When I was 13, I was going through hell.
Music saves you. And when I was 13, only "Green Eyes" could soothe me, calm me, relax me, and give me a moment to think and breathe and rethink the screams that were building up inside me. "Green Eyes" was not the first Coldplay song I heard. It wasn't the first Coldplay song I fell in love with, or the reason I began to buy their records. But "Green Eyes" had the power of making me feel at home.
It's been said that there are more people in the world who hate Coldplay than those who love them. I, for one, do not understand who these people are. I've met these people, and some are friends. I've heard people say Coldplay's music is depressing, or pretentious, or stupid. I, for one, do not understand why these people believe this.
I've been waiting for years for Coldplay to come to my city. And I've been planning that concert with my best friend, whom I made a pact with that we would not go to our first Coldplay concert without each other. Which is why, after many opportunities of seeing them live in other cities, we waited until we could both go to Coldplay's first concert in Monterrey. That was last night, March 11 2010, when the band played at Estadio Universitario to close their Viva la Vida tour.
After a 10-hour bus ride from Austin and a 10-hour wait outside and in the stadium, my back out, my legs and feet sore, my eyes red and puffy from the lack of sleep, my mouth dry, the lights went out and I heard screams.
Coldplay's songs are not about sex. Coldplay's songs do not have the word "bitch" in every other verse. Coldplay's songs are not about getting wasted, or the curve of a fine ass.
Coldplay's songs speak of hope and urgency, confusion and dreams, they speak of loss and about finding a way back. They speak of belonging, friendship, possibility and politics and wishful thinking. They speak of freedom. They speak of fairness.
Chris Martin's voice is not the finest. It's far from perfect. Weird, even.
Chris Martin's voice is pure and honest, the sound of heartbreak. The sound of peace.
When you see the four boys live, they look like just that- boys. Boys running around the stage, smiling tiny secret smiles when listening to the thousands of voices that know their music by heart.
Last night I cried. At first I cried of frustration, pain, tiredness, and because my best friend was nowhere to be seen. In midst of the madness, we lost each other. And then I cried for the music. And no, I was not the only one. And no, it was not only girls that cried last night. Coldplay's music does not only speak to girls, it does not only speak to gay men (like many straight Coldplay-hating men would think). It speaks to the hopeless, or the worried, the excited and eager, the joyful, the madly in love, the indecisive.
I tightly grasped a friend's hand last night while "Fix You" was playing. The lights bright and Martin at the piano, there was a silent wish that could be heard through everybody's singing.
The beauty of their music lies in the impact it has in its listeners. After seeing them live, all I wanted to do was write. Write while the memory of "Shiver" was still fresh in my mind and the image of Will Champion's smile was still infectious. And like I wanted to get home and write, I bet a lot of people left wanting to play the guitar, or paint, or take a photography course, or dance and laugh, or play football with more drive and confidence than they had before, or with a greater reassurance that one day they will accomplish what they've been wanting to accomplish.
"Green Eyes" wasn't played last night, and neither was "See You Soon", another one of my favorites. But it was an amazing night, a memorable night. And when I found my best friend outside the stadium after the concert, it did feel like the plan didn't go 100% like we wanted it to. But there'll be more nights like this, without the 10-hour bus ride and the sore feet.
And for those who say they hate Coldplay, I hope for their own sake that they give their music another listen.
All music has the potential of saving someone.