Lost! .. in those Auburn Hills..
Coldplay just polished off the last notes of ‘Strawberry Swing’ and after a little wander down to the front of stage left, have now burst into life again on the remix version of ‘God put a smile…’ I just came back to production to write to you all, who aren’t in here. Seems to me like plenty of you are crammed in though. It looks packed out there.. People are on their feet, clapping and cheeing. The atmosphere is incredible. Spare a thought for the nerves that must jangle in those 4 lads as they look up at all those peering faces for the first time. At least you can always rely on it being an overwhelmingly good reception when the curtain is raised during ‘Violet Hill’. The hip-hop/classical entry music, the dimmed - then flashing - lights, mixed with ‘Life in Technicolour’ always gets the crowd raised to their feet and ready to make some noise for these British boys.
We’re at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit. Home of the Detroit Pistons, NBA champs of 1990. There is only one Champion on stage tonight. He’s currently busy mangling drums and hitting them into submission. Just wait until ‘Politik’…! It’s a mellow moment right now, one of my favourite parts of the set.. Chris Martin and Will singing ‘The Hardest Part’. The rest of the stage is dark. It creates a great mood. Fitting for the song.. but also ready, eager and waiting, to burst back into life, when those strings come in..
I went out earlier without my earplugs for the first time in a while (*”why earplugs?!?” - I hear you cry?!?* .. well, just because, when you work on a tour like this everyday, you have to, at least try to stop the tinitus for a while). It’s an incredible wall of sound without them though. Especially when the music is blended with the thousands of fans mouths that are also chanting/screaming/singing/drunkenly blurring the words. Feet are stamping now to ‘Viva La Vida’.
*Fin (Coldplay’s tour production manager) just popped his head over my shoulder ..
Fin - “is that your blog Pete?”
Me - “yeah”
Fin - “tell em’ Fin says ‘Hi’…. and give generously immediately!”
(he’s now gone back out to keep an eye on the show - as the keys and drums burst into ‘Lost!’. It’s another crowd pleaser. This band are really rolling at the moment. Seem to be loving every minute. I must just say, I still love this band, even after 40+ shows. My favourite part of the set is right after I have packed up the Oxfam gear (when the volunteers have come back), and I rush through the curtain to catch ‘Cemeteries of London’ and ‘Chinese Sleep Chant’. Chris usually says hello to the crowd before that song. Maybe it’s because it mentions London (and i’m British), or maybe it’s because I just love the beat (and i’m a drummer).. either way, i’m hooked.
The Oxfam crowd here in Detroit have been amazing. Full of energy and determined to talk to as many people as possible. About 737 people signed up here before the show (I say “about”.. - i counted exactly.. twice). That’s great work and we were a couple volunteers short tonight. Most of them are new to campaigning but really seemed to enjoy it. Some of them even said they started up after seeing us in Toronto in the summer. That’s awesome to know. There are plenty of ways to play a part, in changing the world. As I have said many times. Small actions, save lives.
This is turning into a long one. I might let you go, get back to your facebook, or signing that online petition with Oxfam. (I know which one i’d like you to do, and it doesn’t involve books of faces..) I’m going to get back out there and try to catch another song or two, before the volunteers come back, with beaming faces, and sore throats (from all that singing). I hear a harmonica out there.. Great talking to ya. See you in Atlanta! (It’s a loooong bus ride tonight…)
I hear those drums being mangled again. It’s ‘Politik’.
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