Despite living less than an hour and a half away, I don’t do New York City. I’ve only been four times in my whole life. To see the Rockettes, to see Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, and to see the Phillies at Shea Stadium. But after reading that Coldplay, my absolute favorite band, was giving up touring for the next three years, and they would play two last shows in Brooklyn with Jay-Z, one of my favorite rappers, I was willing to make the trip.
I’d watched the two of them play a mesmerizing, unforgettable show at the Paralympics Closing Ceremony in London in September that Connor was lucky enough to attend, so I was so excited to see them live for myself. My sister had gone online right when the tickets went on sale and got tickets for herself, my brother, and me.
There are few bands I love as much as Coldplay. When I hear the first note of their songs, it’s an instant calm. Coldplay’s music was built for a stadium and the whole show is an experience. Every show is different, and Chris Martin never plays a song the same twice. You could play me their live shows from Glastonbury, from London, from Paris, from Brooklyn, and I can usually tell you, just based on the way he’s singing or a shift in lyrics where and when it was played.
When Connor got to see them in London, excitement barely covered it. He wasn’t too much of a fan, but by the end of the night, I’d received a “Coldplay was awesome!!!!!!!!” text. That was eight exclamation points. I counted. The first time I saw them was at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia on their Viva la Vida tour in high school. They were magical, unbelievable, and I was instantly counting down the days until I saw them again. But when they started the Mylo Xyloto tour, I was in England and they were touring Stateside. And when I came home, they were back touring Europe. So I wasn’t missing this chance to see them so close to home.
Sunday after the Eagles game, my entire family packed up in the car and drove up the Garden State Parkway towards Brooklyn. After a short walk, we finally made it to the behemoth Barclays Center, it’s blue walls and LED screens lighting up the Brooklyn streets. We were given xylobands upon entering, little wristbands with “COLDPLAY 2012” written on them that light up in time to the music.
After the opening act, Jay-Z began the show, belting his hit, “99 Problems,” to the crowd of 20,000+. I might be the small, suburban girl from Philly, but I know every single word to one of my favorite rap songs, and I proudly threw up my diamonds for Hova while belting every word. It would be Jay’s only song of the night, but boy did he make if count.
When Coldplay took the stage and the xylobands were lit, the roar was deafening, and didn’t stop the whole night. We never sat down, never stopped singing, and there was never a word I didn’t know. This was my band; this was my show. I’d seen video of the xylobands lit, but experiencing it in person was magical. The band, the crowd were on fire.
Coldplay know their audience and they always mix in their old crowd-pleasers with their newest hits. At Glastonbury in 2011, they played songs off their yet-to-be-released album, Mylo Xyloto. Chris Martin pleaded with the crowd to bear with him because while no one had ever heard the songs at that point, one day, he said, they’ll be some of your favorites. He was right, and the sounded even more amazing this time around.
The show was unbelievable and I was so ecstatic to watch my favorite band in Brooklyn. My xyloband sits proudly on my dresser, and it was a night I won’t soon forget. See you in three years, Coldplay!
Excuse my sister’s singing below…