar transporters plus a double pit bay for each team, all this in air-conditioned comfort. It was great to get up close to the teams as they worked on their cars. Over the day we saw an engine change, some panel repairs and various other minor improvements.

As the race drew close we made our way around to “turn 11” which is at the back of the train station and is at the end of a 600m straight. We had a position right on the fence, which proved to be very entertaining.

The race started as per the script and from our position we got to witness numerous cars clip the concrete barriers, various overtaking manoeuvrers and a good 180deg spin. The race was marred with a number of pace car incidents that kept the racing exciting. Late in the race the weather played a big part in the outcome of the race and the championship with a downpour of rain catching most of the field on slick tyres, as the track became a skating rink. The resulting accidents and carnage saw over half the field retire from the race. Those that had played Russian roulette with the weather and gambled on wet tyres came to the front, giving rookie driver Jonathon Webb his first race win.

As always the V8’s proved to be very entertaining with the Sydney venue being a great spectacle.