You know you're not at a typical rock concert when you overhear folks in the smoking area commenting that "certain societal ills are plainly indicative of the will of the people." Now, I don't purport to have any idea what the hell that means, but it's as good a way as any to lead into Saturday evening's big Coldplay concert at the Grady Cole Center. After a wonderful opening set by songwriter Ron Sexsmith, the band took the stage to a flash of lights and Beatles-esque cheering from the assembled fans. Despite the cold weather and residual ice covering the streets, most folks who had tickets to the sold-out show evidently deemed the event important enough to defy the constant cease-and-desist warnings spouted by our pals Eric Thomas and Terri Bennett. The band ran through most of the material on their first two records -- Parachutes and A Rush of Blood to the Head -- in short order, only stopping to comment on how much they liked their first visit to North Carolina. At one point, singer Chris Martin told the crowd that the venue reminded him of a high school gym at a pep rally and told everyone to "watch out, the principal's coming!" As it turns out, the boys had to jet out of town directly after the gig, as they were slated to appear on the first episode of Jimmy Kimmel's new show, which, like a gift from the storytelling muse, was to premiere right after...The Super Bowl! You know, the Big Enchilada of football games, America's Unofficial Holiday, and the marketer's wet dream. As we all saw, the game wasn't altogether exciting (unless you had wisely bet on the Buccaneers and gave 20 points or so). In fact, a survey of uptown bars seemed to suggest that most folks really could care less about the game. Viewers generally snored through the halftime show, though a group of girls sitting near me did break down, TV announcer-style, the outfit of pop/country star Shania Twain. Meanwhile, my friends and I busied ourselves with bets on whether or not Twain was lip-synching (I won in short order when the singer handed the mic to a fan but never missed a note). I'll only say this about Ms. Twain's performance, which was so sanitized you could clean your windows with it: As much as it pains me to admit, I've never been so glad to see Sting in my life.