Life In Technicolor
In 2002, I watched a pilot for a new series on FOX called John Doe (which I watched faithfully until the bastards canceled it). The pilot ended with John Doe watching someone on a ship. There was this awesome song playing over it as the show ended. Immediately I marshalled the power of the internet and began to dig. Turns out that song was from a band called Coldplay and it was called Trouble. I got the album it was from, but I didn't really listen to it. A year or two later my future ex-wife gets me their next album A Rush of Blood to the Head. And true to form I listen to Clocks and not much else and put the album away. Flash forward. X&Y comes out. This time I get it and listen to the album and realize that I really like this stuff. Then I go back to the other albums and find that: "Hey there's some great stuff here." Flash forward to March of this year. I find out that not only is a new album is coming out, but that Coldplay is coming to Philly. I pre-ordered the album, downloaded Violet Hill and knew that I was going to their concert, even if it cast aspersions on my sexuality (thank you very much 40 Year Old Virgin).
Yesterday, the cosmic tumblers clicked into place. The weather was nice, the mood perfect. The woman I had hoped would go with me back in May was on my arm (and I didn't even need to employ any sense-altering drugs to do it!). We take our seats and suffer through the opening acts. Then it started. I wasn't quite sure how I'd feel, what I should expect. I don't like idol worship, and always bristled when I'd see dewey-eyed teenagers gushing over rock stars. Part of me was wondering if I'd devolve into that which I despised, that I'd turn into some blubbering sycophant not unlike Peter Griffin watching Barry Manilow on that very special Family Guy episode.
Not to worry, my humanity remains intact. The show started in an explosion of energy. The crowd was cheering, giddy with anticipation. Life in Technicolor wafted through the arena as they took the stage. As it concluded they jumped right into Violet Hill and everything just took off from there. Each song had carefully choreographed lights and lasers. The band played in front of a wall of video. Throughout the arena interesting video globes were suspended from the ceiling.
The pomp and circumstance are fine and nice, but the meat of the evening was supplied by Chris Martin and the crowd (more on them later). He exuded an energy and an emotion that just kind of washed over the audience. You just get the feeling that he is exactly where he wants to be, doing exactly what he wants to do. And while watching him, you get the impression that he's just letting it all hang out. He's not very graceful, performing this kind of awkward dance dictated by the music. But instead of being self conscious about showing his personal rhythm, he lets it out. I'd like to have that kind of comfort level with myself. To say this is me and fuck all y'all if you think it's stupid. I'm not there yet. Not even close.
The other component of the evening was the audience. Coldplay designs their set lists with sing-a-longs in mind. And when the audience starts to sing and you are singing as well, it kind of turns into a communal event. It feels good to be around people who share a common interest, a common passion. Probably has something to do with why we're social animals and why people gravitate to groups and why cults attract members. So when Coldplay started playing In My Place and the entire building sang "yeah" at the right moment (you know what I mean) it was just a rush of good feelings. Kind of like the scene in Almost Famous where the entire bus is singing Tiny Dancer. Like that, but with twenty thousand instead of twenty. It's moments like that, that make communism not seem like such a bad racket*.
It was special, very special, and I'll certainly fork over the requisite money units to see them perform again when the time comes.
*but it is