November 26, 2008

(Cold)playing it cool, sans words

As much as I pore over certain passages in books, as much as I melt inside at well-worded sentences, I have to admit that in certain situations, words can't even begin to compete with the power of music.

Case in point, saw Coldplay perform at the Anaheim Honda Center last night. And needless to say - it was amazing.

And it was all yellow.

Last night was the first time I thought about just how crucial the wordless parts of their most popular songs really are.

No matter what language you speak, you can relate to the opening of "Politik," the sparsely worded "Life in Technicolor" that they opened with, or the epic backnotes to the second part of "Fix You." And as much as I love words, the wordless backbones of Coldplay songs are what make them such a universally appealing band.

Case studies:
1. The woman next to me belting out the oh-oh-oh-OH-oh-oh from "Viva la Vida," hands cupped to her mouth, her exhalations traveling so energetically over to my nose, that, though recovering from sickness, I was still able to detect beer on her breath.

2. The 20-something guy standing outside after it was over, yelling out the same chorus of oh-oh-oh-OH-oh-oh in the pouring rain.

A first:
As Chris Martin was playing "The Hardest Part" he messed up and almost submitted to profanity but laughed it off with the rest of us. We all still thought he was perfect. And Apple and Moses were saved from hearing their father say the F word on stage. Phew...it was a close one.

Listening to the lyrics of this song, I realized it could very well apply to a number of situations. Swallowing tomato juice? Or perhaps a cup of harsh black coffee? Sour milk? All difficult things to do. Something tells me he meant it metaphorically, not literally, but it's still fun to imagine the scenarios that could have inspired such lyrics.
I could feel it go down
Bittersweet, I could taste in my mouth
Silver lining the cloud
Oh, I, I wish that I could work it out.
Oh, Chris Martin. A poet in his own right. Or maybe just ran into one too many foul drinks along the way.