Wednesday, June 17, 2009

You Said You Wanted To Know

We are home from our Coldplay adventure. I call it an adventure because it involved a lot of jumping through hoops to get our kids settled and happy with their respective caregivers. Those hoops mostly involved packing and traveling since both girls LOVED who they were with. I feel satisfied and content today which is nice because it is common for me to experience post concert depression. (That may be Cure related) It may just be because I'm older now.

Where to begin? Our seats. Our seats we decent. Any of you familiar with the size of a hockey rink would understand the distance. While the band played where one net would sit we were sitting behind the net on the other side. If it had been a hockey game the seats would have been excellent. As it was, they were too far away to see facial expressions with the naked eye. Thank heaven for the screens. I was fascinated by the fans. Perhaps because I am used to this and the majority of the people at this concert looked like this only dressed down a little. Seriously it was the weirdest mix. There were A LOT of guys/men, for some reason I wasn't expecting that. There was a wide range of ages.

One thing almost everyone had in common was the desire to consume alcoholic beverages. I myself am not much of a drinker but I can solidly say that if I was I would abstain so that I could absorb Coldplay in full without the hindrance of intoxication. I mean, really. I think I can understand drinking at say, an ACDC concert or something. That kind of makes sense to me. Perhaps it lubes the joints for headbanging? But at a Coldplay concert? Is it really necessary? I don't think it is. By the end of the concert there were people stumbling (dancing) around in the floor seats and I am certain that they missed a great deal of the awesomeness.

The opening bands were Howling Bells and Snow Patrol. Howling Bells were AWESOME! I especially think Bon, AM and Beth would enjoy. Check this out! They unfortunately did not get projected on the screen so I had to rely on youtube once I got home to really see them. They did however have exaggerated rock star moves so that helped. Their sounds was kind of goth I thought which of course ranked them #1 for the opening bands in my book! Snow Patrol were good, not so much my thing, but undeniably talented. During this song which I'm most familiar with I kept expecting them to project images of Meredith and Derek making out or something. Even though I didn't totally dig them the lead singer (who looks remarkably like Jamie Kennedy) had this terrific smile which kinda melted my heart and made me like them more than I actually did.

Then it was time for Coldplay. The energy in the room was tangible. Electric. I wish I could remember every song they played and in which order but I can't so I'll just tell you about the most memorable parts... The crowd of course went nuts when they came on stage and they were even more amazing live than they sound on their albums. In fact, though admittedly I think that Viva La Vida is their weakest album and my least favorite, hearing them play songs from it live really turned me (and Peter, who I think actually used the word hate to describe how he felt about that album) around. We are both convinced that they have begun to write songs/albums that are meant to be played/heard live in a large venue. The album just doesn't do them justice.

I was very grateful for the screens which allowed me to appreciate the band and their mad skilz. (Those guys are ridiculously talented, it's no joke.) Sometimes the guys in charge got a little crazy though and the images flashed and changed so fast you couldn't really take them in. There were also lasers and other effects. If I happened to be susceptible to seizures I think I'm pretty sure I would have had one. They also had these really neat globe like screen which they also projected stuff on. It was pretty cool. At times when everyone was singing together it reminded me of soccer chanting. I remarked to Peter that there must have been more good singers than poor ones because everything sounded pretty good. I looked out into the sea of people and was frequently astounded.

Some of the high points... Yellow. It was completely dark and then as the song started yellow lights exploded on and they brought out a dozen enormous yellow balloons which the crowd began to bat around. (I found the balloons a tad annoying, um excuse me, I can't see Chris Martin!) I was astounded by the amount of energy that Chris Martin has. I'm not sure if it's an act but he seems pretty uncoordinated too so he sort of flails himself around the stage and I was honestly concerned for his safety at some points. I really hope he does yoga or something to stay limber otherwise he's probably really sore the day after a show. They played a really bizarre set where they played a medley of songs from 'Parachutes' 80's style. There were also times when Chris would play his piano and get into these David Helfgott moments very similar to what you see here at 2:27 only minus the cigarette. Basically, he seemed a little nuts. And yet, for some reason, this made me love him more.

Are you ready for the best part? Are you? Is anyone still reading??? About an hour and a half into the concert I am nudged by my friend who is excitedly pointing off to the not so far distance. I follow her finger clueless and shrug, thinking "What could be so important that you have taken my attention from the stage!" And then she shouts "A microphone!" Oh! There is a microphone and they are taping off a small area, like 12 feet from where we were. A few minutes from then they began to run down off the stage and up towards us and the next thing we knew there they were, close enough to spit on. It was completely surreal. Seeing someone you've only ever seen in videos and interviews on television, standing right there in front of you. I just kept thinking, "Wow, he's a real and actual person and he's standing right there, breathing the same air. God, he has beautiful eyes." Among others, they sang this song, which I have always said was written about me. (totally flattering!) I also found myself thinking about his wife and his family and how they were so far away. It made me feel so grateful that my husband wasn't a rock star, that he was standing right there with me, holding my hand.

Something I anticipated was this part but I had no idea how it would make me feel when it happened. I don't understand why seeing a million little paper butterflies floating around that made my heart hurt but it did. This is probably the best quality video that best represents what it was like to be there, oh except for the Jay Z part. It was worth every penny and if I ever have the opportunity to see them again I would do it in a heartbeat.


elizasmom said...

Whoops, shouldn't have clicked on that while I was at work. Rock music = it's obvious I'm not really working.

Dude, that show sounds AWESOME. Total vicarious chills reading that, and I can believe it about the butterflies. Confetti is underrated! And oh, I am so psyched you got to have a moment of seeing them so close!

jen k said...

i really wish i would have got tickets..i really enjoy their latest album...despite it sounding like a U2 knockoff...sorry.

Jenn said...

Last night we saw the show in Calgary, it was AMAZING too. Totally worth the 100$ we paid for the tickets.


beth - total mom haircut said...

This all sounds so amazing. I'm SO happy for you that they ran right up to your area. It was meant to be for you:)

I haven't actually heard much Coldplay. I know - you're going to scream and freak out upon reading that. Somehow I just missed them. I had the album with Yellow on it and haven't heard anything since. But I promise I will look into them though, as your rec is about as good as it gets. I'll check out the Howling people too:)

bon said...

Well... huh. I coulda sworn I commented a WEEK ago when you first posted this. You are, by the by, dead on with that group.. is RIGHT down my alley, and for some strange reason makes me revisit Exene from "X."

Lori said...

A couple of thoughts on your thoughts, dear...
I'm going to AC/DC next weekend, and will not not NOT be drinking, as for me they are a "bucket list" band, and I want to remember every possible second of the experience. Also, yes, booze helps me headbang, which is not conducive to feeling hale and hearty the next day.
As for the urge to weep when the singer was so close...I was a total fanchick mess when Ozzy walked on stage when I saw him. I was pathetic in the moment of Oh my god that's actually Ozzy! Ozzy effing Osborne! And I couldn't have spit on him from that distance, not with any wind machine or hurricane's help.
I'm so glad you loved the show so much. I may not share your specific tastes, but all concerts, especially at today's prices, should be life altering moments. Yay you!