It’s been a somewhat busy few days making it happen, but the stadium shows are finally underway!
The British have a somewhat justified reputation for being obsessed with the weather. In our case right now though, I figure there’s an excuse.
We’re doing outdoor shows. Without a roof.
The preparations in Porto for the first show start days before I get there. I email the lampies for some advice on what to pack. They assure me it’s beach weather well into the evening. Indeed, the load-in and rehearsal days in Portugal are scorching - utterly glorious weather.
Come show day though, it’s very a different story. It’s pretty torrential by mid-afternoon and it doesn’t get any better. You totally have to hand it to the fellas though, apart from the constant spray bouncing off of them, you really wouldn’t know. They throw themselves into it full tilt. They’re standing completely uncovered out there in the deluge giving it everything they’ve got.
I’ve talked before about the level of energy coming off stage on this tour. The new songs have given this tour an incredible celebratory exuberance that’s impossible to ignore. The image of Coldplay as middle of the road miserablists just seems odd to me now. Doubtless though, it will remain the starting point for many more pieces of half-arsed journalism before the band are done. Just as every article about Ozzie Osbourne will refer to bat-munching and Oasis will always be the Burnage-Beatles (long after they branded their very own legend onto British culture). So it goes, I guess…
Talking of the new songs, Paradise is becoming a moment in the show to rival the Viva chant. Something I wasn’t sure I’d ever see (or indeed, hear…).
There’s something about that many people all gathered together making that kind of noise that you just can’t help but be affected by. As the panoramas will have shown you, we’re in some pretty big places for these shows. Easy indeed for it all to become about fancy production, but at the end of the day, the strongest moments are the ones where you could turn every one of the gadgets off and just let the crowd do what comes naturally…