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August, 2005:

Coldplay Live in Montreal

Wednesday night in the “beer garden” of a pub sipping Guinness and wolfing down some Curry & Chips as we wait to see the most anticipated concert of the year: Coldplay. It was only when I sat back to polish off the second pint of Guinness and caught a glimpse of the massive circular CGI building that I realized I’m still in Montreal. Hurley’s Pub has a funny way of playing tricks on you like that: a couple of pints and few earwigs of the Irish and English accents and suddenly you’re back in the somewhere in Blighty waiting to get into Wembley or to head off to a festival field. And then the Irish waitress turns around and repeats her customers order to them in perfect french. That is the kind of thing that snaps you back to how much of a cosmopolitan city Montreal really is.
Right! So here I am in the pub on my way to see Coldplay at the Bell Centre, it’s like 30C at 8pm so everyone is dressed lightly and the women are looking fantastic in their summer fashions including Denise. This should be a fantastic night! As we head down Crescent, De la Montagne and then onto De La Gauchetiere, I start to get the impression that this will be unlike any other rock concert I have attended. First of all there aren’t any “rockers” anywhere, this crowd is definately a diferent mix, even REM didn’t have this much crossover appeal and I don’t think I have ever seen this many “METRO MEN” in my life, it’s got the makings of a night out down at Leicster Square in London or Old Christchuch Rd in Bournemouth. The sheer number designer shirts is staggering, still they are all piling into the Phone Booth.
We make it in just as the opening band Black Mountain are finishing up, shame cause I listened to some of their stuff online earlier and was hoping to get a better look at the lead singer’s freakish beard. So two songs later and the lights come back on we meet up with Avi and his date and enjoy the 9 dollar Molson EX! As usual the between music show music is better than the opening band and after some rather well put together mix of Brit Pop and staple Canuck Classics, as they play The Smith’s How Soon Is Now the whole Bell Centre is singing along, the lights start going down and the 50 foot plasma is revealed counting down to Square One- and then
and then -Yellow-
Yellow was histerical because if there is one song that Chris and boys should know by now is Yellow but of course just before they drop the big balloons Chris grinds the whole thing to a halt <<“F@£K it, arret, arret!” “Let’s rewind the last five minutes. This is a song called “Yellow.”>> And then they get back to it and rock the house which is now completely basqued in a yellow glow with giant balloons exploding into clouds of shimmering yellow flakes. No it felt like a big party.
-God Put a Smile Upon Your Face-
-Speed of Sound-
-Hardest Part-
Feeling more confident about the how the show is going Chrs breaks out again: <<If you’ve f@£k’d up -Yellow- and the audience isn’t cross, everything’s not lost>>
-Everything’s Not Lost-

-White Shadows-
-The Scientist-
Which was just awesome to watch the graphic for the song were outstanding, always a personnal favourite of mine and just as it ends Chris picks up the guitar and they start
-Til Kingdom Come-
Which is very quickly becoming a real favorite of mine
-Don’t Panic-
And that is the end of the “show” and then they are back on for the encore:
-Swallowed In The Sea-
-In My Place- Where Chris appears in the top left corner of the Reds (to the stage), lounging in the seat, wearing a Habs shirt toward the end of the song. And then they end it for real with
-Fix You-
Complete with Chris Swinging the light into the crowd which was one hell of a way to end the show. If you manage to see the FIx You video you’ll know what I’m on about.

And just as peacefully as everyone manged to ply themself into the Phone Booth, they all leave in the same manner with the occasional “Brilliant show!” or “F@£King Awesome man!”. Now I admit that I am at the age where whenI go see a concert I park in at the Bell Centre rather than than sit in the metro or risk missing the late train. So I might be a bad judge of how Montreal Crowds behave but I am pretty damn sure that we have seriously matured since the Guns N Roses/Metallica double billing the almost destroyed the BIG O.

All in all, we had a fantastic time and what I had hyped up to be the biggest event of the summer truly lived up to my expectations. I just wish I could of been there to see them play the small tent at Glastonbury a few years back or even the LIVE 8 gig in London which would have been awesome too.