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One by one, the band bound onto the stage for soundcheck in Ottawa. I don't use the word bound just because it's easy to type. Ten days of rest has recharged, re-invigorated and positively rebuilt everybody here. Jonny, in particular bounces onto the stage like a boxer entering the ring to claim his title.
He's beaming widely and just as the others, has greetings and bear hugs for the crew sitting on the wings awaiting their arrival. We've been through the chaos of "birthing" the tour, we've been through the painstaking revisions and re-workings. We've had a wonderful, if slightly grueling European run. Now at last, you get the impression that everyone is settled. Problems that at first appeared insurmountable, if not completely solved are at least tamed.
Folks who were once strangers are already feeling like old friends. Of course strange people are what a good crew is all about. Here's a lovely man named Maynard who keeps all the screens, drapes and backdrops rocking from day to day. He's not at all strange, he's lovely. He is however, having something of a bad hair day today after wrangling a bunch of fifty foot drapes.
I remember it dawning on me late on in the X&Y tour that for nearly a year, I had spent more time at the edge of the Coldplay stage than I had on the sofa in my own living room. Now don't get me wrong, there isn't a single person here who would trade this for the opportunity to be at home amongst their family and loved ones. What I'm saying is that it's all beginning to feel comfortable enough to genuinely start enjoying it now.
The first two shows bear this out, as the fellas dive into it at full pelt. I've seen them confident before, I've even seen them have nights of being "completely on fire". I wonder if what I'm seeing here is more aptly described as a band on top of their game? Knowing them as I do, and their complete refusal to settle for resting on their laurels, I expect they will push themselves further. However, right now, it's a consistently outstanding delivery night after night.
With shows pretty much right the way through until Christmas, I'd say that's a good place to be!
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