The Food and Wine Hedonist

leave your inhibitions at the door

Is Coldplay a Guilty Pleasure?

Apparently so.  But more on that later.

This past Christmas, Boom Boom bought two tickets for Coldplay’s concert in Chicago next week.  It was definitely a surprise because I’ve seen them three times already and it wasn’t on my wishlist.   Then again my wishlist only had two things on it – a meat grinder and a date with Lindsay Lohan.  I guess Boom Boom thought they both were too cheap. Or, more likely, she wanted to go to the concert herself.  It’s kinda like when a guy buys his wife a pool table for the basement or a ratchet set.

As soon as I opened it up, the oldest Piehole started begging hinting for me to take her with the extra ticket.  This obviously threw a monkey wrench in Boom Boom’s plans.  It also threw one in mine, too, as I was going to use that as an excuse to hang out in Chicago for a few days between Lollapalooza and the Coldplay concert.  It’s not that I wouldn’t want to hang with her but Lollapalooza weekend in Chicago is kinda like my Vegas – what ever happens here, stays here.  Not that anything ever does.  (Got that, honey?)

Anyway, we made a deal with her.  If she got all A’s we’d take her to the show in Detroit.   We thought for sure we had it made but, lo and behold, she did it! Even with all those late nights at rehearsals for her two musicals where she could barely stay away the next day.  I even tried to sabotage her with some bad math tutoring, yet she persevered. Granted, we probably would’ve bought the tickets anyway, but it was still a fun deal.  So we sold the Chicago tickets and bought some for Detroit’s show this past Wednesday.

I really, really wanted to bring my new kitchen knife to the show and see if I can get Chris Martin to autograph it.  But I came to the conclusion that running up to him with a big 10-inch kitchen knife probably wouldn’t have been a good life choice.

The concert itself was fantastic. The first time I saw them was in Detroit in October 2009 and then summer 2010.  I ended up seeing them a third time at Lollapalooza last year, partly because I’m a big fan and partly because I was too lazy to see walk to another stage.  One thing I had noticed about the Lolla show was that it seemed a little more stripped-down and back to basics.  Since other bands were on the same stage all day long, they were limited in what they could do with special effects and the guys themselves wore jeans and t-shirts, eschewing the military-inspired jackets from the Viva La Vida tour.  It also seemed their sound was more primal, raw.

At Wednesday’s show, they were still dressed casual, but there were a lot of really cool theatrics –

Lights and lasers –

All of those multi-colored lights are wristbands they passed out with built-in LEDs.

 Inflatables –


A ton of confetti –

The stage had a walkway that came out to a smaller stage, which was fairly close –

Close enough for me to take this video –

To get even closer, they played a few songs from the audience –

All of this was made for a cool concert experience, especially for the kids.  Yet, with all of these “distractions” the band still sounded leaner than the first two times I saw them.  Although they’ve mastered their performances, they still played with a great degree of urgency and emotion, too.  If it sounds like I’m gushing, I am.

Which brings me to my question of whether they are a guilty pleasure…Remember, a guilty pleasure is something you love but, by most standards, you should be embarrassed to admit it.  Like J Lo. In this case, it appears I’m going against gender roles by being a fan.  When I first saw them a friend had said that I needed to turn in my “man card.”  Leading up to the second time, someone else had asked if I was going to throw my bra on stage.  Both times, the jokesters were men.  So I figured, it could be a “Coldplay isn’t as manly as Metallica” thing and brushed it off.  For this recent show, a female co-worker had remarked that she thought only yuppie women liked Coldplay.  And yesterday, another woman asked if I was the only guy there.

I’ve never given a damn about gender roles in anything.  I do all the cooking and decorating around the house (using ideas I find in my subscription to Elle Décor).  And my preferred method of exercise is Pure Barre, a workout that’s based in Pilates and dance.  So them not being testosterone-driven wouldn’t prevent me from being a fan.  I’m just kinda surprised.

So I ask you, gentle reader, is Coldplay really a chick band?  Are they in the same sphere as Sarah McLachlan or Tori Amos?   If gender roles were a big thing for me, should I be embarrassed?

Here are some more videos for you!

About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

13 comments on “Is Coldplay a Guilty Pleasure?

  1. Andrew
    August 3, 2012

    Me and my girlfriend went to a Coldplay show 3-4 years ago, and it was one of the angriest audiences I’ve ever witnessed. And I’ve been to multiple Pantera shows. Ha, I almost saw fist fights over people accidentally stepping on picnic blankets.

  2. Max D.
    August 3, 2012

    Maybe Coldplay is in a grey guilty pleasure zone. I’ve seen them three times, once at the Fox and twice at DTE. Saw lots of couples, but not an over abundance of women. In fact, my wife has never seen them live. The last time I saw them I drove with two guy friends, all straight (that I know of).

    I first heard of them shortly after they released their first CD. I was visiting the LA area and went in a hip-looking book and record store (Borders) while walking around Sant Monica. I’ve rarely felt more hip than the day I “discovered” this new band while “exploring” Santa Monica. I must’ve played that CD a million times. Then two things happened: first, everyone started comparing them to Radiohead; second, they became megastars. To the first point, I’ve said, WTF???? To the second I said: it’s easy to be popular when you write songs with big hooks, big productions, and romantic lyrics. So I got off the Coldplay wagon.

    Are they a guilty pleasure? Let’s put it this way: they are overplayed on WDVD, the radio station that overplays One Direction, Kelly Clarkson (sp?), and Taylor Swift, and whose tag line is “all the hits…without the rap.” How do I know they are overplayed on this station? It’s my wife and 12-year-old daughter’s favorite station.

    Verdict? Guilty pleasure. Now excuse me while I play “Green Eyes.”

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      August 3, 2012

      I actually do think there are some similarities to Radiohead, who I also love. So the comparison doesn’t upset me. I do hate the idea of that tag line. There’s that Doug FM station here (and every major market has these) that claims “we’ll play anything”. They obviously cut off the “except rap, hip hop, r&b”.

  3. Cheryl
    August 3, 2012

    I’ve never thought of them as a chick band, just great music!

  4. Max D.
    August 3, 2012

    I’ve seen Radiohead and I’ve seen Coldplay. All I can do is channel Lloyd Bentsen during his VP debate and say to Coldplay, “I’ve seen Radiohead. Radiohead is a friend of mine. Coldplay, you’re no Radiohead.”

  5. Gio of The Hungry Giant
    August 4, 2012

    hmm never thought that coldplay could tread that line. Personally i like coldplay, never saw them live before, but I really like their sound. I tend to like songs more than artists, so just because I like ‘Mean’ by Taylor Swift doesn’t mean I worship her (haha). But I don’t think Coldplay’s a chick band though.

  6. The Byronic Man
    August 4, 2012

    Lindsay Lohan is DEFINITELY a guilty pleasure. In myriad ways.

    A friend of mine saw a taping of Jimmy Fallon with her on it, and she was being managed so carefully that her people had cue cards for her responses to Jimmy’s questions and casual conversation. Yikes.

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      August 5, 2012

      Yeah, I imagine they Don’t want her straying off message. Whatever the heck that message was. Wonder if the handlers would be on our date.. Thanks for stopping by

  7. Marian Green
    August 13, 2012

    Your man card is secure. I know lots of guys (straight ones) who like their music. Especially the new stuff.

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      August 14, 2012

      Yeah, if I didn’t give up the card with the Elle Decor subscription, listening to Coldplay isn’t going to do it. Thanks for stopping by!!

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This entry was posted on August 3, 2012 by in Music and tagged , , , , , , .
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