Earlier this week, I thought about selling my Coldplay tickets. It didn’t look like anyone was going to be able to go with me, and I felt weird about going by myself, and it just didn’t seem worth driving all that way if I had to see the show alone.
Then Sam and I decided to go and come back in the same night, and I started to look forward to it a little more, but I was still stressing out about the drive and worrying about being so tired after the show.
It was worth it. Every single minute of it was worth it. It was so worth it, in fact, that I’d make the six-hour round trip drive every single day of the week if I knew I’d have an experience like that each time.
Click on the photo to see all of our photos from the show:
The story, including how we got such amazing pictures, follows.
The drive up was easy peasy. The toughest part was getting through Charlottesville during lunch hour, and even that wasn’t so bad. It was nothing like driving through the Beltway on our way to see U2. We got to Bristow around 2 and drove by the venue to check out the situation. There was a ton of road construction so it was slow going on most roads. The parking lot opened at 3, so we went back out toward the main road and got some food, and went to Target to get a new car charger for my cell phone, which was going dead. I’ve decided that we should make it a mission to visit a Target in every city we visit.
After we ate, we headed back to Nissan Pavilion and went in and parked. I’d say there were only maybe thirty cars or so when we got there. Lots of people were tailgating around us. We hung out for a while and killed time and then I started to get all stressed out because I didn’t know where people were lining up, or if they wouldn’t let us line up until a certain time or what. Sammi suggested we go over to line up at 5 (gates opened at 6) but I kept freaking out until she agreed to walk to the gates with me to see what was going on. When we got over there, some people had already started to line up, so we joined them. We were second in line at our gate behind these guys that we mistakenly thought were hot when we saw them in the rear-view mirror of the car earlier. Never trust the rear-view mirror.
We chatted very briefly with the dorky boys, who spent most of their waiting time drawing pictures of the Emerald City on a notepad. One guy would draw something and then the other guy would add to it, and they’d be like, “Dude! I was going to draw a river! Why’d you draw it?” I wish I were creative enough to make shit like that up.
Sammi and I had been debating about whether or not we’d run when they let us through the gates. I think we’d decided we weren’t going to run, because that would be stupid. So, in keeping with that plan, when they let us through the gate we immediately ran like hell.
We got banded and went into the pit, where we got a space about three rows back. That seemed pretty lucky and awesome. Then Sammi decided to go around and see if there was any space on the rail, and she found a clear space on the other side of the stage – so I ran over there and that’s where we stayed for the rest of the show. At one point I was almost dying from lack of water (“I have a very low tolerance for dehydration”) and the guy behind us graciously agreed to hold my space while I went to buy water. He was awesome. Just about everyone around us was awesome.
FRONT. ROW. Holy crap.
Rilo Kiley was cool and great and fine. Unfortunately, I pretty much forgot they existed once Coldplay came on stage, because Coldplay was fucking AMAZING.
Seriously. The whole band is great, and we knew that, but what I did not know is that Chris Martin has this unbelievable stage presence that is absolutely magnetic. It was really hard to pay attention to the other guys and not watch Chris the whole time. I have no idea how he does that show over and over again without falling down and dying. It was awesome awesome awesome. And then it was awesome some more.
And! They did “Trouble!” It’s my favorite of all their songs, and it’s the reason I bought Parachutes and the reason I’m such a huge fan. They haven’t done it in most of their shows on this tour and I wasn’t expecting them to do it here, and they did! It was beautiful.
And and also! In the middle of every show, the band members grab disposable cameras and take a bunch of pictures and then chuck them out into the audience. And Sammi caught the one Jonny Buckland threw, which is why we have those kickass pictures up there. All the people around us congratulated her, which was pretty cool. The guy at Target thought I was a dork today though when I asked him to give me back the disposable case. I don’t care, though – Sam wants to keep it.
We thought U2 was the best show we’d ever been to, and it really was incredible. But we were so lucky and had such a great time last night that the U2 show doesn’t hold a candle to this one. Sammi feels like a traitor saying that, but I don’t. I love Coldplay and U2 about equally, so I probably would have enjoyed both concerts equally. But lots of people get to go to concerts and sit in the upper mezzanine (as we did in Philly). Our experience last night, though, was one that most people don’t get to have in a lifetime.
We felt so close to the show and so engaged that we almost forgot about the people behind us. There were a few times when we turned around and looked back there, and it was seriously an ocean of people just as far back as we could possibly see. I imagine it’s pretty easy for a performer to get drunk on that.
It was fantastic. Quite possibly the best night of my life.