I'm not one for big gigs. The smaller, the more intimate, the better. The upstairs room of a pub is probably my most favourite venue. So booking tickets for Coldplay, who don't do small, at the vast Emirates Stadium seemed quite scary and alien for me.
I love Coldplay, but know many who don't. They are, I think, the band who people feel they should dislike. Too middle of the road, too precious, too perfect, too Gwyneth! But the truth is they have written so many incredible and diverse pop songs; Fix You, Amsterdam, Everything's not Lost and the more recent Every Teardrop is a Waterfall, just to name a few.
We, and thousands of others, arrive at the Emirates to organised and polite queues, waiting at each entry gate. On entry, we are give a Xyloband, and there on the huge stage, watched over by 5 five vast circular screens - we are given the following instructions. Loosen wristband, place on wrist, tighten wristband, enjoy the show.
We sit through a very poor five song set by Rita Ora and then a very bizarre but entertaining set by Robyn.
Finally at 8.50pm Coldplay burst on to the stage with Hurts Like Heaven. Accompanied by the deafenening cheers of 50,000 people, fireworks, flouresent paper cut confetti - MASSES of it raning down - and our activated wrist bands flashing like crazy! It was spellbinding, exhilirating, mesmerising and most of all laugh inducing! Chris Martin is a ball of energy. His quips, his pacing, dancing, running, playing, cajoling, all whipping us into a frenzy of adoration. An hour and a half later, he's still going strong. Playing a small set at the back of the stadium accompanied by Simon Pegg on harmonica which left Chris Martin giggling uncontrollably into his mike.
Every Coldplay song is sung at full belt by the crowd. The impact this has on the band is palpable, and of course makes them want to perform even more, even better.
The gig finished with a stomping rendition of Every Teardrop. More fireworks, more flashing wristbands like fireflies dashing around the arena, and an exhausted, super sweaty Chris Martin kissing the stage.
Really an incredible night that brought on two hours of non stop smiling, singing and awe and led my daughter to say 'That is the best thing I have ever done'. Even if you're a non believer, I'd urge you to see Coldplay live. They are amazing musicians, and certainly know how to do 'the greatest show on earth'.