While the sidewalk outside the venue didn’t look overly packed before doors opened, a thorough scan of the landscape revealed that there were, in fact, a large number of fans waiting to gain entry, they were just spread out along the street, rather than bunched up at the entrance.
A quick chat with some of the fans revealed that we didn’t just have Aucklander’s in attendance, many had travelled far (some from the South Island) to be present on this night for Fuel; in fact, one of the opening bands hailed from Wellington, a testament to the appeal of Fuel all these years later.
The first band for the night were local Auckland boys, Coridian. In potentially their first performance opening for an international act, they were aiming to impress.
Not off to the best start, their opening track Nonetheless was plagued with technical issues, from guitar lead issues to patchy uneven mic sounds, to crackling and partially distorted bass (an issue which was noticeable throughout their set, with the exception of Seed).
Not the kind of band to let technical problems get the better of them, and by the end of their first track, the guitar and microphone issues had been resolved. The crowd reacted well to the material despite their small fan base currently, with Pride and Better Off, getting a fair amount of movement from the crowd. The standout track would have to be Blind Faith, performed with a level of energy and passion that got the crowd excited and cheering along.
It’s not often that you get a large crowd present for the opening band (especially for an international act), but it certainly looked like the majority of the ticket holders had turned up on time to see all the acts.