Sunday, November 23, 2008

When the Cold(play) doesn't leave you Cold?

On June 28, 2008, I was on my way to Warped Tour and talking to my mom on the phone. I was trying to get a good seat to the Coldplay concert on November 22, 2008 and the general sale started at 10 a.m. So far I haven't figured out how to be in 2 places at once. If anyone masters that one, I'd be happy to hear all about it!

Best Buy had a presale for the show a little earlier, but the best I could pull up exactly at ten with everything going perfectly at my end was Row 24. That's when I decided to wait for the general sale. At the general sale, I (or my mom on my behalf, actually) pretty much pulled up the exact spot. SO I debated whether or not to get a floor seat or pay less and sit a bit further up. In the end, I opted for the floor.

I arrived at the venue and parked in the lot across the street just a little before 6 and went to line up at the entrance. The doors were to open at 6:30 and I braced myself to face the chill for another half an hour. At 6:13, Hell froze over, and the doors opened. Of course, I am kidding here. Really, how often do the doors to a show open early? I can think of two other times. Both times it was raining.

I did the ladies room thing, bought some stickers for $8 at the merch table (yeah... a page with about 5 stickers cost $8)and was planning to find my seat. The doors to the arena itself still were closed as it wasn't 6:30, so I just talked to a venue employee for a while until I could head for my seat. I found my seat rather quickly and then went to look for a friend in the nosebleeds. When I was almost to Section 102, I heard screaming. It was the second time, so I went to see what was up. The first time I thought they were starting early and I was no where near where I was supposed to be. LOL As it turns out, Matt, was in the process of upgrading some gals in the nosebleeds to Row 3 (yes, I ashamedly admit my jealousy LOL) I took a pic of the girls with him and followed him for a few doors and chatted. I asked if he was the emcee or something because I liked his voice. He had a nice British accent. :) Imagine that, an employee for Coldplay with a British accent? ;) Then I figured I was close enough to Sec 102 and ducked out. Section 102 was completely empty. I was told by one of the ushers that all of Section 102 was relocated because of the huge "balls" that were part of the set blocking visibility. I saw Matt give another couple an upgrade on the floor. I walked by and he was just telling them what he was doing, and then I said, "Oh, that's why no screaming yet, you hadn't told them." LOL That must be the fun part of his job - giving people upgrades. It would be for me. They must have given out a few. I heard more than one set of squeals, and there was a gal giving them away also.

Anyway, it was about time for the show to start, so I headed back to my seat. I texted another friend, Lauralee a few times to figure out where she was sitting. She called me on my cell just as the show started, and I couldn't hear a thing. LOL The first band, Sleepercar was actually pretty good. I never did see any merch for them anywhere as I might have picked up their cd. They did a cover of Wild Horses that was well done, I thought.

After a short intermission that I spent looking for (and finally finding) Lauralee, John Hopkins came on stage. He was on a keyboard/mixer on the far right of the stage in bright lights. On the left was a screen with animation. My first thought was that it looked like a cross between a cartoon and someone's bad dream. My second thought was that the animation looked like a bad acid trip. Both times I shared this with the gal next to me and she laughed and said that she had just told her friend the exact same thing. His music was very "experimental". I didn't mind the first song too much, but it was really a bit "sterile" for me - as in no real interaction.

Once John's set ended it was finally time for Coldplay to set up. It wasn't long and they were on stage to a standing ovation and raucous applause. It was clear that no one planned to sit anytime soon. I had mixed feelings about that one. I really didn't have good visibility, although sometimes I could see the drummer well.
The stage setup was awesome, though. There were 5 large "balls" from the ceiling that were raised and lowered. At least for one or two songs, you could see the face of the lead singer and his hands playing guitar. There was a large screen to the back, a small television and they both had the same thing on. I liked it best when the band was on the screen as then I could see better. Most of the night, I was on my toes and trying to see around the 6 foot plus dude three rows up. I so wanted him to sit down for one song. LOL At one point during the concert Coldplay went up into the second level balcony (middle level) and set up and played. It was awesome as it was just behind me and the best view I had all night! LOL

As for the music, it was pretty incredible! They did quite a few songs off X&Y, which is great, since I love the whole cd. I really love the song, I Will Try to Fix You, and even though I knew it was on the set list (thanks to Ethan Luck), I was filled with excitement on hearing the first notes. The lighting was all in blues and lavenders with faint, almost shadowy, images of the band in triplicate. The song brought chills, and Chris complimented everyone's beautiful singing. It was stunning to say the least. Another very cool moment in the show was when Chris played Hardest Part and everyone sang along going into the next song.

At one point in the concert thousands and thousands of butterflies made from tissue and a think plastic all fluttered from the ceiling. They were everywhere around me. At first the lights were on, but they soon changed to flouresent and a second wave of butteriflies floated to the tops of heads, landed on shoulders, inside coat pockets and purses, and covered the floor in a sea of color. It was really something to see! I brought a purseful home with me.
My butterfly stash:

Just as the last song was playing the two gals next to me left, and I picked up my things and moved over. As the last note was played, I excused myself and followed the security guys towards the front in hopes of nagging a set list. I asked someone and he just said he didn't have one. Then I spotted Matt, and the three girls I saw him with told him thanks again and showed them the pick they were able to get. Then another gal asked him for a pick, so I asked him about a set list, and he went and brought her a pick and was looking for a set list. Just as he was getting it for me a security guy tried to get me to leave and he arrived back with it in the nick of time. I thanked him and told him he was an angel (and I meant it!) :) He was really a nice guy and he made my night!!

So then I headed out to the lot, got turned around and walked a block in the wrong direction, and headed back again. As I arrived to the lot, I saw a young girl and her grandmother (I think she said it was her granddaughter) and her car was not in the lot anymore. I have had my car stolen from a restaurant lot before, and I KNOW what it feels like, so I stayed until their friend arrived. I tried to tell her as much as I could what should happen next, but her friend was an ex police officer who was going to help. Once he arrived, I headed for home.

It was another great show, but a little bittersweet, as this is the first time in a long while that I haven't had a ticket on my desk to an upcoming show. But all is not lost - I saw Sam during one of the intermissions, and he gave me a flyer for a Jonathan Jones on Dec. 4 (and which I passed along to the couple behind me who promised to check him out.) Looks like a December concert could be in the works after all?

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