21 October 2011: Today Show, Rockefeller Plaza, New York, USA
Photos from this show can be found at Coldplaying.com in the Gallery thread for the Today Show 2011. http://www.coldplaying.com/forum/gallery/showgallery.php/cat/1880
Videos from this show can be found in the first post of the Coldplaying forum live thread for this show at http://www.coldplaying.com/forum/showthread.php?t=88525
All post-show discussion for this show at the forum thread http://www.coldplaying.com/forum/showthread.php?t=88525
Fan Reviews (Part 1)
All fan reviews have been submitted to us by the members of Coldplaying.com, unless stated otherwise.
HEY EVERYONE!!!! I'm typing this review on my iPhone because my Internet won't work, so excuse any typos. So the past 24 hours have been INCREDIBLE!!! Marisa and Amy and I arrived in New York and they went straight to queue. I met them at about 11 and we all settled into line. Sleeping out on the street was so much fun- a huge hello to everyone I met in line, you guys were all amazing. We were about 15th in line, so we were close enough that we hung around the Plaza a lot to watch them setting up. Awesomely, we snuck around back at about 3AM and got to see all of the boys' equipment being unloaded by the roadies, and saw some of Chris' notes and the lyrics to War Is Over taped to the lid of one trunk so that was really cool. We met Chelsea at 4:30, which was SO EXCITING!!!! And she made us spraypaint MX shirts because she's the best and we met Christa and Steph too. Things finally started to get going at about 6AM (I think, it's all a bit fuzzy!), and they started letting VIP/Fan Pass people in. Even though we knew it would happen, it was pretty disheartening to see people who'd arrived at 6 get to walk straight to the front row, while those of us who had camped out all night were forced to watch and get less desirable spots. But that's how the world works, unfortunately. At least we knew a couple deserving Coldplayers were in front! Oh, and they gave us all really awesome (nice quality!) posters of the album cover! So, they started letting a few of us at a time in with the Fan Pass people, so we ended up behind where the control panels were all the way to the right. We could see the boys when we stood on our toes, but the controls blocked our view of Chris' piano. But who cares, it was Coldplay time!!!!
We waited around for a bit, and then suddenly Will, Jonny and Guy just walked onstage. I was FREAKING OUT, as it was my first time seeing them since 09!!!! There's nothing like seeing them in person. However, Chris was missing, so we got a KARAOKE COLDPLAY CONCERT WOOO that was incrediblly surreal and weird- we just listened to the three of them play Viva la Vida, Charlie Brown, and ETIAW without Chris... Marisa and I filled in all the lyrics at the top of our lungs, which was so fun. Coolest karaoke ever
So then they left, and then the worst part, waiting for the actual concert. However I managed to get to the front of the barrier and talk to the roadie there, who was SUPER NICE, promised me his set list, and told me all about all the shows last week, and the plans for a stadium tour! So thanks Steve, you're awesome. Then IT WAS TIME!!!! Suddenly they all walked out, and it was so incredible and I completely lost it. There they were. And then Chris said hello and they started Yellow!!!! I couldn't believe they were back and I was hearing Yellow for the 6th time, and the first time in 2 1/2 years. They sounded incredible and completely on form. Then there was a couple minute break between songs and Chris was like "we want to keep you entertained during the commercial break- which he did by starting to play The Scientist!!!! But after the first verse they were back on air so he ended up going "ohtakemebacktothestartohSHIT" then they played the song I was desperate to hear- CHARLIE BROWN!!!! Oh my god is it amazing live. I was jumping like mad and screaming, I can't believe how great it is live. Then they played Viva, and Paradise, which sounded SO much. Errrr in person than I could have imagined. ETIAW was such a thrill live, it's amazing to scream out those lyrics with Chris, and Will hammers on the drums. There was an interview in there somewhere but I don't remember where, and then they finished with Fix You which made me cry as usual. Then it was over but we got to meet up with and hang out with some awesome Coldplayers for a little while!!!! And we ate at a horrible diner together. All in all, well worth the camping out and it still feels like it didn't even happen. You forget just how incredible they sound in person. Chris' voice was spot-on, they played everything perfectly, and it's just such an overwhelming experience. Amazing. Will post my pictures later when I have Internet- I can't wait to watch the today show videos, I've been told that I can be seen in them. Edit: oh god, watched Fix You, Charlie Brown, and Paradise, and you can see me it's so embarrassing!! *hides*
In short, I was able to get a VIP fan pass from Steph (StephBerryman), which is why I didn’t need to camp out on the street like so many did. I was exceedingly grateful for this, as anyone would be, but I also felt bad because not everyone I was going with had these passes, and we would all end up separated and with drastically different views, and those of us waiting the longest in the cold would have the worst places to watch from. I also got passes in 2008 when Coldplay played the Today Show, but that was run very differently (and I think more fairly) than it was this time. Despite the fact that I didn’t need to camp out on the street, though, I still needed to get to Manhattan by about 4:30AM to ensure I got a good place. So this meant waking up at about 1:30-2AM to get ready and drive there. In 2008, my mom and brother and I took the earliest train and got to Rockefeller Plaza right at 6AM when it was starting, so I knew that wouldn’t be good enough this time. We got 5 rows or so back, but I figured I have the means of getting there earlier and have driven in Manhattan several times before, so I was going to get there as early as I could to ensure the best positioning. I left my house in my car at 3AM, which is just kind of a weird feeling. I wasn’t that tired, even though I hadn’t slept at all due to excitement (and serious nerves about being forced to rely on other people, something I’m not good at), but it’s weird to be like the only car on the road, and to set out for a journey at that time of day. It has this odd, ominous feeling to it, it’s hard to describe. But the first song I listened to when I started driving was “Major Minus,” and that seemed to fit the mood perfectly.
Conveniently and somewhat by chance, I parked in the garage directly next to the VIP fan line, needing to walk about ten feet from the door of the garage to my place in queue. It was 4:30, but being in the city that never sleeps, it felt more like 8PM. Marisa (In A Telescope Lens) and Zoe (NotLost92) came to visit me from their line, which was really great because we’d never met in person before, and I gave them the shirts I made them for ditching them, and we talked for awhile. I think the people around us realized we were more than just fans by eavesdropping on our conversations. The line at that point was maybe 20 people long, some people with blankets and chairs, but there was also a “VIP” line. Turns out what I had was called a “fan pass” (in 2008 it was called VIP) and there were like 15 people with status higher than that that got to go into the stage area first. And even higher than VIP status was “Christa status.” Christa, who worked so hard to get me my fan pass, has an NBC connection and was allowed to watch the whole thing basically from the sound booth on the side of the stage, and took Angie with her, because it was Angie’s birthday. I don’t know, I’m not really a jealous person, so I was just happy for them, not envious. Besides, it was kind of really fun to have Chris jumping in my face and being able to see the whole stage in one glance (well, not Guy so much, but I was in front of him in 2008, so I felt that was a good tradeoff). And I was mostly in this for the fun of it all—it’s not a full concert or anything, it’s just a few songs. Of course, I would have been really upset if something went wrong and I couldn’t have gotten in at all, especially after all that work getting there and trying to orchestrate things between people, but I was just so happy for what I had, because I never expected to be VIP this time. Even if I wasn’t VIP, it still would have been a great time and I still would have done it for fun.
The VIP/fan pass people got brought into the Plaza at 6AM. It was still pitch dark out because it’s October, and maybe about 43 degrees. I wasn’t cold until we got into the Plaza, which I think had a bit of a windtunnel effect going on, but even then, I just really like being cold. Our little fan pass group (me, Steph, Erica, and Mike) got to be right at the end of the ramp that Chris would dance down, which was GREAT, if you asked me, because you could see straight up it to the stage and I had a great view of Will and Jonny as well, albeit from like ten feet away, and I think we were all pretty happy with that. But a lot of the people around us, who had won passes via radio stations or something and weren’t mega Coldplay fans but knew the hits, were really whiney that they weren’t closer to the stage. I was really tired of their negativity after about three minutes in: there seemed to be nothing that they couldn’t complain about, such as the cold, or the distance from the stage, or the time it was taking them to come out. There were two women in front of me (so I was technically like second row from the ramp, but kind of between them) who were maybe in their late 30s and just having the absolute time of their lives, though. They got a kick out of every text they got from their friends saying they saw them on TV, they obviously really liked the band, even if they weren’t mega-fan status, and were just so in awe of being able to be that close for a show for free. I just really liked them, I don’t know, they made me happy. I’m not someone that’s done this sort of thing so many times for this band that all the excitement’s worn off, because then I probably wouldn’t bother to keep doing it, but it’s just kind of cute to see these people doing it for the first time, either seeing them for the first time at all or getting to be in a “special” show and see them up close, and get such a kick out of it. I get a kick out of it every time too, but not in that way, in that “I will never be luckier than this” way.
Around 6:30 (still dark), Will, Jonny, and Guy came onstage and soundchecked the instrumentals to “ETIAW,” “Charlie Brown,” and “Viva la Vida.” I figured they’d soundcheck again with Chris in a bit, but that was really it and Chris didn’t show his face til they were due to start. In 2008, the whole thing was basically a big long soundcheck with the guys hanging out onstage the whole time, talking to the audience and each other and playing each song about ten times over to perfect it…this time it was just the three of them doing one run-through of each song, giving a wave, and going back inside. So that was disappointing, but only in comparison to what happened in 2008—this was a complain-free day for me. The only thing that was even slightly annoying was that the crane camera was RIGHT in front of my face, so every time they did a sweeping crowd shot, it started and/or ended with me. I think over the course of the whole show, I was on screen about fifteen times. This marks the third time I’ve been on TV making a fool of myself for this band.
The show starts at 7, but you wouldn’t really know the difference standing out there. There are a few TVs inside the actual NBC building that we could see, but it was very hard to hear any of the broadcast itself, so it was just a lot of waiting around. NBC interns came out and passed huge-ass cardboard signs and markers out to everyone they could, which I just think is so stupid because holding up a sign ensures everyone behind you can’t see shit. There were also free sunglasses and free gloves to be had, but I never got any of either. You kind of needed the sunglasses—the TV lights and the LED colored lights onstage were absolutely blinding. I brought my SLR camera, and I had to mess with the settings every twenty minutes, which is why I have to edit a lot of the photos before I post them. When Chris was back on the proper part of the stage, I needed one light setting, but when he came down the ramp and was in our faces, I needed a completely different one, and it was hard to switch between the two in my excitement.
Anyway, during the downtime they’d do lots of sweeping shots of the crowd and stuff, which was pretty big, but nowhere NEAR as big as it was in 2008, but it was summer then—I think that was the difference. In 2008, people were lining the streets for blocks, and they had helicopters doing aerial shots of how huge the turnout was. This year, people filled the Plaza and maybe a bit down 48th Street, that’s about it. What do you want, on a weekday in late October. I got texted and tweeted from friends who said they saw me…sigh, it was Christmas Day all over again, when I was on the BBC singing my heart out to Coldplay. Al Roker and Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie did a little talky thing at the end of the ramp for the cameras like they do, so I had all their butts in my face during that, but we got to talk to them while they were in commercials and setting up shots and stuff, and they’re all very nice. One of the people kind of next to me was a couple maybe five or six years older than me with a baby that was like one and a half, and all the hosts (and Chris, actually) got such a kick out of that. She was very well behaved, and adorable.
I think the guys finally came out at like 8:30—I didn’t expect them til 9, but everyone around us was so damn whiney, like this wasn’t a scheduled show with a defined order of things and the band was taking their sweet time getting out there, so it was good that they came out when they did. Chris came down to the end of the ramp to say hi to us all in that area, and I shook his hand again. It’s kind of weird that he’s a “normal person” to me now. Like obviously not a NORMAL PERSON, but as much as I still idolize him and have pictures of him on my wall and talk about him, it’s very much like “oh hey, Chris” rather than “SKDJGKFSHKDFOKSDJG, CHRIS MARTIN AHHH.” I can even look him in the eye now, whereas the first time I met him they were a bit too astonishing in person to do that.
Anyway, they did “Yellow” first, making one of the cute women in front of me absolutely melt. Before the next song, during a commercial, Chris did half of “The Scientist” off-air before he was told he had 30 seconds to live and then did a cute fade-out of the song. “Paradise” was next, which is obligatory, but not unenjoyable, and it was my first time seeing it live. And then it was “Charlie Brown,” what a fantastic song that is live. I felt like the only one singing along to the new ones at all—the VIP section is not the sort of crowd that rips live bootlegs from summer shows and downloads album leaks the second they’re available, they’re people who like the band in a casual-fan way that got lucky. The people who really cared the most were at the back, like Marisa and Zoe (even though they got MUCH closer than I expected they would, really not too much worse than I had in 2008), and that’s what sucks about this kind of stuff. It’s about who you know and luck, not about how much you love the band, or even how much money you’re willing/able to shell out.
I think “Viva” was next, and Chris spent a lot of time at the end of the ramp, about 6 inches away. My camera lens was in his face far more than was polite, and I felt bad AND looked like a knob on a TV, but at least photos last longer. It was about 45 degrees and he was covered in sweat. Every time he’d spin and jump some would fly off, so it was a bit like getting a shower in the perspiration of your idol, which…well, it sounds like it would be nice in a fangirl sense, but it’s just kind of icky when you think about it, and it’s like the fifth time it’s happened so the novelty of having Chris Martin DNA on me has kind of dulled. Yes, I still love “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall,” so I loved that live again. Chris spent most of that song again at the bottom of the ramp, dancing like a maniac, of course—he moved too fast for my camera settings, which would have taken too much time to change, so my photos of him up-close have a lot of motion-blur going on. And the last song was “Fix You,” sigh. I certainly don’t dislike that song, but it’s just not one of my personal favorites and would have gladly traded it for another new one because I’m so hyped up on that these days, but the crowd loved it. I also just think it’s a weird choice for a morning show—not enough energy, at least until the end. One of the two cute women in front of me just burst into tears when it was over, saying how happy she was for the whole experience, and that made me feel all nice and fuzzy. I still probably would have paid them to play “Hurts Like Heaven,” though.
And then it was over. It felt impossibly short, and of course it was, but that’s the nature of things like this. But my entire day, or the reason for my day, was over by 9AM…which is a weird feeling when you’ve been up for hours. We walked around the block to the other part of the Plaza and met up with the others we got separated from and reviewed our separate stories and pictures and expressed our tiredness. I only just got out of a cast two weeks ago after breaking my foot in four places, so I was kind of worse for wear even though I didn’t sleep out on the street or anything. We were all starving and just starting to become zombies, so we went on the hunt for food. We wanted a diner, so we walked to Broadway and found one, but unfortunately it was a SINGING diner, where all the failed Broadway actors and actresses work and put on ridiculous shows while everyone’s eating, but we were so hungry and so tired that we didn’t want to find anywhere else and just ate our breakfasts screaming to each other over the horrible showtune renditions. And then we all had to go our separate ways. But honestly, a huge, huge part of the reason I do things like this, maybe even more than 50%, is to see the wonderful people I’ve met through this band, not JUST to see the band themselves. That’s why I would have slept outside for this if I didn’t get a pass—because events like this are the only times I can see people in person that I’ve gotten to know so well through a shared passion. That’s why I love queuing, too, and being miserable outside for things like this for hours on end: because we’re doing it together for the same reason, and we all understand that reason and don’t have to explain it or make excuses for it. These are the only people that get me in that way, who I don’t have to censor anything for, and to be able to spend time with them in any capacity is just as important as seeing the band itself to me.
I went with my daughter and we got there around 5am. We ended up in the back by the stage & lift that Al Roker would go up and down on. We couldn't see a darn thing but they sounded great!! After it was over we went and watched the guys break down the stage. I talked to Hoppy and he gave me a guitar pick! It is cool, has MX on one side and Coldplay on the other in that MX font. My daughter really wanted her own so she got the nerve up to ask Hoppy herself and he asked her if she played guitar. She said no, she plays piano and he gave her 3 more!! We said hi to Matt & Bash as well. We saw Frank. It was neat to see them at work. We also saw some guy that I did not recognize carrying the elephant suit in clear plastic bag!! I am not sure what they were doing with the elephant suit there. I took some cool pics of the stage & equipment. I will upload and post them soon. Also on a side note.....we went to the Nintendo World after watching the stage break down and some guy in there was with his son. He told us that his wife just saw Apple at the Lego store 5 min ago so I guess they were doing some shopping while they were there.
Fan Reviews (Part 2)
NEW YORK -- Thousands of Coldplay fans wrapped around a dark Rockefeller Plaza on Friday morning (October 21) waiting to get into the group's "Today" show performance. While most woke up before sunrise, some even camped out overnight to catch the seven-time Grammy-winning band perform. Coldplay satisfied their fans' hunger, performing past hits like "Fix You" and "Viva la Vida" along with new singles "Paradise" and "Every Tear Drop Is a Waterfall."
Two early birds from Long Island missed part of their school day to catch the free show. "We woke up at 4 a.m., missed the train, took another train," Rebecca Monachelli, 17, said. When asked if her parents were aware, the teen laughed, "My mom was the one who suggested to come here today!" A spray-painted set, in the identical colors of Coldplay's new album cover, lit up the plaza as dawn approached. When "Today" co-anchor Matt Lauer asked about the set, frontman Chris Martin admitted, "It's just random and fun. It's just us throwing caution to the wind, we know it looks kind of amateur, but it comes from the heart."
The band's fifth studio album, Mylo Xyloto, due Tuesday, is said to be the band's most electronic album yet. MTV News took to the plaza to talk with fans and test their ability to pronounce the album title. Most fans laughed as they stumbled over the words Mylo Xyloto, while others confidently let it out. When the band was asked about the meaning behind the title, Martin said, "It doesn't really mean anything. It just means a group of four English people who are trying to come up with something that had no other association ... one day hopefully it'll mean something."
Lauer quoted the band from a New York Times article, in which Martin had been quoted, "We came up with the idea of, what if you had musical digits, like xylo toes?" Martin smiled before responding, "I said that, but now I don't mean that anymore. We're still trying to figure out what to say. We should have figured it out before we came on national TV."