Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Coldplay only in L.A.

It's been a while since I had one of those truly City of Angels' experiences, but the Coldplay concert I went to Monday night was more than just a fucking amazing show. It was a musical triumph that could only have happened in the view of the Hollywood sign (which we were, since the show was at the legendary Hollywood Bowl).

First off the show starts at 7:30 p.m. and my roommate, Scott, and I were there early unlike most of the crowd (as per usual). We were sitting next to a British 20-something woman with her mom? and these two larger dudes (in fact one was more than just large, if you know what I mean). But it was early so luckily there was plenty of space for everyone. Well, until later when two other guys move in to claim spots 103 and 104, bumping the two big dudes to seats 101 and 102. Basically meaning that the bigger dude ends up with half his ass hanging off the edge of the seat and into the aisle. he moved up to the row behind until of course those people showed up and pushed him back to the cramped seats of row 12. he even asked the two 103-104 dudes to move over into the empty seats 105-106, but they refused. too bad for the large dude. honestly, it appeared that it might come to blows, it didn't. dammit.

As the opening acts kept playing and the nine o'clock hour approached, our section (S, row 12 far far far away from the stage) started to fill up -- with other older young-people types that reeked of online retail catalog shopping (and the large dudes). however, there were still four empty seats in the row in front of us and like 6 empty seats in the row behind us.

just before Coldplay is about to take the stage (9 p.m.ish) a group of four early 20-something young women plop down in front of us. From their young age, tank tops, tight pants and low-cut garments, these girls are ready to party. The rest of our not-quite-out-of-our-youth section collectively rolls it eyes... as they bust out the cigarettes, liquor (in a water bottle) and brie cheese. (what the hell is that doing at a rock show, btw?)

then like four women roll up the aisle also, apparently youngish and partyish and lo and behold they know the four women who are rocking and rolling in front of us. so after much jockeying through the aisles and knee banging (because no one in LA stands up to let people pass, they just push their knees into the bench) they all hug in the aisle. the section rolls its eyes again.

eventually everyone takes their seats and anticipation is ramping up (to use one of my least favorite journalistic phrases). two other women (our 27ish age apparently) head up the aisle. they file in behind us (banging the requisite knees). they are trying to claim seats which are holding two dudes. after being told they were in the wrong row, the girls head down the aisle a few rows ahead of us. whoops. turns out those were the correct seats behind us. so they head back up and down the row behind us (more knee bumping).

"those are our fucking seats!" screams one of the two women, who was lied to admittedly, but still the F-Bomb seems a bit excessive. "get the fuck out of our seats!"

more eye rolling. well, eventually the pre-show drama ends and the show starts. thank something (God if you're so inclined).

they open with Politik and a hypnotoadesque light show that actually put myself and others into a cataonia. i'm not sure if Coldplay meant to do that.

Well, the show continues and it's fabulous, at least that which we were able to hear.... there were a few interruptions. First, the girls in front of us decide it's time to light up. no problem, it's a concert, people are going to smoke. but watching someone try to light the wrong end of a cigarette is really funny and distracts from listening to music a tad.

but the show continues, the band gets better and the audience of 18,000 is thrilled (especially the singing and dancing chicas in front of us). whoooo-hooo! well, then a woman behind us spills a drink on the woman next to Scott. she is pissed, bigtime. the girl who spilled the drink is apologizing, but there is just a touch of insincerity in her voice. enough to further inflame the situation. and on top of the distraction, it didn't even lead to a fight, dammit.

the show continues and the girls in front of us and actually people all around us are using their cellphones. and not just to call friends and scream "whooooo-hoooo! i'm at the coldplay show" and to hold up their phones so their friends can listen. but to have like regular conversations, that just happened to be taking place at a Coldplay show. how LA....

"i'm at the show... the band's kinda loud... i can't hear you... the show's OK... What's up with you?" thankfully someone shushed her (it's the same woman who was spraying F-Bombs). bad form. bad form. bad form. what is she doing at this concert? dammit.

this honestly, though, was just one of at least a dozen like personal cell phone calls that happened in section S. gotta love LA, right?

of course, there was far more creative cell phone use to come. the girls in front of us were holding up their cell phones with the faces facing the stage. i noticed that the girls were making sure the backlights were lit while they were holding their phones, which they weren't smart enough to reset their options to make permanent, so like every 20 seconds they had to hit a button.

"cell phones are the new lighters!" an over-excited gal in front of my roommate reveals to him. at one point the same girl asks my roommate if her standing up is blocking his view. well, the Hollywood Bowl has a great steep angle so you can always see, and to make this situation better she was like 4 feet tall. he tells her it's cool.

the girl who got spilled on though ain't buying it. She tells scott that he should have told her to sit down. HELLO! it's a freaking rock concert.

[btw, right now, i'm watching elimidate and this gross out peroxide blonde is mauling a guy in the facial area (his words) for like 1:01 (an elimidate record).]

ok, so the show continues and it's even more amazing. lead singer chris martin is spazzing all over the stage, in a good energy way. great piano, great singer, strong audience rapport. i mean even the two large dudes are enjoying the show and the bigger dude's ass is hanging off into the aisle. best part, the two people next to me never showed so there was plenty of room for everyone actually. oh well, some times life provides nice side shows.

[elimidate is making me sick right now, but of course i am watching it and loving the train wreck.]

um, what else really great happened at the show. well, the music was amazing. but by now the drama was pretty much (finally over).

then the show ends and the scene picks up again. the really loud F-bomb spraying girl starts screaming out how she "likes feeling balls" refering to the dudes near her and then she proceeds to tap away at his crotch. whatthefuckisgoingon? i've actually found a way to hate her more.

eventually after like 40 minutes we get out of the Hollywood bowl. the people traffic there is ridiculous. like one 15-foot-wide lane and 18,000 people are not a good combo. especially not when people are stopping to buy t-shirts (which I did, too).

when we get to the parking lot, we are beyond-ecstatic in words that English doesn't adequately describe not to have parked at the Hollywood Bowl. it would have been $17 and then literally hours waiting to leave. pedestrians don't care about the cars, which are just choked off by the few lanes leading out. and it's not like a huge stadium parking lot, which is usually a huge square. it's like narrow rectangles instead, meaning no where to turn around and cars stacked in rows that require people to leave in sequential order. try and follow my drawing.....


each of those equal signs is a car and if you're at one end, you're stuck.

eventually we get back down to the area near the subway station.... and as we're walking through the mall we see a familiar face.... you loved him as a frog brother, in late night HBO soft core, but mostly he's the "mouth" who loves a good truffle shuffle.

Corey Feldman. he was just on the mall talking to what appeared to be two strangers.

a perfect ending.

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