Skip to main content

Watching Coldplay Live In Concert

Watching a Coldplay concert...I mean this is the stuff bucket lists are made of. And I could finally tick it off after watching them perform live in Barcelona on 27th May 2016. My friends and I literally booked our concert tickets last year (I think it was October) one afternoon on a regular day at work (so random right?). We decided to go for their concert in Barcelona because a) tickets in their other tour cities were sold out b) Spain appealed as a destination to explore pre and post concert. How we were to apply for leave, how much it would cost, etc. were all worries to follow. All we knew on that October afternoon was that we were booked to watch Coldplay live. Goosebumps... 

The very first Coldplay song I heard was 'In My Place' back in school and the band hit a chord with me. But it was only in college when the (incredible) company I kept were Coldplay fans and introduced me to a host of brilliant songs from their albums - Green Eyes and Don't Panic being my favourites. At our farewell event in college, our band (we were called 'Renegades of Funk' and later 'Muda') and we performed an acoustic version of 'Yellow' sung by yours truly. Oh didn't we look cool sitting on those stools on stage with the spotlights on us. Fast forward to my time in Melbourne when I was pursuing my Masters degree: Coldplay released Viva la Vida and this is by far for me their most amazing album to date. Their music was new for the ears, the lyrics deep, their videos unique and the album's songs were always among my purple iPod's Top 25 most played songs. Remember the iPod Nano? I still have it! Anyway, how cool was Strawberry Swing? That song always uplifted me and made a great background score to my daily walk from home to university. Now you know how it is, you're in uni, you're broke... and then Coldplay tours Australia. You risk giving it a thought and then you find out that you're not going to be able to go for the concert anyway because you'll be interning in Bangkok. So yes, I missed it. But I never regretted it then - I did not attach so much value to such experiences back then - I did not want to spend a hundred plus Aussie dollars for a two hour concert. In 2011, one of my colleagues told me of her visit to London to attend the Coldplay concert and what an unforgettable experience it was for her...she told me of the butterfly shaped confetti that was sprayed on the crowd during the performance and I only sat there imagining what a wondrous spectacle it must have been. I sighed and signed again...

Circa May 2016 in Madrid. Two of us fly in from Mumbai, one from the UK, one from Singapore and two from Dubai. Coldplay was the reason we were there, the reason we met, the reason we toured Spain. And we were always convinced their concert would be the highlight of our trip. But boy, did we enjoy Spain... let me save that for another blog. The concert was at the Estadi Olimpic of Barcelona (the Olympics Stadium) with a crowd capacity of an astounding 54,000 people. Imagine getting lost in a crowd as huge as that. I came close to it. The concert gates opened at 6PM and we got in early to position ourselves as close to the stage. After an hour of waiting, I wanted to use the loo so that I could enjoy myself once the concert began. There were mobile loos at the back of the stadium. I tried memorizing our group's position and created landmarks for myself so that I could locate them once I was back. In the time that I went to the loo, the crowd really, really grew in numbers. I headed straight for where I thought my friends were but in fact I was going deeper and deeper into an ocean of people. I nervously dialed my friend hoping she would answer her call. She did. She raised her hand holding her hot pink phone and I used that as my pole star to locate them. Phew...close call. What fun would it have been to enjoy the concert alone in a crowd right? Moving on, the wait to the concert was long. At 8PM the opening acts started - Alessia Cara and Lianne la Havas - both beautiful performers especially the latter. Our feet were already aching from the continuous standing and there was still the real concert to begin... 
what to see in barcelona
The Olympics Stadium
my experience watching coldplay live
The gates open and the crowd swarms in
At 9PM sharp, Coldplay marked their entry and the crowd grew wild. Despite being close to the stage, I still couldn't see them thanks to the many, many tall fans in front of me. I even had to crane my neck to be able to catch a glimpse of the band on the large screen. Every concert goer was given a wristband we did not know what to make of until the concert started. Everyone's wristbands was remotely controlled and emanated lights of different colours through different songs. Imagine the visual created with 20,000+ people swaying their wrists. A light show unlike any other. Glimmering studs of yellow, pink, blue, green all across the dark crowds. Goosebump inducing stuff... Real tear jerkers. People went berserk, jumping, singing, was like one BIG big crowded party! Thankfully, there was a slight chill in the air. But I encountered two problem people - apart from Mr. Green Goblin, the really tall man in a green t-shirt blocking my view, there was this Spanish girl behind me mouthing every lyric of every song in her off-tune, loud voice in her local accent. The lady didn't stop to even catch her breath. Coldplay must have really meant something to her. While most of us within the initial few minutes caught our bearings, she really couldn't believe she was there through and through. But in the larger picture, this was hardly a glitch to my experience...When they sang 'Paradise', a chorus of thousands of people in the crowd accompanied the band..."para para paradise", we sang! My favourite was their performance of 'Adventures of a Lifetime'. Big balloons in all colours of the rainbow were blasted out of the stage over the excited crowds. Apart from performing songs from 'A Head Full of Dreams', Coldplay performed some of their old hits - 'Viva la Vida', 'Fix You', 'Yellow', 'Speed of Sound' and a pleasant surprise for so many of us, 'Trouble'. But I was praying Coldplay still had a few concert confetti tricks up their sleeves. And it was during their performance of 'Sky full of Stars' that suddenly the entire stadium was glittering with butterfly shaped colourful confetti!!! Butterflies in the sky, and in my stomach. I swung my hands in the air and grabbed some confetti for myself. They'll be souvenirs that really mean something... 
Scroll down to see some of the videos we captured from our phones for an idea of the experience. 
bloggers in pune
Concert-ready, each of us with our wrist bands

A fantastic tall display of fireworks and a performance of 'Up & Up' marked the end of the two hour concert. My feet were aching after hours of standing on my toes and my neck was fatigued from all that craning. We were all exhausted from the experience and every step we took out of the stadium was with considerable effort. But our rating of the concert experience grew higher and higher as the hours, days and weeks went by. We in unison gave our concert to be a remarkable 11 on 10 in rating when we returned back to our days in office. It only then hit us that damn...WE WATCHED COLDPLAY LIVE. There was one item less on the bucket list of six people in four different countries. Sigh! 
colplay concerts 2016
The magnificent fireworks display
'Adventures of a Lifetime'

The stunning visuals our wristbands created

The confetti spray

And it was all Yellow


Popular posts from this blog


Last weekend, I got a unique opportunity to visit Gowardhan Cheese Factory in Manchar district, a good two hour drive from Pune city. The owning home-grown company Parag Milk Foods brand portfolio includes Gowardhan and GO boasting of a range of dairy products that have been retailed across Mumbai and Pune over the last decade. I first started using their yoghurt when the local kirana store ran out of my usual preference of Amul, Danone and Britannia. One spoon of it and I instantly found it so fresh, light and 'unprocessed'.
I have always loved cheese but now I even prefer it over chocolate. So when I was scheduled to visit the GO factory, it bore semblance to winning the golden ticket and entering glistening gates to its factory much like the popular Roald Dahl's Charlie. Except that it was not all that dramatic! 

Touring A Once-Troubled Belfast As A Guest Of The Duncans

Belfast is the best place to visit in 2018 - Lonely Planet said it, not me. 

But why? 
Belfast, it was never a city on my must-visit radar, until I met a colleague from there. In the months leading up to my trip, I started researching about the city and learnt that for three decades, Belfast was ground zero of The Troubles, a violent territorial conflict over national identity and belonging. The city was fraught with rioting and bombings and was not considered safe. But it's 2018 and on the surface, people in Northern Ireland (part of the United Kingdom) seem to be going about life as usual. Outside of its political and religious issues, Belfast is a beautiful little city, a rising star on the traveler's bucket list, especially in the summer (quick trivia: Belfast usually sees 157 days of rain).
My Hosts, The Duncans
So there I was landing in Belfast one June morning as a guest of my wonderful colleague (let's call her Ms. Duncan). She is the daughter of a former national le…

Shashi Tharoor's 'An Era of Darkness' Illustrates the Rapacity of the British Raj in India

It was August 15, 2016, I was having lunch with someone. Gazing at the news on the television screen behind me, she asked, "It's India's Independence Day today! Independence from whom?" Independence from the British, I answered, shocked. Shocked, because this someone in question was British and she had not a clue about the crimes of her country's colonial past.  Like millions of Indians and non-Indians, I was left aghast and despondent when I heard the viral Shashi Tharoor Oxford Union debate (if you haven't seen it yet, you've been living under a HUGE rock, and I suggest you watch it before you proceed to read the remainder of this blog). Tharoor in all his articulate and intellectual glory spoke in motion for Britain owing reparations to her former colonies. Tharoor's well-researched facts on the brutality of British rule in India for over two centuries left me astounded, and a sense of shame dawned on me - I knew so little about my country's p…