I’m still on my Year of Having Fun, and this weekend was definitely one of the high points.
The last time I went to Manchester (in April) was to see Muse, with a crowd of about 20,000 people, and I loved every second of it.
This time… We went to see Coldplay. Only there were three times as many people! I can’t remember the last time I set foot in a football stadium, but I’m pretty sure it was tiny, a bit on the bare and grubby side, and with those super-uncomfortable plastic bucket seats you get in schools.
Um – not in Manchester. They had these big concrete spiral ramps to everyone to walk out (so the crowd management was excellent), it was clean and nice, there was proper leg room, and the seats were more comfortable than any theatre I’ve ever been to.
The gig itself – amazing. There were fireworks.
There was ticker tape (in the shape of stars and birds) and glitter.
There were balloons. (Just a bit smaller than the average Swiss/gym ball!)
But the effect I really loved? We all had wristbands. They lit up – sometimes all the same colour (yellow during Yellow and Fix You), sometimes different colours, sometimes at different times (you can see that in the balloon pic above). And it was so pretty, especially when it got dark.
The music was fabulous (and the sound quality was better than at any gig I’ve ever been to). The band didn’t just play on the big stage – they played at the end of the catwalk, and they did an acoustic set at the back (and they played Trouble, my all-time fave Coldplay song – I was crying by this point because I was so happy – pic below was middle stage).
What I really liked was that the band didn’t forget their roots. They thanked us for coming, they said they were blown away by us singing back their words to them and drowning them out (they must have that all the time with Fix You – but they still appreciated it), and they paid tribute to the person who gave them their first gig in Manchester in front of a tiny crowd.
And singing along to songs you love (OK, and dancing in front of my seat) along with 60,000 people who all felt the same way – now THAT was special.
What’s the most special thing you’ve been to lately?