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Olympic Stadium

Seoul, Korea

15 Apr 2017

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Jess Kent

Olympic Stadium

After a somewhat tough (but ultimately victorious) few days in Taipei, arriving in Seoul was a treat. The Olympic Stadium is beautiful and the weather appears not to have got the memo that Coldplay are in town and it’s time to cloud up and pour with rain. It’s another ‘Pringle-shaped’ stadium and the stage is sideways on to face the widest expanse of terraced seating.

It could be the good weather, or it could be the cheery nature of all the locals helping us here, but the mood in the camp is very up. There’s also a tiny element of relief at not being ‘up against it’. I’ve heard of athletes training with weights strapped to them so that come competition time things feel much easier. After two show days featuring torrential rain, perhaps being back to ‘just a regular show’ feels like a treat?

The band soundcheck, with some tunes not heard for a good while and some brand spanking new stuff. They even play one from *way* back that isn’t just a rare B-Side, but I’m pretty sure never got played live outside a few times when they were still writing it.

It’s another early show, so the day is pretty compressed and pretty soon it’s doors. Watching the crowd enter in single file is quite a strange experience. They’re extremely orderly and very, very quiet – to the point where before the show it’s quite oddly silent. Certainly in comparison to some of the more crazed South American audiences it’s a pretty huge contrast.

But just as in Taipei, once opener Jess Kent gets up there and gets the crowd going, they’re among the best of them when it comes to enthusiasm.

Jess joins in the Coldplay show with her drummer Cat, both on balloon duty during Adventure Of A Lifetime. Chris spots this and drops some of her lyrics into the tune and the party couldn’t be any more inclusive.

The audience are absolutely at peak excitement and are lifting the show at every moment – creating their own lightshow in the B-Stage with mobile phone lights, singing at the top of their lungs and just generally projecting utter delight throughout.

It’s a wonderful night and pretty much idyllic all round. If you could take one day as a blueprint for perfect touring, I’d say this one would be pretty tough to beat…

And how do roadies celebrate a great show with no load-out and no load-in the next day? Well, the days of sex, drugs and rock-n-roll are clearly well behind us, as I walk into the production office to find that there’s a huge contingent swarming around production assistant Nicole’s laptop. It seems that there’s a baby giraffe being born somewhere live on a webcam. The excitement in Production easily rivals a cup match in an east-end boozer.

I grab a slice of pizza and catch an early van back to the hotel. Behind me, there’s a cheer to rival tonight’s crowd that tells me that somewhere there’s a new tiny giraffe has joined the party.

And all is well with the world.




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