Tuesday, November 25, 2008

CONCERT: It's pretty cool to be Coldplay right now

Saturday night I got to see Coldplay in Salt Lake City, and while arena rock shows aren't usually my scene, this one pretty well floored me. Here's my report:

As you might've guessed, they leaned heavily on material off of Viva La Vida, which was just fine by me, but several older favorites were scattered through-out the set, keeping the new and old fans cheering alike. The visual show was fantastic, with lasers and glowing orbs galore, but Chris Martin was jumping and running around enough to have put on a show enough without them. In fact, Chris's stage presence ended up being one of the highlights of the entire show for me. I've heard more than a few references to Coldplay's stab at being the new U2, and while I hear where they're coming from, I don't think I can agree. If for no other reason, just because there was a total lack of pretension on that stadium stage Saturday night. As big as this band is right now, they still had the air of four friends playing rock 'n roll together. Chris even introduced a song (The Hardest Part from X&Y) as "not the best Coldplay song - but not the worst Coldplay song". That kind of candidness was refreshing amidst all the pyrotechnics and swooning fans.

All the music was great, from past hits to the arena-ready anthems of Viva La Vida, and the band gave an energetic and passionate performance for each one. Although a little gimmick-y, there was a pretty fun little interlude when the band stepped down to play The Scientist and Death Will Never Conquer from a row of seats in the audience. Through it all, the band seemed to be having a genuine good time - which only fed the audience's excitement. For example, whenever they came to the chorus for In My Place, Chris would raise his arm like Mickey in Fantasia, only instead of conjuring fountains of water he was invoking thousands of singing "Oh's!" from an exuberant crowd. This kind of gleeful audience participation was common all night - and all I can say is, it's pretty cool to be Coldplay right now.

Here's the set list:

Life in Technicolor / Violet Hill /Clocks / In My Place / Speed of Sound / Cemeteries of London / Chinese Sleep Chant / 42 / Fix You / Strawberry Swing / God Put a Smile Upon Your Face / The Hardest Part / Viva La Vida / Lost!

(from the crowd) The Scientist / Death Will Never Conquer

(back on stage) Politik / Lovers in Japan / Death and All His Friends

(encore) Yellow

Also check out the Prospekt's March EP out today - made up of some extra cuts from the Viva sessions. Here's one of my favorites off it:

Coldplay - Life in Technicolor ii
from the Prospekt's March EP (iTunes)

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