And so the San Siro nights came. The nights we all so eagerly anticipated, that made us feel excited, anxious and even angry at times.
Being surrounded by youngsters, the New Guard, whose minds only associate Amsterdam with easily obtainable drugs and red light districts. Missing the Old Guard, those who fully comprehend what it means shutting the whole world outside and finally feeling whole after putting Parachutes on.
I stand right in the middle of those two guards.
I am fully able, by luck or recklessness, to switch between Parachutes and A Head Full of Dreams with no fuss at all. Because, you see, the parameter I use with Coldplay is very wide and inclusive. It’s called feeling.
And I say this without the fear of being bullied or reprimanded by critics or so-called experts. There is no way, in my opinion, that one can affirm with absolute and universal certainty that Clocks is better (or more worthy, even), than A Sky Full of Stars.
Of course, I am not saying that Ghost Stories is equal to X&Y. The difference between those two albums is easily distinguishable, and I have to admit that even I, a tenacious fan of all the seasons of Coldplay, from time to time I listen to A Message and think to myself, “oh so this is actually Coldplay”.
But then again, I don’t care. With all due respect, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Old and the New Guard, I don’t care, not in the slightest. Yes, I do get shivers when I hear Chris sing his heart out with the words “on a platform I’m gonna stand and say, that I’m nothing on my own, and I love you, please, come home!”. But the very same thing happens when I hear “I’d rather be a comma, than a full stop”.
So yeah, everyone: I don’t care! Go on and tear me apart!
There’s no goosebumps that are more worthy than others. It’s all about that feeling. And if at any point in your life you’ve been a Coldplay fan, you’ll know exactly what feeling I’m talking about.
And anyway, I’m strongly convinced that we all change in life. Us, them.
When they started out, the music was an incarnation of our inner turmoil. Countless times we felt a weight for others and we identified ourselves, with the typically tenacious desperation you experience when you’re young, in the words of Trouble.
Then we went on, we started pondering about life and its meaning. We were trying to make sense of it all, even if we felt surrounded by people whose language we didn’t speak and we asked ourselves, full of hope and fear, “in the future, where will I be?”. We started to look inside of ourselves and think about every single thing we had done up until that moment. Some were good, some were bad. Nonetheless, we’d stand in front of a mirror 10, 100, 1000 times and say to our reflection, “I promise you I will learn from my mistakes”.
And we went on again, this time trying to leave that dark numbness behind. We started to see the light — lights did guide us home, in a way. We started thinking, “you know what? This life ain’t so bad after all!”. We replaced “so you know how much I need ya, but you never even see me, do you?” with “through chaos as it swirls, it’s us against the world”. We started celebrating, though we weren’t completely free yet. There was a thin veil of grey lingering in the light, still. But we knew we were on the right path.
Finally, the colours came. We were ready to embrace it all, the good and the bad, because we knew that each single thing was sent as a guide. We became able to understand compassion, warmth, acceptance. We valued the love for our partners, our friends, our families, our children. We celebrated life and all its wonderful adventures, and we knew we could just finally enjoy each one of it, even if it meant coming out of our comfort zone, whether it meant dancing and making friends with strangers with flashing wristbands on or having to excuse ourselves from business meetings to double check, with a big smile on our face, if we had removed all the confettis from our hair.
Some people of the Old Guard say this evolution was all a big commercial move. So what? Did anyone think that in the Parachutes era the songs were out there exclusively to soothe our tormented souls? Some others say they’re not being true to themselves. Bullshit. They’re true to what they are now. They have the job of their dreams, millions of people around the world love them. Would they be credible if they sang “and you know how much I need you, but you never even see me”?
The New Guard is no better. I’ve heard stuff like “oh my God, the old albums are, like, sooooooo depressing!”, probably not knowing that their beloved Fix you, that they so love to use as soundtrack of their heartaches, come from the same feelings and experiences of those albums. Or “Yeah, I’ve heard that song about governments, I think it’s called politique or something”. But I don’t get angry anymore. If anything, I do feel a bit sorry for them: can you say you have really lived if you haven’t, at least once, screamed “give me love over, love over, love over thiiiiiiiiiiiis” with thousands of strangers?
After all, you know what? It’s ok. Everything is good.
I will proudly keep standing in the middle of the two Guards, with my xyloband and my shivers. I hope that both Guards, some day, will be able to see what I see: the full Kaleidoscope. I hope that they will talk with gigantic robots (without ending up eaten!), that they will glow in the dark, that they’ll be able to dance with monkeys, that they will wake up one day on a mattress and start singing backwards and, why the hell not, that they will get to throw a huge party with Beyoncè in India!
This, of course, is just my opinion. An opinion I’ve formed after noticing that the tears streaming down my face after seeing Fix You live in the early 00’s had exactly the same warmth as the ones I shed for Charlie Brown in San Siro…
P.S. This is for everything apart from Princess of China. Princess of China just sucks ;-)