Sunday, June 14, 2009


K decided sometime around January that we were going to see Coldplay when they came to town. He told me he wasn't telling me how much it was because I would try to talk him out of it and we deserved to do something fun and out of the ordinary (at least for us). He took care of getting the tickets and I marked the date on my calendar. When I recently got hired, one of the first things I did was make sure it was alright for me to have that day off so I could spend the whole day getting ready for and then enjoying Coldplay.

The first song I ever heard by them was "Yellow." It is such a lovely song and I was impressed by this band I'd never heard of before. I have every album, including that first one and have consistently listened to all of them. I loved when Starbucks decided to make them a featured artist and we could listen to at least the album XY while working.

Now, let me talk about seeing live music. Nothing else makes my heart come alive quite like seeing a live show. For some reason, I've forgotten this over the past couple of years and haven't been to many shows. But for awhile, I was going to every show I could figure out how to get myself to. I've seen big shows and little ones, bands I knew very well, and bands I never heard of but instantly became a devoted fan of. I've driven pretty good distances and I've gone down the street. I used to have a handful of friends that not only would happily accompany me, but would seek out artists and shows themselves.

My favorite band to see live for a long time has been Dave Matthews Band. They are phenomenal anyway, but live, there's an extra flair. They are thoroughly about the music and that is my number one qualifier for loving a band. I like how they play songs from their entire catalog and they put together songs that you would never think could segue into each other but do seamlessly somehow. They don't do big sets, they aren't showy, they aren't pretentious.

My second favorite show that I've ever been to was Jars of Clay at Spirit West Coast Del Mar the first year that festival showed up in Southern California. They sang their hearts out and debuted an album that had solid bluegrass roots and it was seriously amazing. My dad and I shivered as the sea breeze rolled in, but the music kept us warm enough to be enthralled and disappointed when the set was over.

And thirdly, The Benjamin Gate. This random Christian band that came out of South Africa with one of the most amazing sounds I've heard from ANY band. It is so refreshing to me to hear a Christian band that is also musically innovative because it is kind of rare. Jars of Clay fits in that category and that's one of the reasons why I love them. Anyway, the lead singer had bright orange hair, one of the guitar players had these insane sunglasses that wrapped over the top of his head, and the bass player was all over the stage which is highly unusual for a bass player. The music was fantastic and the band seemed so pleasantly surprised to have a crowd watching and to be enjoying seeing California for the first time. I refused to like Jeremy Camp for a long time because when he and the lead singer of The Benjamin Gate, Adrienne, got married, the band split up. Luckily for him, and me, she recorded a solo album a little bit ago. :)

I've seen concerts where the pyrotechnics and lights and set design seemed way more important than anything else. Or lead singers who really felt the audience should be worshipping them as they sang. Both of these things really annoy me. I'm a music snob. I want people who create music to be doing it for the love of the music, not the love of fame. Everyone should be so lucky to be able to earn money doing something they truly love. The best concerts are given by bands who love what they do, are good at it, and appreciate the audience being there. Anything else is gravy.

Let me tell you, Coldplay brought the gravy.

I really had no idea that a band could combine amazing light effects, fun sets, crazy stunts, AND amazing soul quenching music. They played songs from every album and really rocked out the stadium. This was the first time they'd been to San Antonio, and I do believe they'll be back.

"Yellow" was played as a fast song as giant yellow balloons filled with confetti were tossed through the audience. There were these things that looked kind of like giant lightbulbs that lowered at points and had art, words, or just live footage of the band on them. So cool! During the song "42", there was a live feed of the band that looked kind of like a music video or one of those behind the scenes kind of deals, but it was live feed. I never saw where the cameras where! That's impressive to me, because so often the cameras are obtrusive. Chris Martin played guitar and piano at different points and danced all over the stage.

There was a point where the band suddenly walked off the stage into the crowd. They were walking with a purpose and a specific location in mind but I was still surprised when they walked to a part of the ATT Center that already had instruments for them. There was just enough room for all four members to stand and sing/play guitar. The drummer sang a song, they did the band introductions, and led us in the first known cell phone wave at the AT&T Center.

Song after song... It was truly fantastic. Then at the end, they told us about the other two bands that had played and mentioned that on the way out, they had a little thank you note for us. We each got a cd! It was a recording of part of a show they did on this tour so it's kind of like a little piece of the show right in my truck right now.

And speaking of the other bands, let me tell you that Snow Patrol totally kicks ass. I've liked them for awhile, but I really enjoyed them live as well. And the first band was Howling Bells and they hail from Australia. Please do yourself a favor and check them out! You won't be disappointed. Especially if you like the aforementioned The Benjamin Gate. :)

Basically I feel lucky to have a boyfriend who brought live music back into my life in such a fantastic and over the top way. We had awesome seats and such a fabulous evening. I hope we can make live music a much bigger part of our date nights and whatnot. I have some ideas on how to do that... I'll try to keep you posted!

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