It was hot. It was Godblazing hot. I had been standing there for more than an hour, determined to nail my spot as close as possible to the stage. I wanted to see everything. Earlier on at the entrance, security was tighter than Ricky Martin’s leather pants. They took away the drinks and snacks. I was bound to stand there for the next few more hours, among the throng of humans, all sweaty and hyped-up and anxious.
So what do you say about a concert that is Coldplay, in all their pasty, almost middle-aged rockstar glory?
They wanted to put on a show, and boy was it worth all those ticket struggles and travels and leg cramps. It was worth all that and more.
Because for a lot of us, Coldplay isn’t just four dudes in a band, is it? I hate crowds. I hate sweaty, wild crowds. I hate lining up. But then the lights in the stadium went off and then there was a flicker, and then I heard a familiar riff of my favorite song, and then there he was, running across the stage in the middle of laser beams and kaleidoscope of lights.
Chris Martin, the guy who wrote anthems of my adult-angsts and anxieties. When I was in college I would spend every rainy, wintry mornings sipping a cup of tea by the window watching the cars drive by, with his songs played in the background. I listened to ‘Sparks’ when I had no idea what love was, once a many naïve moons ago. And yet during my most recent heartbreak, I must’ve listened to their album, ‘Ghost Stories’, on repeat for days on end.
Seeing them there, in the flesh, was an immediate high. I was standing close enough to see their faces, and I thought how strange it was that he seemed from a different planet – a different lifestyle, a different world, a different race, a completely different person than me – and yet he wrote songs that seemed to share my sentiment over things. And that the person next to me, a stranger from another country, and then another, and another, and the rest of the thousands of people at that stadium must have related to these melodies and lyrics the same way for them to be there too.
It was fascinating.
It was a show that required high energy and gave back a lot more. The fireworks, the confetti, the colorful balloons, the laser lights, the amazing guitar riffs. There was always an injection of pick-me-up anthems, songs about looking at the positive side of things.
And right when you thought you’re in an over-the-top show, Chris begins ‘Yellow’, and then an acoustic ‘Everglow’, and then a slow ‘Always In My Head’, a song he wrote for Gwyneth about still thinking of somebody who has long left. They all bring you back to whatever state of mind you were in, in the past when you were listening to these songs with your earphones.
And then it ended. I was almost dehydrated from the sweating and confiscated water I brought. They took a bow and they disappeared backstage. The lights went off and then when it turned on again, the stadium looked normal. Regular. As though nothing special had happened before. It was like that magical roller coaster high ride that lasted only for a fraction of time and now it has disappeared completely.
I walked all the way back home in the stillness of the night, still humming my favorite tunes, until I fell asleep much later.