45,000 people. One building. Synchronized wristbands. An open sky dome. The CN Tower as a backdrop, and synchronized lights on that, too. Confetti. Giant balloons. Lasers. Strobe Lights. And fireworks, lots of them. An A, B, and C stage.
How do I even begin to explain the experience that August 22, 2017 brought me. For someone who is supposed to be really good at using words to communicate, I feel extremely inadequate right now – but here’s my attempt.
I have a total love-hate relationship with concerts. The love part is everything up until the moment I finish screaming and clapping my heart out at the end, and the hate part gradually sets in like a sinking ship when I begin to realize that it’s all over. That feeling is the absolute worst. It’s genuine sadness. It makes me feel sick to my stomach, and I cry – a lot. Maybe I need therapy, maybe I’m crazy, or maybe music just taps into this part of me that is terrifying to know about but beautiful to acknowledge.
Days after the concert, all I can do is listen to Coldplay – but all it does is make me cry. I get a lump in my throat listening to 99% of their songs. Why? Because now I have a specific, live, real, vivid, meaningful, powerful, exceptional, indescribable experience and memory to link every single song with. I remember when the fireworks went off during a song, I remember all 45,000 wrist bands lighting up in synchronized fashion to take us to a place of total bliss, I remember the beat drops where we all jumped until our legs hurt, I remember screaming at the top of my lungs to songs I never thought I’d ever hear live, and I remember looking around thinking to myself, “how freaking beautiful is this life”.
That same sadness that I’ve been explaining is not entirely all a curse – in fact, it really truly is a blessing. Do I hate the feeling? Yes. But I’d hate not having that feeling more. That pit in your stomach is a reminder that you were made with the capacity to feel deeply and passionately. It’s a reminder that (at least to me), it’s way more beautiful to invest and spend money on experiences and memories than material objects.
There have been few concerts that have left me feeling this way, but you know what? Those are the best ones. I’d rather feel deeply than coldly (no pun intended). I’d rather feel sadness resulting from an experience being over than sadness resulting from missing an experience altogether. And I know that I’ll look back on this concert and remember it as one of the best nights of my life. One that no blog post can do justice.
People have asked me if Coldplay is the best concert I’ve ever been to. And to that I reply: it wasn’t a concert, it was a dream. That night cannot be compared to anything else, it stands alone as its own world, its own atmosphere, its own everything.
I find it specifically special that this tour was called A Head Full of Dreams. Not only is the title a wonderfully accurate description of what it felt like to be at the concert, but it really does explain how you feel in the following days. You can’t experience something like that and not leave feeling more inspired and more capable of dreaming – more equipped to think fearlessly and creatively – more assured that there are moments this life has to offer that are worth fighting for – and more confident that it’s only up & up from here.
Coldplay opened with A Head Full of Dreams in which the lyrics say, “I think I’ve landed in a world I haven’t seen”. Seriously though! That concert took me to a different planet. See, in a concert you’re not thinking about school starting in two weeks, or what the heck you’re going to do with your life upon graduation, or anything else that typically takes up your energy and thoughts. You are fully immersed in this bubble of fairy-tale bliss.
Now, I typically don’t like writing blog posts like this because I feel like I’m journaling – not serving others by providing meaningful content. However, I do think that my Coldplay experience can speak to a major principle that I’ve started living my life by which is: invest in moments, memories, and experiences that are going to inspire you. No one goes into a Coldplay concert expecting only a mediocre show, you go into it knowing that you’ll be taken on the adventure of a lifetime. And lately, that’s kinda what I’ve been needing. In a world that’s really uninspiring, it’s refreshing and renewing for the soul to be surrounded by some major inspiration. It’s good to be around things that make you write long blog posts and dance like a wild person.
While leaving the concert I was trying to think about how I could sum up my feelings in a few words. How could I succinctly communicate how amazing my experience was? Luckily, the band made it pretty easy to decide on my choice of words:
Leaving the concert that’s all I really wanted, something just like that. The song in and of itself has always given me the feels, but I think it was a powerful reminder that sometimes the things in life that we appreciate and desire the most are the things that we can’t describe, but rather a feeling we know exists and is possible to be felt. And in that, how much are we willing to risk, to give up, in order to let ourselves feel fearlessly and without hesitation? Who knew the Chainsmokers could contribute to such a deep and analytical thought 😉
I wish I could explain the concert more, talk about how amazing it was to hear Viva la Vida, Yellow, Charlie Brown, and Fix You. But it’s really hard to explain a feeling, so I think I’ll just leave it all nicely tucked away in my memories. What I can say is that if you ever have the opportunity to see them in concert, jump all over it. Let’s be real – you’ll never regret the decision to spend two hours of your life in the same building as Chris Martin.