Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Coldplay at the O2 Arena (also known as the Millennium Dome)

Have you ever been to a gig in an airport? Well roll right up to the O2 arena, almost as cold inside as it was outside!
Yes, last night I went to see Coldplay at the O2, or the Dome, as it actually is. I last went to the Dome for a rave up in about 2001 and I just remember trudging around in a tatty pink dress, wide-eyed and freezing my arse off, and dreading the tube journey home (actually, it was good fun). But this was something completely different. The Dome has turned into a shopping centre, a trendy wine bar, and a big fuck off arena, all mangled together.
I think we must have bought these Coldplay tickets sometime back in 1998, because since then, I split up with my ex, moved house, changed jobs, lost my cat to a killer parasite and er... stopped liking Coldplay.
But actually, I was wrong to be too negative. You may mock, but those middle-class marker-pen loving boys put on a pretty good show. The O2 arena itself is vile; a huge expanse, with virtually no good seats, and believe me, it's ALL seats. No standing! I'd have sobbed if I'd seen Morrissey there, but he'd probably chew his own arm off to sell out three nights there, veggie or not.
We had reasonably good spots in theory, but unless you are sitting in the front row, pretty much all the seats were shit. Nice and comfy though; mmm! You appreciate this sort of thing as you age. I'd recommend binoculars if you're going to see The Killers there.
Sitting at a gig is morally wrong anyway, and the crowd were as you'd expect; bland scunt-wearing boyfriends, drab girls and older couples out past their bedtimes. The girl sitting next to me was eating a salad. The man in front of my seat, in a jaunty polo-neck, behaved the entire show as if he was getting sent to prison tomorrow and was determined to have the night of his life, no matter what. His dancing would have made a gay man weep.
But at least people did stand and dance I suppose, even if we were all forced into our designated space. Oh, a word on the support bands; the first seemed absolutely drowned by the venue, but the singer had a nice enough voice (do you expect me to look this shit up?). More peculiarly were the second support band, an ambient/techno outfit with acid-trip animations. They seemed entirely out of place; I almost felt like it was 2001 again; except they weren't very good. Hopefully they upset some of the old folk though.
And then. Everyone's favourite gawky, fuzzy-haired, movie-star fucker. I can't remember what they opened with but the whole show was like one big greatest hits set, which was good, really. Personally I don't want to sit through Spies, or any of that dreary shit. The hits just kept coming; there was only one song I didn't particularly like, and before the gig I could only name about three songs I DID like, so that says something, surely. The lights were spectacular; loads of lasers, freakish bally things with Chris Martin's distorted mug on, and during Lovers in Japan, so many paper butterflies fell from the sky, hat I suspect Coldplay single-handedly destroyed a decent-sized rainforest. Save the trees! My dear friend JOTV would have liked the balloons, but I suspect he's too cool for Coldplay.
I'd never seen Coldplay live before; and I have to say, they are definitely worth a look. Chris Martin threw himself around the stage like a slimy toy you'd chuck at a wall; like a mad-man being electrocuted by his pajamas. He can't dance, but he puts the effort in, and that's the main thing. I liked the little electro-medley they did when they all stood together and did God Put a Smile on my Face and something else (?!). I was happy to hear The Scientist played live, but the bestest thing was The Hardest Part, which is my top ten songs of all time. It's just heartbreakingly good (I got dumped to it once and it left it's grubby mark on me). They did a nice pianoey version. The new album was hammered, but not battered, and it was very singalongy.
Coldplay also came into the crowd at one point and sang Jingle Bells with (fucking) Simon Pegg on harmonica. It was good cos they were pretty near us. Simon Pegg is pretty insufferable, but hey, at least it wasn't Jay-Z.
And yeah, that was about it. All the hits, no sweat, and we even got a seat on the tube. Gigs shouldn't be this easy. Roll on the Morrissey scrum.


coxon le woof said...

I don't really get all the hate towards Coldplay or Chris Martin. I think a lot of what he says is self deprecating and not at all serious but people take him at face value.

And I mostly like Coldplay. I've seen them live a few times and my experiences sound like yours just read. They've always been pretty good. Pretty reliable if not earth shattering. Though the chances of me seeing them again are slim as I hate the kind of enormo venues they're playing now.

* (asterisk) said...

Coldplay are shit, though Chris Martin is okay as a self-deprecator. Still makes godawful shit music, though. Stuff you'd rather kill yourself than listen to.

Made me guffaw that you went to see them. That's three people I know who like Coldplay now. Almost makes me unable to take them seriously, you'll be pleased to hear.