The last time Coldplay came to Toronto, I said I felt like I was in paradise. I don’t want to exaggerate, but the band came close to recreating that experience this week at the Rogers Centre.
First of all, it really comes down to where you sit. The Rogers Centre is huge, so it’s worth the extra investment in really good seats. This time I sat in the 200 level on the side of the stage and it was great. If it’s a pop concert with lots of detailed set design and costumes, it would be even more important.
My first Coldplay concert was also special because I had never seen an artist use lit up wristbands to connect the audience. Their team deserves a lot of credit for pioneering this. This time, they took their lighting to the next level by syncing their show with the CN Tower’s lighting system! That was truly magical and unique.
In high school, I did a presentation for my media class (i.e. my favourite class) about alternative music and I spent lots of time trying to find an image of One Tree Hill’s Peyton Sawyer wearing a Tegan and Sara t-shirt. I don’t remember if that’s the show that introduced me to them, but regardless of how I discovered the Canadian twins, I’m glad I did.
I was relieved when I was finally able to buy a ticket to see them live in Toronto. Massey Hall turned out to be an incredible venue and I felt like I had the best seat in the house (on the aisle, in the third row of the first balcony). I swear I had a better view than when I’ve had floor seats at the Air Canada Centre.
Shania came back to Toronto for her third visit on the Rock This Country tour and she’s clearly on a mission to reconnect with fans that have noticed her absence from the concert circuit.
Gavin DeGraw, who rose to fame thanks to the beloved show One Tree Hill, was the opening act and he started the evening on a powerful note. He began behind the piano to perform Soldier and then continued to play hits like Sweeter and Chariot. His cover of Bryan Adams’ Heaven was a notable highlight.
He really got the crowd riled up when he stepped off the stage to sing I Don’t Wanna Be with fans on the floor. He shook fans’ hands as he walked around with security and I watched with envy from the nosebleed section. At the time, I didn’t know that he was prepared to get so personal with fans that he would surprise a lucky bride and groom’s guests at a local wedding the same night! Gavin and Shania were both sentimental about their last night on tour together and I was delighted to see Gavin come back on stage to sing Party for Two as a duet with her.
There’s nowhere I’d rather spend the night before my birthday than the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. In 2010, I saw Cher and Chelsea Handler – two amazing shows in one night! This year, I went to see Celine Dion and it was a good decision because her latest show is phenomenal.
When I heard Maroon 5 was coming to Toronto, I decided to splurge and purchase the Animals package. This included a commemorative ticket, VIP badge, hat and messenger bag. The best part wasn’t the merchandise, but rather my view of Adam Levine from my seat in the ninth row on the floor. His tattoos were within plain sight and I relished the possibility that he was so close, we could make eye contact. We didn’t, but that’s ok.
Following a performance by Rozzi Crane, MAGIC! kicked off the night and celebrated their Juno award win. I’m partial to anyone wearing red pants and MAGIC! took that one step further in bold red pantsuits. Snaps for killer fashion! In fact, they seemed to put more effort into their attire than Adam, who wore a black and white graphic t-shirt and black pants.
Adam started his set with Animals, and then it wasn’t long until their was a rare interruption: microphone failure. The band has been touring for over ten years and that’s never happened before. What’s a concert without a working microphone? Well, after Adam threw the mic out of frustration, he thought it hit a fan, so he welcomed her onstage, held her hand and hugged her, then gave her an even better seat closer to the stage for the rest of the show. Lucky girl.