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free stuff in nyc: conan, coldplay and shakespeare in the park

the irony of living in this expensive city is that there are so many free things to do. sometimes, there’s even free swag! theresa says they have to make it up to us for what we pay in housing and taxes. however, when i look at gas prices around the country….i think we got it pretty good with only having to pay $81 per person per month for travel costs. i’m not looking forward to paying what it will cost us to drive around california in about a month.

before we lose conan to said california and the tonite show, we will try to catch our boy as much as possible. i have a closet full of free conan late nite t-shirts. strangely, no t-shirt this time around.

the fan club include me, t, steph and my favorite australian….theresa had to work so this time we invited conan studio newbie, jason tseng. green was the clearly the color of choice as steph and i continue to exhibit uncanny fashion prophetic abilities and were dressed in that color…..pei li sorta got the memo.

based on our place in line….as well as our usual luck….guess where we sat in the studio?

no front row at the free coldplay concert at msg…well, sorta…..front row in the upper level!!!

this is coldplay’s only nyc appearance this go around listed so far…and all the tickets(all of them!) were given away for free(free!) via a lottery held worldwide. had no luck winning the lottery but its better to have friends than luck. my groomsman and lifetime friend, steve lau and i have been getting tickets for each other for the past decade. a few u2 shows, an upcoming sox/yanks game at the stadium and of course this……

the concert itself was short…16 songs but just over an hour. this is their usual amount of songs but usually they go longer time wise. but when you consider old heads like u2, bruce springsteen and even bon jovi play 20-24 songs and for hours…you wonder what coldplay is thinking. the excuse used to be that they did not have enough songs. we’ll see what the story is this time.

good to hear the new tunes but i suspect most came to hear the greatest hit parade. whenever i hear a band, i want to hear new stuff….it sounds different live! the new album has some instant hits and a few gems that need multiple listenings…and live versions would help. but i’m in the minority:people came to hear yellow and in my place.

chris martin is a good showman….when the cameras are on. most people think he’s on all the time because they usually see him at the grammies or the mtv movie awards. but i’ve seen him do a few subdued shows when there was no tv or filming. if he wants to propel his band to u2, e street band or even richie sambora status, he’s got to bring it every night. i’ve seen more energetic shows from arcade fire, mute math and the killers.

but i give coldplay mucho credit for doing a number of free shows. none of those bands i mentioned have done a free show……yet. more on that soon.

our annual rite of summer is taking in free shakespeare in central park. the delacorte theatre is an open air semi-circle venue that has the park as its backdrop. with a light summer breeze and the setting sun fading into dusk, its a magical atmosphere. this year’s offering was hamlet which features a violence warning and disclaimer. just the way shakespeare should be: bloody.

in the interest of keeping the arts accessible to the common man, all the tickets are free. you can however make a donation and surprise! they thank you with a handshake and a ticket!

but unless you are willing to make a “donation”, you have to get tickets the old fashioned way:

you have to get in line! and early! they hand out tickets at 1p but some camp out or come before dawn. we usually shoot for 6am or a bit earlier.

no cutting. no saving spots. no leaving the line. no switching out or swapping people or relieving people(though we have done that out of necessity….but people really can’t tell us asians apart!….does steph in a cap really look like theresa in a cap??)

being used to waiting for u2 all day long, this is easy time. we’ve waited at 5:30am until 9p for the boys to take the stage. besides, we have portable lounge chairs that even have foot rests. you do have to sometimes brave the elements but the passing rain is worth it! each person can ask for 2 tickets and they will do their best to accommodate groups.

and viola! the twins sans hats, dave and i wait for our friends and dates for the evening show.

“twins”: look at that skin tone difference: its like day and night!

Posted under coldplay, concerts, new york

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