Monday, August 13, 2012

Paradise 777

On Saturday night, I had the chance to go see Coldplay at the Xcel Center in St. Paul as part of their Mylo Xyloto tour. I bought the tickets with a friend from book club back in January, so I have been looking forward to this for a VERY long time!

Initially, the appearance in St. Paul was scheduled for one show and the best seats sold out quickly. We were a smidgen behind schedule in booking ours, so all that was really left were these seats "beside" the stage. I was unsure what that was going to be like - especially because Ticketmaster warned us that our view would be "obstructed" - but it turned out to be totally awesome!! 

Here's a shot of the arena before things really got underway. The Xcel is where Minnesota's pro hockey team, the Wild, play and is reputed to have awesome sightlines for hockey. We were in the uppermost balcony level which was fine, though the pitch up there is pretty steep. We both were hanging on for dear life as we made our way down the steps to settle in! 

The first opening act was Charli XCX, and we missed most of her performance. The second opening act was Marina and the Diamonds.
I enjoyed her set more than I thought I would. She had moments where I thought I was listening to Adele, others where I thought she was Sissel (a Norwegian singer with a haunting voice), and still others where she had a Katy Perry sound. I think the Katy Perry-style stuff was probably meant to be ironic, but I enjoyed it! 

Then, it was time for the big moment: COLDPLAY! 
Just after the opening song, Chris Martin announced that this was the band's 777th gig and that we were going to have an f-ing good time. We sure did! This was my first Coldplay concert, and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing them whenever they come back.

I was particularly impressed by the band's ability to turn songs that, on the CDs, seem like ballads into rocking jams. If you want to see the setlist, click here. I think most unexpected was that each time they leaned on the "yeahs" in the chorus in "In my place," confetti shot all over the place. For a song that can be a downer when you're at home, it was totally uplifting. The crowd loved all of it! 

I have to say, too, that this concert was the very best concert I have ever attended. I'm about to reveal some spoilers, though since Saturday was their last North American date for Mylo Xyloto, I don't think I'll be ruining anything for you guys. 

As we entered the arena, we were given wristbands: 
Each band had a little box connected to a circular strap with a slider. We put them on (according to the directions broadcasted on the screen) and then waited for the magic! 

Surprisingly, it was the strap (rather than the little box) that lit up! What's more, the wristbands (known as "xylobands," according to the label on the inside of the box), lit up in time with the music. I wouldn't describe them as keeping the beat, but instead pulsing along with the strumming of the guitar, for example. 

It was breathtaking to watch them all come on together! 

Seriously, one of the very coolest things I have ever seen at a concert! 
With that and the stage shaped like a guitar, it was a sight to behold. 

As incredible as these still shots are, the live thing is so much more incredible. I attempted to make a video, but had some serious technical difficulties. I found this one on the internet and thought you might like to watch it! 

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