The world seems to be "stuck in reverse" these days. As we reach the next level with our technology, we realize the impact it has on the planet. Gone are the days of simplicity and zero-emission machinery, though we're bound to go back crawling to them as pollution is eating us up.
Why the ambiguity when the headline is obviously about Coldplay and their unique one-off concert in Jordan? Because regardless of whether or not you gave Everyday Life, their newest album, a listen and if you enjoyed it, you won't get to watch them perform these tracks live. Chris Martin, the lead singer of the British band, declared it official to the BBC that the five-member group will be taking a break from world tours. The reason for this decision is the decaying environment.
"We're taking time over the next year or two, to work out how our tour can not only be sustainable [but] how can it be actively beneficial," Martin told the BBC, emphasizing how the band would be "disappointed" if their next tour isn't carbon neutral.
A lot of traveling took place in honor of Coldplay's concert in Jordan as no one is Greta Thunberg to reach out for a ship to drop them off there casually; the entire crew along with the vocals and musicians had to travel by plane to reach the country. Fans and press also flew in to watch them play.
Still, the band has decided to take a step back to think of planet Earth and future generations.
The carbon footprint left by world tours of musicians, whether a band or a solo artist, is quite damaging to what's left of the environment. So maybe, just maybe, a name as known as Coldplay would succeed in setting a green trend in the music industry.
From a selfish perspective though, the band's marketing campaign for Everyday Life has brought tears of joy to many Jordanians and neighboring Arabs. The band had never performed in the Levant prior to this month, so choosing an Arab country made all the difference. Irrespective of the group's conscious resolution, Jordan won the chance of continuous advertisement - at least for the week of the band's stay - to its most photogenic scenery.
To be fair, the dream of preserving the planet by creating "environmentally beneficial" tours will, in the long run, help preserve the same scenery that attracted Coldplay to Jordan. So yeah, I approve of their plan and so should everyone.
Colors took over the historical stage in Amman Citadel
Leaving behind the traditional stage that is usually dismantled and puzzled-in together for every performance, the 23-year-old band dominated a historical 30 BC site, only a few steps away from the temple of Hercules.
Singing the audience into waves of cheers with tracks from Sunrise - the first part of the double-album - it wasn't long before Martin delighted attendees with Coldplay classics likes The Scientist and Viva La Vida. The frontman confessed that since this is the first time they perform in Jordan and considering the Saturday night event was organized quite spontaneously, old hits had to be sung.
The audience was thrilled and kept requesting Yellow and other trophy songs from the band.
The diversity that was present might have seemed minimal when compared to arenas in Europe that could fit tens of thousands, but was in fact quite visible to those who paid attention.
On stage and off, no skin color or religion mattered. Nationality was also tossed aside as the Lebanese flag and the traditional Jordanian keffiyeh waved in unison. A group of fans who made their way to the front row had a fez (tarbouch) on their heads; Martin sported one for mere seconds. Other fans handed him a keffiyeh, which he pleasantly took and threw over the head of Femi Kuti, a legendary Nigerian musician who made Coldplay's Arabesque such a success.
Other details like a noticeable age difference among attendees or the presence of a veiled violinist were discarded as that night was all about celebrating music without pinpointing anything else.
Coldplay in all its true colors
The acoustics on site merged beautifully with the semi light show that took place in the Citadel.
Whoever has been to a Coldplay concert before knows well enough the grandeur of the shows they usually throw, with the main focus always and forever being on the endless flashy colors. During their Amman show on Nov. 23, however, the latter was the only present "Coldplay factor." Another inconsistent theatrical move was Martin disappearing from the main stage only to appear moments later on another stage among fans.
That, I can guarantee you, is a crowd pleaser and a phone raiser.
Missing a few notes on the piano while playing Bani Adam had Martin go "oops," which in turn had the audience burst into laughter. Another moment saw him plead for equality among human beings of all backgrounds.
While the spotlight was mainly on him and lead guitarist Jonny Buckland, drummer Will Champion and bassist Guy Berryman enjoyed a chill night on the left side of the stage. Phil Harvey, the band's manager and "fifth member," was with no surprise out of sight.
After the night was over and the couple of hundred people who were lucky enough to buy a ticket left the Citadel humming Cry Cry Cry and Orphans, it was obvious to me and perhaps a few others that Coldplay will soon enough become a luxury to watch.