Now I tell you the saddest "Hidden Gig" story!
I bought a meet and great tickets for 599 pounds and booked the plane (from switzerland) for Monday morning 150 pounds.
On Monday, I went early to the airport. The flight was postponed because of snow, not only 1-2 hours, 8 hours. So I could forget the meet and greet. And I could not pick up the ticket, either. I was finally at Point 9 clock in the theater, while fortunately I had the e-mails. And got my place!
After the show I saw Jonny in the bar and wanted to ask him for a photo, but the bodyguard had no joy and sent me away. Outside, I met Will, who took a picture with me!
Conclusion: take three months saving money for this, a big dream exploded, a night in freezing temperatures outside in Newcastle, and the flight at the next morning ... flew in the afternoon...
oh, sorry to hear that :/ Missing the meet and greet must have been awful, but at least you made it to the show (I read other people could not even get to the show) and you met Will and have a picture with him!!
I apologize that it has taken me so long to get around to posting my review! Better late than never, I suppose. This will be a little more than a review of the gig, it will be my “experience”; it is quite a bit longer than Liverpool review, I apologize.) (Keep in mind that any conversation I have in quotes is as close as I can recall, it is probably not the exact words.)
So after a long night in Liverpool and about an hour of sleep (if that), I checked out of the hotel along with Jason (Jason_DeBord) and Oz (lo&loud) for a morning train to Newcastle. It was strange to walk into the train station, passing the place where we had “bumped” into Chris Martin just two days earlier! Shortly after the train departs I try to take a nap by laying my head down in the adjacent seat, cover up with my coat and drape my scarf over my eyes. It worked enough for me to not notice when the person who reserved the seat next to me boarded the train. The person must have took pity on me and sat in another seat. :lol:
Once the train arrived in Newcastle we headed straight to the hotel to try to catch a couple of hours of real sleep before preparing for the night ahead. Later on we headed out for a late lunch at the local shopping mall (which was quite large and sprawling across several roads). Jason and Oz then decided that they needed to shop for something to wear for the meet & greet later on. So after walking around we found a decent store for them to go shopping, and I patiently waited outside until they were finished. (A girl waiting for two guys who are going clothes shopping… what’s wrong with this picture? ) Fortunately we quickly found a taxi to take us back to the hotel, and planned to get ready and leave for the gig in an hour and a half. And then we were off to the pub outside of the venue, where we were directed to wait for the meet & greet until 6:30.
Shortly after 6:30 a security guard opened the door to let us in, and he attached the VIP wristbands. We were led to a room down the hallway which had a few tables and a bar. I opted for some water… I didn’t want to get tipsy before meeting the boys, since it doesn’t take much for me! We were then led into another room, which was relatively small bi-level room. This is a view from the lower portion of the room, looking toward the upper level.
While we were waiting for the band to enter the room, we went to the upper level and chatted with the photographer. He indicated that the setup of the meet & greet would be a bit different than it was at Liverpool. Apparently the Liverpool meet & greet was mildly chaotic, people kept going to the end of the line after meeting them so they could talk to them again, and it created a bottleneck so it was hard for the band to finish, and it probably stressed them out a bit. So our meet & greet was going to be a little more organized (meaning, strict ).
During our chat, I noticed there were a couple of people getting an autograph from someone. He wasn’t facing us, but my first thought (based on his head ) was Matt McGinn. I told Jason I thought it might be him, in case he wanted to talk to Matt. I wasn’t sure, and I told Jason that once the man turned around I would know for sure *turns around* oh yeah, that’s him. It turns out that the couple were having Matt’s “Roadie” book signed; Matt asked what they thought about it, and the man said, “well, I haven’t had time to read much of it yet.” I piped up and said, “it’s an excellent book, you’ll love it.” Someone then made a comment, "See Matt, you're famous like you always wanted! I bet you never thought it would be because of a book, though!" That kind of led into Jason introducing himself as the guy that got Blacky in last year’s auction. Matt seemed very happy to meet Jason, and they had a nice little chat about Matt, Jonny and the guitar.
Given that Matt had made an appearance, I was hoping to see Debs and maybe Roadie #42 and Phil walk through, but unfortunately they did not. We headed back down to the lower level of the room, and shortly afterward the security brought the band through the door on the upper level; they walked down to greet the people on the lower level first. I think there were a total of 28 people there, so about 14 on each level of the room (again, Amanda (Afeather) couldn’t make it , and based on Chris_K’s post, he was supposed to be there too). I took a short video of the setup of the meet & greet (you can see each of them); they were moving rather swift from person to person, as you can see. :\
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BeSmyKBfRMM"]YouTube - Coldplay meet & greet - Newcastle December 20, 2010[/ame]
Guy came around first, and was chatting with Jason and Oz about last year’s auction and the items they won. Guy and Will were surprised to see that Oz had some old “The Coldplay” flyers, which had been stuffed in a pocket of the guitar case from Chris' first guitar, and were also talking to Oz about Chris' Fender Rhodes Piano. At this point everything was starting to hit me. Guy greeted me first, and I asked him if he could sign my tickets from both Liverpool and Newcastle, and told him that the previous night’s show was excellent. I then asked him how his old photograph project was going… I think I caught him off guard there. He replied, “uhhh, well, I haven’t… really… done much with it yet.” Well, now I don’t feel bad for sending them so late!
Then Will came around, and I just clammed up, I was like a deer in headlights. Again, I asked him if he could sign my tickets, and was sure to tell him how lovely the Liverpool gig was. I was so nervous; I didn’t know what else to say. It’s not like I was going to tell him, “hey, did you know I was voted Biggest Will Fan 2010 on coldplaying.com?” Um, NO, I don’t think so! I could have asked him what kind of “new” instruments he may be playing on LP5, and mention that he could probably make a symphony out of two blades of grass since he could play any instrument he touches, but that probably would have made him blush. (Wait… why didn’t I say that? )
Jonny and Chris then came around, and Oz and Jason were talking about the auction. Jonny was happy to meet the guy that got Blacky, and they had a nice conversation about it. I happened to nonchalantly take a little video of the conversation; my camera is extremely tiny, so it wasn’t obvious (Jason didn’t even realize it and was surprised when I showed him the video later on).
Chris came around, and the first thing out of his mouth after saying “hello” to me was in a soft voice, “oh wow, you have beautiful eyes.” I just said “aww, thank you”; I could have said something like, “yours aren’t too shabby either”, but I didn’t think of that until a minute later. In the meantime I tried to piggy-back off Jason and Oz’s conversation regarding the auction so I could tell Jonny and Chris about my little bit, but my voice is a bit quiet (damn me) so Jonny and Chris didn’t really hear me. At one point Chris gazed upward and commented, “yeah, that auction was a bit… unexpected.” (I wasn’t sure what to make of that comment, based on the way he said it. ) Anyway, I thought well, maybe if I pull up my little 'Parachutes 2010' picture, I can show them and that would be a nice little segue for the conversation. So, I was searching the memory card on my camera, but as I was doing that, they walked away to the upper level of the room! Ahhh!!! And since security was strict given what happened at the meet & greet the night before, I had lost my chance and there wasn’t any way to tell them. I was so gutted! That was part of the reason we wanted to go for the VIP meet & greet tickets in the first place! Oh well, I suppose I can’t complain… I mean, I did just meet them after all.
We then left the room and headed to our seats. We had a much better view than the night before, because this time we were in the middle of the front row of the lower balcony… perfect! At that point ‘Choir With No Name’ was already well into their performance. And then, we spotted someone talking to a few people at the end of our row toward the private balcony: it was Phil! Oz wanted to speak with him for a moment, and I thought I could go over there too and mention what I didn’t get to mention during the meet & greet. We waited in our seats until we saw that Phil was wrapping up his conversation, and then headed on over to chat with him really quick. I introduced myself and said I was pleased to meet him, told him the concert the night before was great, and then led into my little bit. Basically, I pulled the picture up on my camera and showed him. He seemed very surprised, but happy, and I was happy too that I at least was able to tell one of them that the globe was ‘safe’ and with someone that could appreciate its significance and care for it appropriately. That made me feel much better.
So then we sat back down, and then I noticed there was a certain lady with the last name of Paltrow in the private balcony (gee, I wonder why she was there ). And then, the concert started. Since we had an unobstructed view, I was able to get much better video compared to Liverpool. For those who weren’t there, this picture gives you a good idea of how small and intimate the venue was:
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sz6n53V7cRA"]YouTube - Coldplay - 'Till Kingdom Come - Newcastle December 20, 2010[/ame]
At one point Chris had a little rant…
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0Gb2kpATCA"]YouTube - Coldplay - Chris' F***ing Insecurity Speech - Newcastle December 20, 2010[/ame]
Most of Politik
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGNiZvgt5X8"]YouTube - Coldplay - Politik (partial recording) - Newcastle December 20, 2010[/ame]
Second half of Fix You
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3T38nE2zWI"]YouTube - Coldplay - Fix You (partial recording) - Newcastle December 20, 2010[/ame]
Toward the end of the concert, Chris mentioned there was a guy named Simon who wanted to come on stage and ask someone a question (that kind of gave it away, methinks). When the guy came on stage, the lady behind us gasped. We turned around, and she said, “That’s my brother! I had no idea he was going to do this!” The expression on her face was priceless. Simon then asked the crowd to give the “best band in the world” a round of applause, which of course we did. And then he brought out his girlfriend Ruth to the stage…
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4J4JsjBza24"]YouTube - Coldplay marriage proposal - Newcastle December 20, 2010[/ame]
I can’t even imagine! How sweet. And to think they were sitting behind us the whole time during the concert. And then The Scientist started, and Chris quipped, “I’m not sure this song is entirely appropriate.” :lol:
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEpscyvlzI0"]YouTube - Coldplay - The Scientist - Newcastle December 20, 2010[/ame]
And when Christmas Lights started, I realized it was all coming to an end. Two absolutely amazing days. They took their final bow, exited the stage, and the lights came on. As we were gathering our things, Jason noticed that the couple sitting behind us that got engaged on stage had left a few of the items they had signed during the meet & greet underneath their seats (I think they were vinyls or books). He wanted to track them down to make sure they didn’t leave their items behind. While Jason left to find them, Oz went downstairs to the stage to see if there were any items from the stage being passed out. Sure enough, he was able to snag… Jonny’s sweaty towel.
When Oz and I went downstairs we still didn’t see Jason, but we decided to go ahead and exit the venue because he would have to go out eventually anyway. We saw a few fellow Coldplayers waiting outside, including Pete and Laura, and then Jason came out; he said there was an after-show party for us to go to. I was a little perplexed, because I didn’t recall that being part of the ticket description, but I certainly wasn’t going to argue! The couple that got engaged and their guests (including his sister) were in there as Jason discovered when returned their signed items, and they were in the VIP meet & greet, so… we assumed we could go there too. We walked back inside, and the security guy at the entrance checked out wristbands. And then 2 other security guys down the hall checked our wristbands. And then 2 other guys checked our wristbands as we entered the area with the bar (that we were in earlier that evening before the meet & greet). We sat down at a table, and we noticed that the only people we recognized were the aforementioned people. There were some Crisis employees there, but we didn’t notice anyone else from the VIP section. We thought that was a little weird; how could people who weren’t in the VIP section be there? Then we realized, oohhhhhh the other people here have big orange “after-show party” stickers plastered on them. Oops. We didn’t have those. Phil and Jonny walked into the room, and then I thought this would be a good opportunity to show Jonny what I didn’t show him earlier, and since Phil knew, he would probably take me over to Jonny. So I get out my camera to pull up my picture, and the main security guy came over to our table and said, “you can’t take any pictures here, you had an opportunity to do that earlier, this is for industry people and those who work with the band.” I told the security guy, “really, I promise I’m not going to take any pictures, I just want to show Jonny something that I didn’t get a chance to show him earlier.” Thankfully the security guy understood where I was coming from. However, I saw him walk out toward the hallway and talk to some of the security guys and point to his wrist. Translation?... just because people have the VIP wristbands that doesn’t mean they are supposed to be there, they also need to have the after-show party sticker. I was really hoping they weren’t going to kick us out! But we behaved ourselves. I went up to the bar and ordered a Guinness (ha ha, for those who know the inside joke there) and casually waited for the time when Phil and Jonny had finished conversing with friends and coworkers. In the meantime, apparently Will came into the room for a brief moment (I didn’t find that out from Jason and Oz until later). Also, Jason had a nice little conversation with the main security guy in the room; mostly to make the guy feel “comfortable” with us, but he also told Jason how much he likes working for them, what great people they are, etc. (Of course, we all know that already, right? )
Once Phil had finished chatting with people, and it appeared that Jonny was pretty much done too, I walked up to Phil and said, “since he’s here, do you think I’d be able to show him?” Phil replied, “oh yeah yeah, of course!” The little exchange that ensued between Phil and Jonny was rather funny, oh I wish I had it on tape, imagine them talking with over-exaggerated cheesy voices: - Phil: “Hey Jonny!” - Jonny: “Hey Phil!” - Phil: “Umm, do you remember the band’s first album?” - Jonny: “Why yes Phil, I do.” - Phil: “Do you remember what was on the cover of that album?” - Jonny: (looks up as if thinking intently, simultaneously rubbing chin, responds slowly) “Yes, I believe I remember.” - Phil: “Well, you know how it was in the KidsCo auction last year?” - Jonny: “Why yes Phil, I do.” - Phil: “Well, this young lady has something to tell you.”
And so I showed him the picture, he seemed a little shocked, and I said, “yeah I know… totally UNoriginal, right?” He laughed at that. So we had a little chat, and I told him that was the one item I was really surprised that they decided to include in the auction. He then looked up and said, “yeah, that auction was a bit of a last-minute thing, it wasn’t really planned.” Okay, that’s the second time I heard that, and I don’t think he heard Chris say it earlier! I’m not sure what to make of that, but I don’t really want to think too much about it either, I suppose it’s not important at this point.
At some point during the conversation I told him it was great the things they do for the fans, for example the Christmas Lights boat tour thing the previous month, it was so much fun. He said, “oh, so you came here last month, and now you’re back again?” “Umm… yes?” (In a ‘really I’m not crazy’ tone of voice.) I told him it was the best Thanksgiving ever. :lol: But, overall, the point of the conversation is that I just wanted to let him know the globe’s in a good home with someone who can appreciate it, and take care if it on their behalf and on behalf of all the fans out there; it didn't go to some investor that was just going to sell it for a quick profit, as some people originally feared. I won’t go so far as to say that it’s kind of like making sure someone knows the kid they put up for adoption is in a good home, but… yeah, something along those lines. I just wanted them to know it’s okay, and asked if he could pass that along to the others, and he said he would. It would have been nice to tell/show Chris in person though, considering Phil said that Chris was the one who took the original picture. Oh well.
After Phil and Jonny left the room, we decided that we should probably head out also. Chris wasn’t there; he was probably backstage or elsewhere with Lady Paltrow. Guy wasn't there either. I wish Debs and Miller had been at the after-show party, but they weren’t. I was actually sitting close to Hoppy; Franksy and Vicky were there too, but I wouldn’t know what to say to them. “Hi, I’m some geeky fan that knows who you are.” Umm, no. And obviously I couldn’t take a picture either, but, it was still cool to be next to them. So, we depart from the party. What a crazy night!
We step back out into the cold and head to the hotel. Once we arrive, we sit down in the lounge and download/share all of our pictures and videos from the evening. Then we say our goodbyes since we each had different plans for the following day, and headed back to our rooms. I looked online to make sure my flight was still scheduled to depart in the early afternoon (since SO MANY flights out of Heathrow were canceled, people were sleeping in the terminals, etc.). It was still scheduled to depart, so I went online to purchase my train ticket for shortly after 5am… that should be enough time to get from Newcastle to London for a 1pm flight, right?
After another hour of sleep (I think that was just below my average on this little trip), I pack my stuff, check out, and head to the train station. Although my train left on time… it broke down about a half hour after departure. Not only was something wrong with the engine, but most of the power was out also. So, with temperatures around -10C, and no heat… it got cold in the train rather quick! They huddled everyone into one cabin and passed out emergency blankets. We were stuck there over an hour, and finally they figured out there was some sort of leak, and put in enough fluid to get us to the next station. We also found out that ice had broken the overhead electric lines further south, and all those trains were being diverted, so we would have to find an alternate route to London anyway. Long story short… I arrived at the station in London right as my plane was taking off from Heathrow. One of the few flights taking off, mind you! And when I called to rebook my flight, the earliest flight available from the airline was the 26th. Oh. Crap. And don’t tell me “Don’t Panic”, because my parents didn’t even know I was there, and now I’d have to tell them I wouldn’t be at the big family get-together that weekend! I decided to head to Swiss Cottage to the hostel so many of us know and love, and ask if I could use their computers to figure out exactly how many nights I would need to stay there. I check for flights on kayak.com, and it gets worse by the minute. Any time I would find a flight, I would go to book it and as I’m checking out there’s an ‘error’ because the ticket is no longer available. Fewer flights. More expensive. After over an hour, and seeing the last available one-way economy seats going for £6,000 - £7,000 (that’s about $10,000), and the person sitting at the computer next to me just staring at my computer screen with his mouth hanging open in shock, I just gave up. I decided to check into another nearby hotel instead, try to relax by taking a long nap, and then try looking for flights again later than evening. Well, my plan worked, because around 8pm I checked online and there were some flights available for the next day! And much cheaper also. And thankfully, the flight did indeed depart that day (flights were still being canceled at Heathrow, people were still sleeping on the floors, it was crazy). I was so relieved once I landed back in Detroit on Wednesday night. Of course, that meant back to real life, back to work, back to everyday responsibilities the very next day. But, in the end…