Coldplay At Lollapalooza (aka Long Live Life)

The world is broken but as the lights go down and the fireworks burst above, you feel alive and somehow whole.

The music explodes like the pure joy of some of the giants before. The four men playing might not ever mention them but they know just as the world knows. The four men known as U2. The four men known as The Beatles. Perhaps there is magic in this number four. Perhaps that is what it takes for talent and passion and hard work to translate into . . . well, love.

You’re not thinking this but deep down, the sentiment is there. You’re on your feet bouncing and waving and dancing all while being completely soaked. Your feet hurt like Heaven but that’s okay because it’s worth it.

For hours, you’ve been surrounded by kids half your age. But that’s okay. If the spirit and the soul are there, the age doesn’t matter. You’ll suffer a little more in the days to come, but that’s all right.

The guitars strum. The drums drive. The bass hums. And the singer bounces and sings and bares his soul in the only way he knows. Unabashed and lighting a fire. Wild and glowing in the dark are these big beating British hearts.

And then it comes. Of course.

The simple chords that perhaps anybody could have come up with. Right? Uh, wrong.

The woah-oh-oh-oh-oh’s of the crowd. The symphony starting along with the claps. And then—the crowd singing along.

Jerusalem bells are ringing and Roman Calvary choirs are singing.

But you? What are you doing?

You are suddenly just standing, speechless but full of emotion. Teary-eyed.

You aren’t thinking of the song or the band or the concert. You’re thinking of your firstborn daughter, almost five now but only a year and a half old when this beautiful song blessed your lives. If any song symbolizes the two of you—Daddy with his little girl—it’s this song. Long live life is what it means and that’s what it will always mean to you.

You think of Kylie and you miss her dancing to this song. Loving this song. Not knowing who the band are and not caring. But just dancing and loving life and loving her Daddy. Her broken and many-times bewildered Daddy. But the one who will always love her.

Music is the sound of memories. You wrote that somewhere, right?

Tonight, you think of that toddler dancing on your lap and in your arms to this song. And you know that it’s more than music. It’s more than a simple melody. It’s more than headlines and publicity and showmanship. It’s even more than Brian Eno (and that is something).

Sometimes, a tune can symbolize a summer or a season. And this is one of those songs.

More tunes come tonight, of course, and each one from the past has its meaning. Most bands would be lucky to craft one of those. Or a few. But a select few artists craft album after album of them.

You jump and clap and dance with the crowd. Yesterday has evaporated and tomorrow is still too many blinks away. Tonight is here and your age and your place and your legacy aren’t weighing on you like they usually do.

The lasers hover above and the music is turned up and you shut the world outside. The kids around you are dancing and so are you and it’s a wonderful thing.

Perhaps others will take for granted the joyous energy in these melodies, but you don’t. You envy that joy. Because that’s what the world needs now. Not tomorrow but now. It’s needs a bit of energy and hope. And songs evoke that, in short but brilliant ways.

You applaud in a voice lost long and then head back home with the masses. The music and the memories are entwined. But for now, you’re ready to head back home to those three little girls who don’t know too many melodies just yet.

But they will.

And one day, maybe, hopefully, they’ll see the same blinking lights and the same rocking lads and hear the same songs that Daddy knows by heart. And they’ll dance and laugh beside him, thinking he’s a fool to be dancing at his age, but loving every single minute of it.

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