THEY CAN’T ALL BE COLDPLAY (thank god) by Thomas Callahan

August 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

Thomas Callahan, Photography, Coldplay, writing, live music


They Can’t All Be Coldplay (thank God)    

by Thomas Callahan       

I don’t see many shows anymore. This is not deliberate. I have a couple of kids now. It’s a call for celebration if the music playing in my home isn’t recorded by the Fresh Beat Band. In fact, I quite like checking out live music. I often tell people if I was to find out I was dying, one area I’d feel truly accomplished in is making certain to see many of the bands I love perform live. Over the years I have been absolutely floored, as well as utterly disappointed by far too many acts to name. However even when I was let down by a band, I rarely regretted the evening. Often times it was spent with a group of close friends, most of whom would usually tolerate my drunken antics. Pity the same can’t be said for most ex-girlfriends.

One Coldplay concert in particular comes to mind. I managed to alienate, frustrate, embarrass, and bewilder each of the ten or so friends that were charged with dragging me around the venue. I recall nothing of the performance. I do however remember jumping off of a fifteen foot high rock formation in the parking lot, attempting to steal food from fellow tailgater’s grills, spilling a full Red Hook Pale Ale down the back of a girl who tried desperately to have me removed by security, and finally losing my front tooth, just as Coldplay took the stage (it was a porcelain crown which was a replacement for my actual tooth, knocked out in an entirely different booze fueled disaster a few years earlier). It was horrific. Still, I was technically able to cross them off the list. Ah, young alcoholism. It never fails to amaze me, how nostalgic I can get for a time that was such a chaotic mess.

Of course not every concert I have attended has been an inebriated waking nightmare. I’ve seen plenty of remarkable live performances since I got sober. Really, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how little abstaining from booze at shows has affected me. This may have something to do with watching my friends sadly return from the bar with a plastic cup roughly the same size as a dentist’s rinse cup full of $12 Absolut vodka.

Next month, the buzz band (as if there’s another kind of band these days) Cults is playing in Orlando with the buzzier Foster the People. I’m considering it. I don’t know. I’m still struggling to understand why I feel personally offended that Justin Vernon is not bringing Bon Iver to Florida. Shows for me have become the type of events that require at least the same amount of planning and preparation as, say, a high school graduation party. I’d hate to line up a babysitter, cover my shift at the bar, and drive to Orlando just to have my eardrums blasted apart by synthesizers and wonder if I’m getting old because I don’t get why it’s 92 degrees at night and everyone is wearing winter hats. Still, I’ll probably go. Go Outside is a slick jam.




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