Kaotican Alphabet

Roadie #42 – Blog #52

In which #42 muses on Hooters and parties

Our show in Fort Lauderdale or Miami (nobody seems exactly sure where we are) is a nicely noisy affair. You can always pretty much judge how raucous an audience is going to be by watching them during the Blue Danube intro. Tonight it’s arms aloft, swaying in time. It can’t hurt, obviously that many of these arms are attached to rather large plastic cups full of beer…

Most arenas have advertising boards on the front of the balconies. The majority of modern ones have LED panels that make a bright ring all around the venue. Tonight, when the lights go up after Speed Of Sound, Chris notes that all the way around the arena there are boards advertising a certain drinking establishment. Despite Jonny’s assertion in a Canadian radio interview that the album had been a success mainly due to the fact that "there are boobs on the cover", Chris is at pains to point out that the "the band Coldplay has nothing to do with Hooters". Never one to burn his bridges though, he follows this up with "although we’d like to…"

I decide to take a wander out to the back of the room during the C-Stage. The mixing desk is way out at the back of the crowd, so I make my way into the Front Of House enclosure to do as the majority of the rest of the crowd do at this point – i.e. take some photos…

We seem to be doing a lot of "second nights" in places on this tour. We’re revisiting Atlanta today, for the second time in under a week. Today we’re joined by old friends. Bryan Kiger was on the sound crew right back on Coldplay’s first trip to the States. He was soon joined by John Kaylor and Dave Cheek and all three are truly wonderful people. Despite all the "glamour" and "excitement" that is associated with the job we do, the real thing that is of value that comes out of it is the friendships that you take away with you. Seeing these fellas again is a huge treat and only makes us miss them all the more. I’ve no doubt whatsoever though, that we’ll catch up again further down the road.

It’s been a while since the band have been in for soundcheck and today isn’t just a soundcheck – it’s a soundcheck party!

I’ve mused before that for the roadie, the phrase "soundcheck party" is something of an oxymoron. Soundcheck is what stands between them and either a break for dinner, or possibly the joy of a quick hour back in the bunk on the bus. This means that they are essentially a mild form of purgatory. To celebrate this in any way, seems utterly insane.

For the 100 lucky competition winners though, you can understand it is indeed a treat. Today, the fellas are working on some of the Prospekt’s March songs – which means that the assembled folks are the first to ever hear two of the new songs performed live. Quite how they sounded in the boomy emptiness of the arena I’m not sure. Life In Technicolor II goes pretty well, Prospekt’s March though, requires more work, it would seem. To round out the new tracks, they give Glass Of Water a thrashing before wandering down to say hello.

Atlanta also marks the return of Jon Hopkins to the fold. Tonight he is DJ-ing before the show, but from Kansas on, he’s bringing the whole multimedia spectacular. Obviously, we’re all pleased to see him. None more so than Guy, who now has somebody else to take photos of…

Roadie #42