Viva La Vida

Posted by jennifer gibson on Monday, July 30, 2012
Yes, I'm a HUGE Coldplay fan.  I went to their concert in Toronto last week.  Was it loud?  VERY.  I actually had to turn down my hearing aids. 

I almost didn't get in to see them perform.  I had gotten a ticket for my birthday through Kijiji.  It took three of us to make the arrangements to pick it up and have it delivered to me. 

By the time I got to Toronto on a hot, muggy day after a long drive, I was dismayed to discover that upon having it scanned in by the security staff, it wasn't valid.  I was directed to the Box Office and they checked it again, not valid.  It was a fake!  I was frantic and nearly in tears.  My dream of seeing Coldplay perform for the first time in my life was dashed right then and there. 

A tall security guard standing nearby saw me and asked what was going on.  I explained to him that I had gotten this ticket as a gift and wanted to buy another one but needed one close to the stage so that I could lip read the singer.  He told me to go ahead and get whatever was available and that he would move me elsewhere.  I was stunned.  I was sure that he was an angel in disguise. After I got a really cheap seat (rear stage and last of the few tickets available), he promptly escorted me through another security checkpoint to the Concierge desk and explained to them about my predicament, then he transferred me to yet another security escort.  Boy, by this point, I felt like a VIP member surrounded by bodyguards. 

Finally!  I emerged into the Air Canada Centre and onto the accessible platform.  They grabbed a folding chair and plunked it down about 20 rows away from the side of the stage.  I actually ended up not using the chair at all - everyone stood up as soon as the band came on the stage.  We all swayed, jumped, and danced non-stop, screaming like crazy for the ENTIRE show.  Thanks to the Xylobands, the arena glowed like colourful fireflies.  It was a beautiful sight to behold.  The show was filled with surprises from giant beach balls that bounced overhead, and massive plumes of flying confetti as well as an impromptu set in the middle of the crowd.  The band members played out their hearts and souls to such a large crowd.  Did I mention that it was completely sold out?  There was not a single empty seat to be seen anywhere.  They sang, strummed and banged on their drums as hard as they could just to be heard.  I could feel the bass thump through my chest, my body vibrating from the beats.  They worked so hard to please us and they went around the stage from all angles to acknowledge us, letting us know that they appreciated our enthusiasm.  

However, I had a hard time hearing the lyrics for about half of the songs, I got lost midway through until they played the more familiar tunes like Charlie Brown, Viva La Vida, Clocks, Paradise, and Every Teardrop is a Waterfall.  I don't know why it was such a struggle for me to follow the set list although it may be partially due to the fact that I was too far away from the stage or quite possibly an issue with the acoustics.  It was an impossible feat to lip read Chris Martin from the side.  FYI, he never stands still for very long.  He's like a hyperactive Tigger, leaping and bouncing all over the place. The more the crowd roared, the higher he jumped off the stage. 

While I realize that I was very, very lucky to have gotten in, I walked away with mixed feelings.  When I go to concerts, I usually have an intimate connection to the show, savoring the spirit of the performance and insane energy, flying high afterwards.  That wasn't the case here.  I felt empty, ripped off for not getting the seat that we originally paid for which was close to the stage on the floor.  I was heartbroken that I'd missed so many songs.  Was it because of my hearing loss that prevented me from enjoying it as much?  Was it my fault that I couldn't hear the lyrics?  I don't know.  There are too many variables at play here that leave me with more questions than answers. 

Meanwhile, I've been playing their songs here and seeing the band play again on stage in my mind's eye.  Now that's a neat trick...

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