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Coldplay @ Alpine Valley, 7/25/09

[gallery order="DESC" columns="2"] My first thought when I think of the Coldplay concert last weekend is immediately mad props to Manny, head of backstage security at Alpine Valley.  I’ll get into the details later. When I first heard the news that I had won the contest to be Triple M’s Backstage Blogger at the Coldplay concert four days later my first thought was literally, What should I wear? And honestly, that question did not come from simple vanity.  Of course, I wanted to look good when I got to meet Coldplay backstage, but more importantly I was seriously wondering about my comfort.  You see, July 25th marked two months until my first baby is due—which raised serious questions about comfortable footwear, wearing just enough clothes so as not to overheat, and making sure I could disrobe quickly and efficiently when the need to go to the bathroom struck.  I’m not sure Triple M has ever had another 7-month-pregnant Backstage Blogger. If I am the first, I am honored. My instructions were to meet an official person from the Coldplay management at the will call window by 7pm and then be escorted backstage for my official meet and greet with the band.  My husband, Christian, and I got to Alpine Valley plenty early, bought a poster for Coldplay to sign (part of my winnings was a beautiful Coldplay plaque with their discography—which Capitol Records wisely sent to MMM before the show so the pregnant lady wouldn’t have to lug it around at the concert), used the bathroom (of course) and waited as instructed at will call.  Well, 7pm came and went and no one at the will call window had any idea who we needed to meet.  At 7:20pm, still no sign of the person we needed to meet, feeling like our chance to go backstage was quickly slipping through our fingers, we decided to take matters into our own hands.  A woman who was one of the gate managers (and the one who told us that the Dave Matthews Band concert the weekend before had the worst, rowdiest crowd she had ever seen…hmmm) deftly hooked us up with Manny, an official looking guy with the word SECURITY emblazoned on his shirt.  He was head of backstage security, never up by the entrance gates, and looking for a group of people just like Christian and I who were waiting to go backstage.  Needless to say, the rest of the group we were supposed to be with was already backstage, and due to the confusion, Christian and I got our own personal escort down to the coveted backstage gates.  Thanks Manny!!! The official meet and greet was neat and tidy. Christian and I, along with contest winners from Milwaukee, Chicago, Rockford, and elsewhere were put in a line to efficiently have our minute or two to say hello to the guys, get a quick photo snapped by the record label rep, and have our Coldplay paraphernalia signed.  It wasn’t quite the leisurely conversation I had dreamed up in my mind, “How’s Gwen?  Is Viva la Vida biographical? Chris, do you feel like in his recent performances Kanye has stolen some of your signature dance moves?”  But, in the two minutes we had, we did have a laugh—that I was either having a baby or had a great affinity for beer (that was Chris’ joke), I told the guys to play well because though she’s in utero, my daughter can still hear everything, and drummer Will quipped that I had their youngest fan with me, negative 2 months.   Really nice guys. My favorite part of the meet and greet was simply observing Chris Martin’s pre-show attire.  Of course they look rockin on stage with their matching retro army gear.  But to see rock-star to the max Chris Martin wearing a red t-shirt, skinny gray sweat pants (circa 1985) and Asics running shoes.   Who woulda thought…? The show was spectacular.  From beginning to end a well produced, thought-through visual and audio masterpiece.  I am a big fan of their music, which pleasantly they didn’t deviate from too much, staying pretty true to the originals.  But, coupled with the buzz of the crowd, some fantastic lighting, video effects and other crowd-enticing elements (butterfly shaped confetti, huge yellow balloons let loose into the crowd during, you guessed it, Yelllow), the concert showed me a new depth to the emotional, anthematic power of their music. A few highlights for me were the middle of their first set starting with In My Place, when Chris really amped up his stage presence and almost sprinted back and forth from the ends of the stage.  Then they played Yellow, a bit faster than the studio version, complete with yellow lighting and the aforementioned yellow balloons, which consequently held yellow confetti that exploded upon the balloon popping.  Great visual.  And a new favorite of mine, Glass of Water, (found on the recently released Prospekt’s March, an epilogue to Viva la Vida) a happy song in a 7/4 time signature for you music theory buffs out there.  The video visual effects on the hanging ball screens that matched the meter of the music were super-impressive. At a couple points in the show, the guys took the music to small stages up in the crowd.  We sat five rows up and ten seats over from one of these stages.  It was so awesome.  While Chris did a solo version of The Hardest Part, the skies opened up and rain poured down on the whole spectacle.  It was so beautiful (and even more beautiful that our seats were just enough under the canopy of the amphitheater that we didn’t get soaked—sorry lawn crowd!). Though we waited an hour and a half to get out of that crazy parking lot, tired and pregnant, it was entirely worth it!  Thanks Triple M for the opportunity, thanks Manny for the backstage escort, thanks Coldplay for the free live CD with highlights of your tour that you gave to everyone at the show, and thanks Chris for wearing those ugly Asics on stage just so I felt like I knew something as a Backstage Blogger that no one else knew. --Betsy Ezell

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08/03/2009 11:34AM
Coldplay @ Alpine Valley, 7/25/09
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Wicked Tickets... February 5th, 2009 LONDON- Singer and actress Jessica Simpson shocked fans at a concert when she walked off in tears after quite a few goof- ups. The singer was opening for band Rascal Flatts at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but the 38...
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