(Coldplay performing Lovers in Japan at the Qwest Center last night in Omaha. More photos below.)

Last night, Jana and I had a wonderful night out. We were able to see Coldplay in concert at the Qwest, and beforehand we had dinner at The Boiler Room.

The Boiler Room was phenomenal. It’s been recommended to me by Paul and Anne, co-owners of Amsterdam, numerous times since their business partner, Paul Kulik, started it. When Jana and I first walked in I think we both knew we were in for a treat. The atmosphere was great. We were seated down below, actually where Jana wanted to be seated (but didn’t say), so we had a great view of everything. The service was exemplary as we had all our questions answered, a run down on the various items and ingredients, and we never felt any condescension that we should know more. We were served exceptionally well by the staff.

We started off with a cheese plate and got camembert, trugole and a third cheese that was like a cream cheese (can’t recall the name of it). Some fruit, apricot jam and pecans also came with the plate, and we enjoyed it all. The cheese plate alone is worth the trip. For the first course I had Alaskan halibut over fettucine with edamame and fennel. I was even surprised I ordered it, but I was glad I did. The taste was amazing. It’s not often I’ve experienced such rich and varied tastes in one bite, but this had it. Delicious. Now, for the main course I had boudin blanc. It was some of the best sausage one could have, tender and full of flavor.

If you go to The Boiler Room you’re going to spend some money, but it is well worth it. I think it was the most Jana and I have spent on a meal (we don’t eat out much), but I felt we were given a great meal and experience. I recommend it and I can’t wait to go back there.

(For more on The Boiler Room, and its owner Paul Kulik, check out Silicon Prairie News and their write-ups on it by clicking here and here.)

We walked from The Boiler Room over to the Qwest for the concert. Inside the Qwest it seemed like most everyone had a beer. This was funny to me because one of the complaints with Creighton basketball games is that all people do is go to the Qwest to be seen and to drink. Creighton games have nothing on the Coldplay concert when it comes to alcohol consumption. We settled into our seats, which were in my uncle’s suite. (Thanks again Uncle Duncan!) We missed the first of the two opening acts, but did hear Snow Patrol. Surprisingly good. I think it was the best opening act I’ve ever heard.

Not surprisingly, Life In Technicolor started off the show and from there Coldplay rolled through twenty-four songs with aplomb. Here is the setlist:
Life in Technicolor
Violet Hill
Clocks
In My Place
Yellow
Glass Of Water
Cemeteries Of London
42
Fix You
Strawberry Swing
God Put A Smile Upon Your Face (techno version)
Talk (techno version)
The Hardest Part (Chris piano)
Postcards From Far Away (piano instrumental)
Viva La Vida
Lost!
Green Eyes (acoustic)
Death Will Never Conquer (acoustic – Will vocals)
I’m A Believer (acoustic)
——
Politik
Lovers In Japan
Death And All His Friends
——-
The Scientist
Life in Technicolor ii

My favorite parts of the set? Right off the back I liked the show beginning with ClocksIn My PlaceYellow. Both encores were great, but Viva La VidaLost! near the end of the main set was my favorite of the night.

The obvious comparison I made was to the U2 show I saw at the Qwest in December 2005. U2’s music souded more full, and they put on quite a show, but it had its moments where U2 was trying really hard to be…U2. (I think this is more obvious now with their latest release and their live performances.) I’ve been a U2 fan since the 80’s and have seen them twice in concert. I enjoyed both of their shows immensely. It was absolutely wonderful to see U2 in my hometown. The better show may still be U2 because I have a long history of following the band, and that concert was sentimental for a lot of people there, but Chris Martin and the rest of Coldplay seemed to enjoy themselves a lot more during their performance. (Like when the band walked through the crowd and then performed a songs from the back of the arena.) They also seemed a lot more authentic throughout the set than U2.

Some other thoughts…

  • The show was fun. This was surprising to me because I was expecting some speechifying and seriousness throughout the set. They performed with excellence, but also were performing with joy.
  • The music and vocals sounded great, the staging and lighting complemented the performance superbly, from every aspect the concert was excellent.
  • Jana had a lot of fun, and she really didn’t know that many Coldplay songs.
  • The crowd was not as passionate as the U2 crowd it seemed, but that could be due to me watching the concert from a suite.
  • Very cool of Coldplay to give away a cd to everyone in attendance. Granted, the tracks have been available to download off their website, but still nice to have the physical cd. Coldplay calls it a “thank you” to the fans.
  • Chris Martin legitimately plays the piano and is not some lead vocalist pretending to play an instrument during a performance.
  • I know it’s Rockstar 101 to shout out the city you are performing in, which happened of course, but for Chris Martin to drop “cornhusker state” in the lyrics of a song was awesome.
  • Song I enjoyed live that surprised me? Lovers In Japan.
  • Least favorite song of the set? Violet Hill.
  • Doesn’t matter the price, if you manage to put on a good concert I’ll end up buying a t-shirt.

The concert was one of the best I’ve ever been to. I want to see them again, but hopefully next time in the crowd. (Not complaining about the seats, though! Especially since the tickets were free. There isn’t a bad view from anywhere in the Qwest.)

The entire evening was a treat. Great dinner experience from the Boiler Room. Brilliant show courtesy of Coldplay. I was able to hear all my favorite songs live. I’m glad I was able to share the experience with Jana as well.

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