Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Viva la Vida

When I was in 6th form I heard about this band called Coldplay (I'm sure they were around before then but I was a little late to cotton on to these things). I got the album, Parachutes, stuck it on my CD player and didn't take it off for what felt like a year.

I was pretty sure that every song on that album had been written for me. I could apply every lyric to events that were happening in my life. At the time there was a boy that I was in love with, but he had absolutely no idea, he was just a friend. As soon as I heard Shiver I nearly fell on the floor - Chris Martin knew what I was going through! He'd taken all of my feelings and written them into a song.

The love affair began.

It has carried on through the years, through three more albums and countless boyfriends. And every time I met someone or fell in love, or fell out of love, the boys were there, singing beside me.

I've been desperate to see them for years but never got the chance - I was too late, or busy that weekend or didn't have enough money, it was like something was conspiring against me. However a few months ago my chance came one day as I was mooching through Ticketmaster. Coldplay were playing in Manchester, in September and there were tickets available!

I've been very excited about it for weeks and was even more excited and intrigued when I found out who the support act was. The one and only, Jay-Z.

Yeah I did a double take too.
Probably the most unlikely support act for Coldplay. And I did spend a good few weeks wondering whether there was another Jay-Z that I hadn't heard of, maybe an indie band? But no. And I didn't believe it until I saw him with my own eyes...
It was so funny. If the crowd at Oasis could be described in one word it would be - 'drunk'. If the crowd at Take That could be described in one word it would be - 'girls'. If the crowd at Coldplay could be described in one word it would be - 'white, middle-class couples' (yeah I know that's not one word but you get my drift right?)

There was a fair age range as well from people with young children (and no I don't think it's appropriate to have children that young in that environment but each to their own) to people in ther mid-20s to 30s, like me and the boyfriend, to people well into their 50s. It was this latter group that was the most amusing to watch when Jay-Z came on to perform his set. I've never seen so many confused looking people in my life.

He got the crowd going though and that's what you need from a support act. I should say at this point that there was another support act, White Lies, but I can't tell you about them because truth be told I wasn't really listening - sorry guys. But they did seem to be pretty good!

When Coldplay came on though....
I don't even think I have the words. But I'll try, otherwise it really would have been a waste of time posting this.

Have you ever heard 50 or 60,000 people all singing Coldplay songs at the same time? I have. It's beyond thrilling. It will give you shiver upon shiver down your spine and make your hairs stand on end. It was amazing.

And I guess in a way that's all I can say. It wasn't a great spectacle like Take That, there were no mechanical elephants. Although there were big yellow balloon/balls thrown into the crowd (guess what song that was for) and some fireworks and about 1o million paper butterflies that were blown over us, but all of this was secondary to the most important part.

For that night was all about the music.

They are CD perfect. There wasn't a note out of place, they are supreme musicians. At one point I got completely confused because the drummer was playing a guitar and someone else was banging a drum. Chris Martin was on a piano one minute, running about the stage the next. It was just brilliant.

And they were on for an incredibly impressive 2.5 hours, with the pace never dropping for a moment. Even more impressive when you consider that this tour began in June 2008 and has had 150-something dates.

When it was all over, even the insanely long wait for a tram home couldn't dampen my spirits (ok. maybe it did a little but it did take nearly an hour) because I'd finally fulfilled one of my dreams. And the 17 year old girl that first fell in love with their songs was finally satisfied.

When we were watching them the section of the crowd that I was in kept singing the riff from Viva la Vida over and over again. Any gap between the songs and we'd all start up. What that must have felt like to them I don't know. What a strange feeling to have that many people singing your songs and your words and your music back to you. I hope they realised how much we appreciated them.
I've gabbled for too long. I will go now. But don't think I've forgotten. I still have to tell you about Florence & the Machine. But you'll have to wait another day for that one.

1 comment:

The Curious Cat said...

Awww...so glad you got to see them! Parachutes was the album of my late teens. My boyfriend at the time (now ex) and I loved them when we were going out. I remember going to Reading Festival in 2001 and sitting round the camp fire until very late with that CD playing over and over again - whenever I hear it now it takes me back and I see that fire and that night so vividly. So many mixed emotions of my youth! And then there is the very very sad song The Scientist which stabs at me everytime I hear it. The boyfriend then was soon to be my ex and he played me this song just before we split and said - this is how I feel about us, this song. I still broke his heart and as a punishment everytime I hear this now, I feel guilty for what I put him through and nostalgic... They are a brilliant band though. Not so familiar with their new stuff and I prefered it when they were less main-stream but they are still incredibly good and with great universal appeal!As for Florence and the Machine - I so wanna see them!!!