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First, remember that you're going to be judged on the whole package.

Coldplay certainly does. They had it all - bells (literally) and whistles (figurative, in the form of confetti cannons, lasers, large bouncing balls, inflatable whatsits, and light-up bracelets for members of the audience), as well as rock solid content. The music was phenomenal - different nuances than the original recordings, but just as good. And the lyrics to many of the songs are brilliant, of course. Oh, and the sound mixing was great. The light show was inspired. Their trip into the crowd for the first song of the encore was a successful surprise. The close-ups on the screens they had made it plain exactly how sweat-drenched they were from all their playing and moving about, and gave us a closer look at their costumes (for want of a better term, although they weren't particularly outlandish, unlike some photos I've seen of other concerts) and at their instruments, most of which appeared to have been customized through the application of paint and/or bits of things.

      One shot of the multi-colored lasers and the stage, while the crowd's bracelets were lit.

Don't be afraid to put it all out there on the stage/page.

Coldplay isn't. They all went all-out from the start of the first song until their final bows, when Chris Martin kissed the stage just before their exit. They were fully engaged musically and physically in each and every song. They interacted with one another and with the audience, all while delivering an absolutely amazing set.

It kind of reminds me of this great essay by Benjamin Percy over at Glimmer Train, entitled "All In," where he said "Now I never hold back. I dynamite the vault and let all my treasure pour out. Every story is an 'all in' story."

Don't be afraid to change it up if something isn't working.

Coldplay isn't. When they had a malfunction with the electronic drum they needed for one song (performed at the end of a catwalk out into the center of the venue), they opted not to play the scheduled song ("Up in Flames", in case you're wondering), but proceeded to the next one ("Warning Signs"). And then, to make it up to the crowd, they inserted a different song ("Trouble") - one they hadn't rehearsed, and which wasn't on the set list. I know it wasn't on the set list because one of M's friends had a copy of tonight's set list (oh the connections some of these kids have), and I have a photo of it on my phone.

Maybe a character isn't working out the way you'd like, or a scene you love doesn't really serve a purpose, or some darling needs to be killed. Or maybe what you have was okay, but it's not working for your agent/editor/beta readers. It's okay to backtrack, or skip ahead, or substitute something else. It just is.

If you've gotten the idea that I had a fabulous evening at the concert with M (and with my intrepid friend Lisa and her husband, who had seats two sections away but were available by text and for the commute both ways), you are correct. But it was nice to be reminded of some of the things we writers need to do, y'know?

And now I'm for bed - thankfully, I can sleep a bit late tomorrow, since I have a signing at Booktowne in Manasquan tomorrow afternoon.

Kiva - loans that change lives
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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 7th, 2012 03:54 pm (UTC)
Even though my kids claim it's because I'm a middle aged woman, I love Coldplay. :)

Have fun at your signing!
Jul. 9th, 2012 09:49 pm (UTC)
Both of my teens are HUGE Coldplay fans, and more than 75% of the crowd was under 30, so I'm not certain what your kids are on about . . . I think your being a Coldplay fan just shows you have excellent taste!
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 9th, 2012 09:50 pm (UTC)
After a long quiet period, we suddenly have an explosion of activity on our calendar.
Jul. 10th, 2012 02:09 pm (UTC)
I like your perspective in this piece.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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