U2 & The Rabbitohs

By Josh Kemp for Bunnies TV.

The moment it was announced that we were going to play in Las Vegas for our round one game, plans were underway to make the trip. There were flights to book, accomodation to book and also ESTA to apply for. 

This was a once in a lifetime opportunity. The first time the NRL were taking a competition game to the other side of the world. There was no way I wasn’t going to be there. 

U2 Shows

To make the trip even more memorable in December the rock band U2 announced the final shows of their Vegas residency at the Sphere. This just happened to be when we would be there. Although pricing for tickets weren’t cheap. 

I was reminded of this once in a lifetime opportunity. This would be the only time I would ever get to see U2 at the Sphere. So it was settled. This Vegas trip just got that much better. U2 and the Rabbitohs. It couldn’t get much better for a one eyed Rabbitoh fan and U2 tragic. 

Now that everything was booked and confirmed it was a reality. We were heading to Vegas.

It’s Time

The off season flew. With work being so busy months turned into weeks and weeks turned into days. Before I knew it the time had come. Time to jump on the plane and fly to the other side of the world. 

Me, Michael Tasker & Michelle Cini departing.

Our plane was full of Australian Rugby League supporters. Of course we were the most represented on the flight. There were even supporters of others teams making the trip to be part of the experience. 

After a 13 hour flight we arrived at LAX. With time differences we arrive before we actually left. A bit of a wait clearing customs then transfer to the domestic terminal for the quick flight to Vegas. When I say quick flight I mean quick flight. Only 37 minutes from take off to landing. 

Las Vegas

We get to Vegas and head straight to our apartment that we call home for the next few days. It’s just off the strip and isn’t far from the ground or the Sphere. 

Thursday night and it was the fan event at Fremont St Experience. The place was packed. Full of Aussie League fans. There wasn’t much room to move. A few former players made the trip over with the likes of GI and Bryson Goodwin. 

Being a tourist.

There was a buzz around the place. It was very much like the buzz you feel from Magic Round. This was the other side of the world. 

A Trip Down The Strip

Tuesday morning and it was time to experience what Vegas had to offer. A trip down the strip. Learning quickly not to stop for people who want to talk to you. Although there were a few Americans genuinely interested in talking about the game. 

Later that day it was time to meet up with some friends before we head off to go see U2 at the Sphere. 

U2 At The Sphere

The time has come. Michael and I head to the Sphere. Just looking at it from the outside is like nothing we had seen before. We go in and make our way up to the nose bleeds. It didn’t matter though as this was a great spot to take it all in. 

U2 at the Sphere.

U2 hit the stage and you hear The Edge’s guitar ring through with the sounds of “Zoo Station”. The opening track to the album Achtung Baby. As the bass drum kicks in the whole floor vibrates through your seat. 

My night at The Sphere.

I’ve seen U2 many times, so I knew what to expect with them. The Sphere though is like nothing I had witnessed before. I had seen so many videos of the shows, but they don’t do it justice. 

Like nothing I had seen before.

The sound and the visuals were insane. Of course they played most of their hits including the entirety of their Achtung Baby album. 

Funnily out of all the people sitting next to me was a fellow Rabbitohs fan that flew over for the game. 

This was an experience that I will never forget. 

Game Day

Saturday morning and it was a game day walk down the strip with young Burrow member Dylan. The wind was already strong. At times he was struggling to walk without being taken back. 

U2 & The Rabbitohs
Dylan representing The Burrow.

The wind only got worse. Thankfully the stadium was indoors. 

Waiting outside to get in, the wind was howling. Although we were to in awe of this stadium. How good would it be to have something like this back at home. 

It was mixed emotions for me standing there though. Only a couple of weeks ago the Super Bowl was played there. Being a 49ers fan it was a reminder of that game. Although once in there it was all about our game. 

As kick off approached the crowd started pouring in. Our season was about to begin. The disappointment of our finish last year was a distant memory. 

Richie Scores

The first try on US soil went to the unlikely player Richie Kennar. To think he will now be the answer on a trivia quiz. 

The view at Allegiant Stadium.

Despite being down at halftime due to a Latrell intercept the mood was still upbeat. 

A couple of tries early in the second half and we looked to be in control. Then a couple of errors coming out of our own end and a couple of Manly tries saw the lead and momentum shift. Something we just couldn’t get back. 

A poor DCE kick in his own half gave us an opportunity to turn the game around once again. Unfortunately we were unable to capitalise and Manly were able to run away with the game. 

It Never Seemed Close

A late try made the score more respectable. Despite being 6 tries to 5 it never seemed that close. Some poor efforts defending our goal line. After the second half of our season this does seem to be a concern. Although it is only round one. 

Despite the loss it was still a great experience just to be there. Plenty of the locals loved what they saw. 

It is only round 1. U2 & The Rabbitohs.

Sunday and it was time to head back home. Only a quick trip, but in that small time was able to do so much. 

Delay & Upgrade

We get notification that our flight to LA has been delayed. All of a sudden getting our connecting flight back home was going to be tight. Thankfully we managed to get to our flight home just in time. Also we were fortunate enough to get an upgrade. The trip home was going to be much more comfortable than the one over. 

Leaving LA on the Sunday night after a 15 hour flight we arrive back home on the Tuesday morning. It was back home and back to reality. 

The whole Vegas experience was a success. 

Now we have the weekend off and back into it for the Broncos at Suncorp for round 2.

U2 & The Rabbitohs.

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