Coldplay raise the bar of stadium rock shows at the Emirates Stadium in LondonCultureLive musicMusic
Imagine over 60,000 multi-coloured lights flashing all together in a single space. Add to the equation 60,000 equally multi-faceted voices singing along to worldwide hits. Multiply all this by 90 minutes and you get what Coldplay offer on top of the average rock show.
The only British band to be equally successful in Europe and the United States, Coldplay are promoting their latest release Mylo Xyloto in stadiums across the globe.
The scenography is all based on their graffiti theme, with five huge circular digital screens (hello Olympics?). Special wristbands were given on entry, with the displays telling us to wear them because they were actually part of the show.
The first night of three at the Emirates stadium in London began with the Back to the Future Theme followed by a huge fireworks spectacle as Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland, Guy Berryman and Will Champion entered the stage and started playing Hurts Like Heaven. All the wristbands suddenly started flashing in rhythm with the music: wow.
The audience was already warmed up thanks to the brilliant opening performances of Ash and Marina and the Diamonds. However, next on the list was In My Place which made every single person stand up once and for all.
New songs from Mylo Xyloto prevailed (ten), mixed with five from A Rush of Blood to the Head, three from Viva la Vida, two from X&Y and only one from their debut Parachutes. But it was that single song, Yellow, that took the concert to a higher level – and it did not stop there.
The show was cleverly planned and well-balanced: a ballad followed every three uptempo songs, part of the setlist was played on an X-shaped stage in the middle of the crowd, and closer to the end a little stage at the very back of the stadium hosted the performance of two songs (Us Against the World and Speed of Sound).
The highlight of the concert took place as the darkness fell: that was when Viva la Vida and Charlie Brown were played. Their 2008 number one hit was extraordinary in terms of response and sense of belonging (like a world cup final where everyone supports the same team) but Charlie Brown was simply a visually spectacular massive party.
It was a never-ending sequence of top-charting songs: Paradise (that ohhh-ohhhh still echoes in my head), Clocks, Fix You, and the grand finale of their feel-good Every Teardrop is a Waterfall.
Chris Martin was certainly born to be a performer, running and jumping across the whole stage from the beginning to the very last moment. A talented singer, he regularly found rest as he turned to his piano.
Some people may think Coldplay as a rock band are a little too poppy, but the show they put on clearly proves them wrong.
Filippo L’Astorina, The Editor
Photos: Stuart MacFarlane (cover) and David Price
Grab your tickets for the next concerts in London (Monday 4th), Manchester or Sunderland here.