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My Adventure of a Lifetime


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I have a short story ... well, no not really short… that I'd like to share with Coldplaying. Mod's, feel free to move this if you feel it could go in a better spot. (Deep breathe) Now this is a story all about how my life.... no no wait, wrong place, wrong time. Let me start over....


I may have endured one of the worst summers of my life. The details are unimportant. What does matter, on October 2nd, 2017, Coldplay did a show in Portland, Oregon USA. I went to that show. I made a short video so if you get bored, it's at the bottom. But if you'd like the read the entirety of my story, thank you. It means a lot to me that I can share it and hopefully you’ll enjoy it.




On October 1st, Stephen Paddock took 59 innocent lives, injured another 546 at a concert in Las Vegas, and emotionally scarred thousands more. On October 2nd, hours before the Portland show was to begin, Tom Petty passed away. I had the privilege of seeing one of his final shows at Safeco Field in Seattle, WA a mere 6 weeks earlier. After that, I also went to Coldplay's show in Seattle at Century Link Field on September 23rd, and while a blast to see the boys in my home town, (outdoors with fireworks, which, really the arena shows just aren't quite the same without them) the people I went with have changed and become distant in the short time since then. I still don't really understand why.


Back to Portland. I had bought my tickets the very hour they were released a full year earlier. I made plans, spent far more than I ever imagined I would. We had seen Coldplay before, knew it was magical, and decided that while we still can, let's go all-out. I've had better luck than most to see them a few times, even while working at Superbowl 50. I got to watch the halftime show rehearsals 3 times and even meet Miller! But this summer was different. Earlier in the year, my life changed, and I lost most of my friends including the ones I planned to go to Portland with. I did consider not going, but I still wanted to experience the show, so I tried to sell off my other tickets, but to no avail. Well I guess I'll get 4 good seats to myself. Maybe take a pre-show nap.


I packed up the truck and started driving. It's about a 3-hour journey. I'd be lying if I said the events of Vegas the night before didn't cross my mind. However, I decided to stand up instead of cowering in the dark. 2 Hours to go; still no plan. The sun was setting, landscape was beautiful, and I was getting more excited the closer I got. I was talking to a couple of lads on a classified ads website almost trying at this point to give away my tickets. 1 Hour to go, still me and my 4 seats.


During the Viva and Mylo eras, Miller, better known as Roadie 42, wrote a series of blogs about touring, the shows, his various adventures with the band. I remember reading in one of those, that the band likes to give away tickets in the front rows to the people who purchased in the nosebleeds that "look genuinely excited and giddy to be seeing the band." So I thought, "You know what, I'd rather someone enjoy my turmoil, then let the seats go unused." With that I had my plan. Little did I know that I would soon learn just how true it is that giving is better than receiving.


I finally arrive in Portland, about 2 hours before the show. Get my parking, get in and pick up my tickets, vip bags, Love pins, and of course, my Xylobands. (I'm sorry Coldplay, I just had to keep mine.) I take all the extra stuff back to my truck and get a message from a gentleman who had already bought a floor ticket a few rows behind me, but wondered if I was willing to trade one of mine so he could be closer. I told him, "Screw it, buy me a beer, and you can have it." One down, two to go. Told him my story, my plan, and told him that he could have one of my tickets on the condition he do the same thing I'm doing for mine. He loved the idea, and was all for it, immediately on the lookout. Now finding a lone individual at concert is apparently difficult, but hey, there was the two of us, so there had to be more, right? Thankfully we managed to give it away to a very happy woman. Beers bought and I'm becoming fast friends with this random cool dude from Canada.


Now to the climax of this story ...


I have two tickets to get rid of. I am on the lookout for excited, giddy people, maybe a couple on a date, best friends hanging out. I'm even contemplating trucking up to the nosebleeds to look. (Also trying to figure out how to explain to the ushers my idea once I get there so they'll let me through.) Out of the corner of my eye I see two ladies passing along on the concourse carrying posters. I didn't think much of it until I look again, and one giant word stopped everything: Houston. Looked at the poster a second time. "All the way from Houston"... I was floored.



On August 25th, Coldplay was set to play a stadium show in Houston, Texas ... The same night hurricane Harvey began its march inland and campaign of destruction in Texas. For the safety of the fans Coldplay postponed and ultimately cancelled the Houston show. It had barely been weeks since the storm and most of the region was/is still in rescue and recovery mode. When I saw these two women with their sign, I immediately knew what to do with my last 2 tickets. From Houston? Yes. Crazy emotional story? Yes. Exhausted? Yes. Dedicated enough to fly to Oregon last minute and hang out with local family to get away for a couple days and see a show you were so excited for but so disappointed it was cancelled? Yes. Nosebleed seats but you don't care? CHECK.


This woman had given so much of her time and energy to help her neighbors, even while her own family’s home was in shambles. I may not be able to do what she did to help Houston, but I can surely help her, as I'm not sure a single person there in Portland that night deserved more than she did. Take my tickets, here's the better of the 4 seats, get your signed noticed, (And it did! Chris pointed at her and made eye contact and mentioned it later in the show) thank you for inspiring me with your story, now let me help you. Their reaction, their smiles, their excitement ... indescribable. My plan was complete, our night was set, let's go have the time of our lives.


Excitement at peak levels, the building was ready to explode and Tove Lo wasn't even off the stage. She finishes her set and leaves the crowd wild and ready; they know what's coming. Someone manages to get a Wave going. My 3 complete-strangers-turned-new-friends keep chatting, telling our stories, learning more about Houston, with Brian Eno's atmospheric melody creating just enough tension in the background. Come to find out, one of the ladies had never been to a full arena show and was completely overwhelmed by the entire experience and now she was sitting right next to the B-Stage. Finally, the opera intro starts.

comes blasting out of the speakers and instantly everyone is on their feet and cheering and the house lights aren't even off yet. I look to my right and what. the. heck. ... This woman from Houston is singing. SINGING. This ridiculously obscure opera song that nobody knows or has ever heard, ... this lady is SINGING IT. Word for word, perfectly in time and on key. Apparently, she's an opera singer. I turn to the other guy with us, "Okay so that happened."


The intro finishes, house lights go out, I've got my camera up, ready for the Xylobands to fire and bring on Charlie Chaplin!!! I'm a bit of a nerd when it comes to lights and LEDs so my favorite thing about the show is the Xylobands. Charlie Brown at a live show? Perfection. I’m for everything to start but nothing happens. The fellas quietly appear on stage with just a couple of spot lights and address the audience. Chris begins talking about how strange a thing it is to consider how to go about playing a concert less than a day after the events in Las Vegas. In classic Coldplay fashion he asked we send our love to everyone in Vegas, to thunderous applause and agreement. This is why I decided to go to the show. You never know when something tragic can happen and you can't let it paralyze your life. You keep your head up high and charge out into the world anyways and when 18,000 people collide, when all these separate lives clash for the same moment, it makes something truly magical. We're all in this together.


We all took our phones, turned on our flashlights, and had a minute of silence. (A quick note it's amazing how much light 18,000 cell phone lights give off. The place was completely lit.) The silence may as well have been deafening. It was eerie, but heartwarming. All of us, all there for the same reason, all thinking about the same thing, sending our love and prayers to people in Vegas and all over the world to those who need it most. And with a cry of "Viva Las Vegas" from the crowd, the band picked up their instruments, were joined by Peter Buck and played a beautiful tribute to the fallen Tom Petty. The entire crowd sang along to "Free Fallin".


And with that, the lights went out, and we we're off to the races with a sea of red fireflies and the words of Charlie Chaplin...



I learned a lot that night, even about myself. I learned how important it is to stand for things you believe in, to stand with others. Even when you're exhausted and down, still get out there and do the things you love. Stay optimistic, help and love your fellow humans. When you've had a crappy summer and just don't feel like doing anything, still go do something. Put yourself out there and interact with others. You'll find out that everything's not lost. Even if you can't help yourself, maybe you can find someone that you can help. If things don't go according to plan, don't panic. Keep going and you'll find a new one. If my plan hadn’t fallen to shambles, I never would have made 3 wonderful new friends. I would not have had one of the best concerts of my life. I would not have experienced the satisfaction of helping someone that has also been through so much and that my woes can't even begin to compare to.


If you're one of those 3 people reading this, if I never see you again, I'll never forget you or that night. It was truly an experience to remember. A memory I will always cherish. If you're ever in my neck of the woods, look me up. We'll put on some Coldplay albums. Thank you.



Without further adieu, here is a short video I made with some of the shaky footage I captured. The time lapse at the beginning was made with a GoPro Hero4 Black held with a suction cup to my windshield. The rest of the footage was done with my GoPro Hero5 Session. (Seriously a fantastic concert camera because of the size. It literally just looks like you're just holding your hand up in the air.) Thank you for reading my story and watching my video. If you're ever in a place where you can help someone else, take it from me, it makes you feel so much better. Take care, my friends of Coldplaying.



PS: If you've never gotten to stand beneath falling confetti, yes, it is as cool as it looks. Totally worth it!

PSS: If you'd like to see my raw shaky footage, and don't mind listening to a grown man screaming his head off and singing out of key, PM and I'll share you a temporary OneDrive link

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I'm still feeling very emotional about all the things you wrote...Well done Mehovoric!

May God bless you and give you strength to keep this faith on humanity.

Thanks 4 sharing your lovely story!

Kind regards from far Portugal :gs: :viva: :parachutes:


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