Sunday, August 07, 2005

Random Thoughts from Coldplay

I saw Coldplay last night (Saturday, August 6) at the Tweeter Center, or as all of my New England-native colleagues correct me, "You mean Great Woods?" Yes, that's what I meant to say.

I won't try to fully sum up this wonderful concert, but here are a few impressions of the evening:

--These guys may well be going for the title "second most popular band in the world" (jokingly said in reference to that late, unlamented band Extreme, but we know they mean U2), and they're working hard to get there. Excellent, well-thought-out song set, robustly played.

--Highlight of the evening: Chris Martin running around the arena slapping hands with audience members during "In My Place" with a security guard chugging gamely behind. He asked us to sing for him as he ran. Since Martin took off during an instrumental section, it was a hoot to hear the crowd (myself included) join in at precisely the right moment for the last two lines of the song as he jumped back onstage--and collapsed in mock exhaustion. (Author's note: The Globe reviewer,Steve Morse, in an otherwise excellent review, said this happened during "Speed of Sound." He's wrong; it was during the three-song encore. "Speed of Sound" came much earlier in the show.)

--Always bring earplugs for your 10-year-old son. No matter how much you like the music, little kids get overwhelmed by the overamplified sound of a big show. Thanks to the anonymous Tweeter Center staffer who saw The Boy's discomfort and gave him his extra pair of plugs.

--When the opening act is someone you've never heard of and likely won't again, bring a magazine. It's light till past 9 o'clock in early August. You can put it away just in time for the main attaction. (Buh-bye, Black Mountain. You know you're in trouble when the Globe calls you "dreary" and most of the crowd seems to agree.)

--It's true: When a famous singer bothers to put local references into the act, it always gets 'em. "Thank you, Massachusetts, for letting us come back!"

--Is America getting clean, or what? It was at least 9:45 before I smelled my first whiff of pot. Of course, that could have had more to do with (a) the direction of the breeze and (b) concertgoers waiting for the sun to set before lighting up to avoid the watchful eyes of the staff.

--Always schedule your outdoor concert-going on such a beautiful night. Perfect weather.

--Although the T.C. french fries come with the ridiculous price of $5.50, they are delicious.

--Another highlight: Dropping big yellow balloons on the audience to pop during the band's first hit, "Yellow," (still not sure what that's supposed to symbolize) then finding they're filled with confetti. Hey, who says these guys only do mope-rock? I couldn't detect a mopey moment all evening. (Until the hour-long wait to get out of the parking lot ... but that's for another post.)

--When the band hasn't yet played its current showpiece number (in this case "Fix You," which they performed at Live8), you know they're coming back for an encore. Think about it for a minute and don't leave! I realize it's tough to get out of the parking lot (see above), but it was worth a much longer wait to hear the last three songs, including--surprise!--"Fix You."


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