Usually I do not book tickets for concerts that fall over any long weekend, as that is usually family time with vacation plans nearby or far. Trust me, I have been burnt before! But then this is Coldplay and I love them. And thankfully my wife does too! So when I got to know back in Feb that they will be touring this year there was no question about it and I booked 2 tickets without even checking with my wife and that too on her credit card (had some Citi Preferred Seating options, finally was able to put her card to good use!) Then around June new plans materialized for our moms to visit us in the US for the first time and return just after this Labor Day weekend so added pressure to make this holiday count. But I held steady, someone will need to make some sacrifices (so that I get to see Coldplay Live in action!) So after a quick overnight trip to a beach town nearby (Monterey, CA) we were back home by early evening and after a short rest, ready for Coldplay.
Now there were two opening acts and Coldplay was supposed to get on stage by 9 PM so when we reached Levi’s Stadium by 7:45 PM and picked up the will-call tickets (as I had misplaced the one’s I got back in March) I thought we were good on time. But Levi’s Stadium with a capacity of around 68,000 is HUGE! And after we had walked for what seemed like a long time to just get to the end of the line that will get us in to the main floor seating, I have to say I broke into a tiny cold sweat. Thankfully I remembered that there was another entrance to the floor seating and following a hunch we were rewarded with a much shorter line and by 8:30 PM was seated and ready for Coldplay! And since they started promptly at 9 PM I am sure we would have missed the beginning of the show if we had stayed on that much much longer queue.
Now we knew from the bands on everyone’s wrists that it will be similar to the last one in 2012 but we had no idea that it was going to be this colorful and vibrant and lively and psychedelic. This time they just catapulted the whole experience to a different level, spellbound and speechless and deliriously engaged are the least I can say.
I have been a fan of Coldplay for a long time now, love all their earlier albums (Parachutes, A Rush of Blood to the Head, X & Y) but the interest dipped at Viva La Vida as I couldn’t initially connect to the album as a whole; also I had got heavily into Radiohead. The next one – Mylo Xyloto – came out as I freshly landed into the US and was going through a very lonely phase; I used to listen to that album compulsively then as it brought back a sense of who I really was (not because of the music itself but due to my past life associations to them). And precisely for that reason I do not listen to that album now as it takes me back to a painful time. Then Ghost Stories came and went and I didn’t even bother checking it out until one day about a year back a long lost cousin of mine pinged me out of the blue and asked me to give this a listen. And I was hooked again; I had started to feel that their music had become too superficial, that they were trying too hard to be great and in the process were losing the soul of their music. But Ghost Stories, which many say is Chris’ divorce album, brought them (and me) back in touch with our painful and true selves and in my opinion it is one of their best and most intimate albums. And then this, A Head Full of Dreams, another Mylo Xyloto by the looks of it and I gave this a pass too as I was still hooked to Ghost Stories and didn’t want to spoil the taste. But a week before this concert, started my preparation by listening to their songs all over again and to this new album as well in the process and have to say they do have some good numbers, some very upbeat, some mellower, some that will stand the test of their fan’s time and some that will quickly fade away (as they don’t really register even now). But I have understood my folly, Coldplay is not Radiohead and shouldn’t be compared to either. They are both very different beasts, one gloom and doom and the other a smile in the face of a world going mad! To tap into the current pulse of decay and despair and exemplify it into a tunes of melancholic beauty isn’t easy, but trying to fight that decay, that despair and trying to instill hope and heart into us futilitarians is a much much harder job and Coldplay is attempting this admirably!
- Concert#: 97
- Season: 2016
- Date: 3-September-2016
- Band/Artist: Coldplay
- Tour Name: A Head Full of Dreams
- Supporting acts: Lots
- Venue: Levi’s Stadium
- City: Santa Clara, CA
- Setlist: Coldplay @ Santa Clara, CA – 3-Sep-2016
- Fun Fact: Waited in line for 45 mins to get a t-shirt after the show and finally got the last S-sized one as the person in front of me chose another over that!
- My Concert Quotient: 5/5