Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Review: Coldplay, remember when...

After work last night, instead of heading home, I was one of the "lucky" thousands of people who got to take in Coldplay at the TD Bank North Garden... The final concert of the band's North American leg of the tour brought me the closure that I needed...like the ex-girlfriend who you run into years later - you just remember all the good times you had, and why you loved her in the first place... but you also remember why you broke up, and ultimately, you know you made the right choice.

Beginning sometime in college, presumably around the year 2000, I hopped on the Coldplay bandwagon... a place I would stay for several years. Our relationship grew more serious with their second Grammy-winning album... It got so bad, that one time, when i was working for the Fox 2-5, i spent nearly an hour injecting every imaginable coldplay song title into a script for a coldplay story.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end...and with the (in my opinion)less-than-spectacular release of X&Y, and two somewhat-disappointing concert experiences, our relationship began to sour and Coldplay and I sort of decided to go our seperate ways...

Fast forward to last night - A friend with a free ticket... I knew the "ex" would be there and i was curious - I decided to see if the old "sparks" would fly...

The first song was off their new album - I sort of recognized it, everyone else sang along. I felt a little out of place. I remember the old band, the one I grew to love - but there was a noticeable change.

As the concert went on, I looked around and noticed everyone else appeared to be having a fantastic time... many of them from a younger generation (mind you, i'm only 27)... they were all fans who hadn't had their hearts broken by the band. It reminded me why I "fell in love" with coldplay in the first place... Suddenly I felt waves of nostalgia and even a slight chill when they played "Fix You", a song that a critic once said would have made the album way better if it were Keane's "somewhere only we know". Most of the time, i'd have to agree... but for tonight - it was like our first kiss all over again...

That quick burst of emotion began to fade as I watched Chris Martin flail around the stage like he was having a seizure. Perhaps he knew I was there... trying a little too hard to win me back... as if HE hadn't moved on and he was trying to get my attention... letting me know, HE was the center of attention...

Either way, I thought he was trying too hard... and it made things even more awkward... (and to be honest, i'm not the best dancer, but if i ever pulled some of his moves in public, i'd expect to be sucker punched in the face.) No one else seemed to notice how hard he was trying, seeming to enjoy every second of his antics. After all, love is blind - unfortunately, I had fallen out of love.

Perhaps it was jealousy on my part - Coldplay has gotten too big for me... Chris Martin actually dedicated a song to Tom Brady, who was rumored to be in the audience and to have spent part of the day hanging out with the band.

Overall, The experience brought a flood of emotions - enjoyment, happiness, relief and sadness.
Sadness because this isn't the coldplay I remember. they played just one song (Yellow) off of their critically acclaimed/grammy award winning first album (Parachutes)... and less than half of their second (also grammy winning) album (rush of blood...).

Enjoyment - the songs they did play were beautiful at times - just the way I remember them...

Happiness - i'm glad to see Coldplay has found a new fan base and can go on without me... (i didn't suspect they'd have much "trouble")... they're doing well, better than when i loved them... it's good to see... i'm happy for them.

Relief/Closure - i was satisfied with my decision to move on... we can still remain casual friends - i will continue to enjoy their albums from time to time... especially the nostalgia of the old days (old albums)... but the love that was once there has definitely faded...

A few final notes -
-the confetti was shaped like butterflies... The indy/alternative band i used to know never would have gone that cheesy.

-I saw teenage girls who were so moved by the performance, they were still teary-eyed as i was leaving... or maybe their eyes were watering because they got poked in the face with the butterfly confetti...

-The 40-something year-old fat guy behind me was three sheets to the wind and kept up his ear-piercing whistling throughout the night... despite numerous death stares... he apologized a few times but continued whistling.... at one point, he screamed "the scientist!"... dude, really? Chris Martin to fat guy: Oh hey, fat drunk guy who isn't sitting even close to within an earshot of the stage, you want to hear "the scientist"? sure... i'll get right on that..

-Gweneth showed up, everyone went nuts... would have been cool to see her... (seinfeld was there too...)

-Special effects were well put together and definitely enhanced the show.

-Vocals on some heavier songs were hard to hear/understand

-Best song of the night : Politik (first song of the encore)... that song absolutely blows the roof off any venue they play anytime they play it (remember when they played it at the grammys?)

-runner up (a song i hadn't heard): "yes" - it's system of a down on a lot of Ritalin...

-the globe says drummer Will Champion is "the band's true MVP" - agreed.

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