My credo in college, and for life immediately after college, went something like this:
“Get as much free stuff as you can.”
I had actually composed a Gregorian chant for my credo but I never got around to transcribing it. Probably because I was in college. What a shame, I probably would have won the Nobel Prize with it.
My collegiate credo worked out very well for me. It was one of the stronger axioms that I lived by at the time. I would make a trek from my apartment to an academic building during a Milwaukee winter if it meant a free meal. Many a college club have lured me into meetings with a “Free Pizza and Beverages” poster.
Although I would have to sit through a horrendously boring talk about market demographics and concentric circles, Papa John’s pepperoni had never tasted so good.
My pleasure with free stuff is completely psychological. I think I’m beating the system when I don’t have to shell out $10 and still “eat out” with friends. I was world-beater, that’s for damn sure.
So I was ecstatic when my friend called me at work and told me that he had free Coldplay tickets.
Coldplay hadn’t been to Chicago in 12 years so I was very excited to see them. And they did not disappoint; it was a great concert. Coldplay sounded very good live. They played a lot of old stuff but did a good job of mixing their new Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends album.
I was a little surprised that they didn’t include an obligatory cover in their set list. They did, however, physically switch things up. From Coldplay’s mainstage, there were two walkways that led out to two smaller platforms in the crowd. They would play a song or two on those remote platforms before returning to centerstage.
At one point, they played an acoustic version of “Yellow” just outside of a tunnel in the 200 level. The fans in that section were going nuts.
Chris Martin was good. I didn’t know that someone could look cool doing the running man and spinning for two hours. But he pulled it off. That’s probably how he bagged Gwyneth Paltrow: spinning and pretending he was running in front of a blue screen.
The United Center crowd surprisingly got into it. I didn’t expect such a large audience to do much but bob their heads to the beat. The United Center was bumping so much that the band played “Lost” twice, giving the band an opportunity to record the second take.
The visual effects during the performances were very cool. A combination of confetti, lights and edited live footage kept me from getting distracted. I only once thought of how to steal the Chicago Bulls 1991 Championship banner.
During a brief intermission, a clip of Bill O’Reilly calling Chris Martin a “pinhead” kicked off a video montage set to some of the band’s b-side songs. I was amused.
And everything was twice as sweet because it was free.