Clocks, Yellow, Viva La Vide, Speed . . . Monday night at the Palace, Coldplay played these songs and much more entertaining a large, appreciative crowd. In a state and region battered by the economy and the automobile industry woes, it warmed my heart to see so much enjoyment. While maybe alot of these folks were going to have to face reality the next morning, this night they were enjoying life as we say it should be. While there many young people in attendance and I was doing my best, or worst depending on your view of people watching, to look around, I was distracted by the beauty of the girl siting next to my immediate left. Long flowing thick wavy hair, sparkling eyes and a infectious smile, she was bobbing her head, pumping her fist and dancing with her girlfriend sitting to her right. I couldn’t help but smile every time she looked at me . . . when she wasn’t, I found myself staring at her. I wondered how had she gotten to this point in her life, where she was heading and what was in store for her in the future. She was my daughter, Aliya, and I was both awestruck and sentimental by her presence. It was a wonderful night for her and her best friend, to be out late, at a rock concert with one of her favorite bands, eating whatever she wanted and sitting in seats so close to the stage that she could see the whites of the performer’s eyes and the red lines within. It was an even more wonderful night for me, her dad. To be with her and her best friend on this night was an inspiring experience. Bands and groups these days seem to fall into two categories — the foul and the childish . . . rap with its homage to all things X rated or heavy metal with its painful screams and piercing guitar riffs to the Wiggles or the Jonas Brothers or Hannah Montana. Few groups make music worth listening to and even more so, worth sharing with your children. Coldplay is one of the few. The piano . . . the moving lyrics . . . at times the audience sang, at times we danced . . . at times we just listened. The group did one of the coolest, most democratic things I’ve seen from performers — after a song, they sprinted off stage to the rear of the house to a stage high up in the stands. From there, they sang and played, giving the audience in the rear a closeness reserved for those with the most expensive tickets. Their explanation — “we didn’t travel to Michigan not to go the few extra yards to play for the back of the house”. It was clearly more than a gesture. So too was my taking my daughter. Music binds us from an early age. No matter how much we are not getting along with our loved ones, we have always enjoyed music together. From singing Happy Birthday to a relative to chanting the Michigan fight song (Victors) to listening to Xmas tunes, music can bring us together and give us something in common even when there is little that we have in common at that moment in time. As I sang, pumped my arms in unison with her and Grace’s and danced with them, I felt the kind of closeness to my daughter that only a special, once in a lifetime experience shared together can offer. While are close, I can feel her slowly moving into the “girldom”, that area reserved for girls and their friends in which dads are excluded. Coldplay performing their songs Vive la Vida, Clocks, Speed, Yellow . . . you deserve much more than the money I spent on the tickets . . .
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