A few rambling thoughts on DRA in Auckland NZ last night... I was fortunate to catch the second night of Beacon theatre in NYC a couple weeks back and I can't help but compare the two; I have to say Auckland was noticably better, audiance seemed far more attentive and into it - maybe cos we only get to see him once each album cycle down here. Straight out the gate the band sounded massive and loud - perfect audio mix too. Some of the guitar jams were long and exploratory, I'd estimate that cold roses last night was close to ten minutes. The band looked comfortable jamming too; dynamic with lots of space in the sound. My highlight of the show was the run of Prisoner/invisible Riverside/sweet illusions. Prisoner started out solo acoustic and the band came in after a lovely build up in the second chorus. Invisible riverside had the 'dirty rain' band treatment and sounds great as an electric band track. Sweet illusions had a subtle 80s make over in the tempo and guitar tone and it fits nicely with the new material. Black hole sun was a great surprise, I hope it sticks around for the whole tour, it was a fitting tribute. The show was over two hours in length but ended kind of abruptly, house lights stayed down for 5 mins after shakedown and then eventually the house lights came up with no encore despite the audiance going pretty nuts for one. I hope the lack of encore isn't the lasting impression people take from this show. Lastly, at the prior 3 shows I've attended Ryan has only said a few words to the audiance, no banter which I miss a little. Thankfully each time he has been engaged with the music and has come off as quiet rather than pissy about something. Maybe we are just in a new phase... Overall this show was super and I hope the band sticks around. Todd rules.