Despite my battle with a really nasty cold, Crown and I ventured out into the core last night to take in the second night of the sold-out Coldplay show at the Air Canada Centre.
We originally got tickets via Ticketmaster auction several months ago (proceeds go to charity, so I felt better about the extravagent expense) and both really wanted to see Richard Ashcroft, who opened the show with an hour-long set. Mostly new stuff off his recently released album (so-so) but also a few "hits" from the Verve's last album: "The Drugs Don't Work", "Lucky Man" and of course "Bittersweet Symphony". The latter got the entire AAC up on their feet, and although Crown was disappointed that it took "that song" for people to stand up, I got my usual rush of adrenaline from a room of 30,000 singing together as one.
And what a rush that is. For me, it's as good as any drug I've ever done. I can't imagine what it must be like for whichever performer happens to be up on that stage at the time.
Richard may be down, but he ain't out. He sounded amazing and is as hot (in that skinny rocker way) as ever. I hope he'll find some well-deserved success and acclaim in the near future.
Chris Martin definitely got it right when he told the crowd that for them to play following Ashcroft, felt like Michael Bolton following the Beatles.
The Coldplay portion of the evening exceeded all my expectations with a beautiful show, some really fun effects (giant balloons filled with gold ticker tape dropped from the ceiling during "Yellow") and even a heart-felt tribute to the late, great Johnny Cash.
As with the recent Depeche Mode show, the normally reserved, quiet Toronto crowd out did themselves last night. It probably helped that Chris Martin stroked out egos by coming out on stage half an hour before showtime to tell us that they were filming the show for the concert DVD. He claimed this to be his favourite city to perform in. Truth is probably more along the lines of cheaper production costs, but I'm trying not to be cynical today.
Either way the sold-out crowd was on their feet and singing together for the entire show. I had goosebumps, especially during slower songs when instead waving burning hot Bic lighters, the enire stadium waved open cell phones. It sounds kind of sickning I know, but the result was honestly quite breathtaking. Glowing blue lights from nearly every person in the crowd. It may say something about the priorities in our city, but I was still thrilled that people were on their feet and feeling the moment.
I took a few minutes here and there to turn around and face the rest of the stadium (we were on centre floor, 13th row) and just take in the crowd. It's awesome in the truest sense of the word.
The night was, what I like to call, a GTM. Good Toronto Moment.
I love this city more than I let on and sometimes it takes a near-Spring evening in the downtown core with 30,000 singing Torontonians to remind me just how much.
Crown and I have been dealing with the expensiveness of living in this big old city a lot lately, but last night, holding hands a little buzzed from bass and beer, walking through the bustling streets with throngs of satisfied concert-goers and cabbies hunting for their next fat fare, I remembered what makes it all so worthwhile.