OPINION: Diary of a Coldplay concert goer . . .
Check for the 19th time the tickets for my favourite band's concert at Mt Smart Stadium. Fondle e-tickets lovingly, then hide them back in cupboard behind the crystal bowl my boss gave me for a wedding present nearly 24 years ago.
Ring best friend, who is coming with me, to scream excitedly down the phone like hyped-up teenagers. She's out for a run, so leave a message with her 11-year-old to ring me back.
Make sure I have enough dough to buy a T-shirt if the temptation is overwhelming. Remember over- inflated prices for food and drink at Eden Park Bledisloe match last year, and add another $50 in case I desperately require a pottle of hot chips and a sad-looking hotdog.
Check tickets to ensure they haven't spontaneously combusted.
Ring best friend to scream excitedly down the phone like teenagers, but she's out walking the dog. Leave a message with her 11-year-old to ring me.
Start planning outfit. Remember it was a bit nippy at Little Weenie's soccer match on Friday night and add a coat to my ensemble. Decide knee- high boots are a little overkill - opt for leather flats and socks in my pocket just in case.
Hurriedly whack favourite top - that's been in the washing machine wet for three days - in the dryer.
Ring best friend again, but she's out at beach volleyball. Leave a message with her 11-year-old to ring me back . . . or else.
Outline situation of my imminent absence to kids. Quiet Middle Child screws up his nose and asks where his tea is coming from. Little Weenie asks who is dropping her off at her friends.
Cats look aghast and start packing their bags. Hubby rings and whinges about arriving home after work without a hot meal to look forward to. Shrug my shoulders at all of them and start getting ready.
Best friend texts to ask why I haven't rung her. Ring and scream excitedly down phone like hyped-up teenagers. Mutually agree that she will ground 11-year- old "message-taker" for a year.
Feel a buzz of excitement.
Jump in car to go pick up best friend. Return home due to forgetting tickets.
Board free bus to Mt Smart. Get stuck sitting next to English transsexual with unusual blue glitter eyeshadow who tells me her life story year by year. Just as she's getting to the good bit - having the sex-change op - we arrive at our destination. Wish, for the very first time, that the bus was running late.
Join a 300-strong queue for pizza. Friend joins a 1489-strong queue for a plastic bottle of wine and a Diet Coke. Thirty dollars and 45 minutes later, meet at mosh-pit gate and meld into the crowd. Decide it's the best pizza I've ever tasted.
Try to look cool and hip swaying to the sounds of the surprisingly good support act.
Crowd good-natured, although some old fart in a Last of the Summer Wine cap continually blows marijuana smoke in my face. Glare at him repeatedly but get nowhere. Stand heavily on his sandalled foot, which seems to convey the message appropriately.
Feet are starting to hurt a bit. Five glammed-up young women behind me are having a fascinating conversation about their 'G-spots'. Laugh a little too loudly at one story about a toothbrush, a small dinghy and a pot of cottage cheese. Feel 10 accusing eyes on the back of my head. Pretend fascination at something in extreme distance.
In a flash of fireworks and puffs of confetti, Coldplay hits the stage. Crowd screams and surges forward. Stand on tip-toes but still can't see anything other than the neck of the man in front. Scream like an over-hyped teenager.
Gap opens in front of us, so take advantage to get closer to the stage. Realise a second too late that someone in front has passed vile wind, resulting in general crowd movement away from source of stench. Spend five minutes gasping for air and guessing who did it. Generally agree with friend that it was a tall bloke in a striped jersey.
Bracelets given at the entrance blink brilliant colour across the crowd. Wonder at the spectacle, and agree with best friend that it's one of the best concerts we've seen. Unusual-looking man with five chin piercings and a hobbit hat hanging from the back of his head agrees wholeheartedly with us. Lean away a little so I'm not mistaken for his wife/girlfriend/ mother/granny/parole officer.
Band starts playing my favourite song, Fix You. Tape the whole thing on my iPhone but because I'm only 5'4 and everyone around me seems to top 6'2, all I capture are the backs of heads. Nearly 50,000 people assist lead singer Chris Martin with the chorus, as confetti sprays overhead and our bracelets glow. Feels like paradise.
Concert ends, lights go up and we file out. My feet are beginning to feel like huge lumps of concrete stuck with shards of glass and cooked in boiling oil. But I don't care . . . Coldplay is worth the discomfort.
File back on to free bus, tired and happy. Sit next to a young girl who spends 25 minutes telling her friends in the seat behind us at the top of her voice that her dad's getting her an iPhone for her 19th birthday on November 22. By the time we hit the bridge, I'm ready to stuff said phone up her left nostril.
Fall thankfully into car, and start the short journey home. "That," says my best friend, "was well worth the effort." Agree wholeheartedly and grin from ear to ear. Wish once again that we'd been able to book Coldplay for the Bowl of Brooklands at some stage. A perfect location for a perfect sound.
10am the next day
Ring best friend to reminisce, but she's out swimming. Tell her 11-year-old to forget leaving a message and go back to Playstation game. Put on old Coldplay CD, elevate my poor, "had-it", 46-year-old feet and chill out for rest of the day.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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