MuchMusic parking lot, Toronto - September 21, 2011

Coldplay performs at Toronto's MuchMusic's parking lot on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011 night to...

Coldplay performs at Toronto's MuchMusic's parking lot on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011 night to promote the Oct. 24 release of their new album. (Michael Peake, QMI Agency)

JANE STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:17 AM ET

TORONTO - “We’re English, we’re very insecure.”

How’s that for an opener? Especially from one of the biggest bands in the world.

But so it went on Wednesday night as Coldplay frontman Chris Martin also commented on getting long in the tooth as he and his three bandmates in the British pop-rock band played an hour-plus-long concert in MuchMusic’s parking lot that was televised live commercial-free with 1,000 wristbands given out and hundreds more gathered outside on a closed down Queen Street.

“It’s a strange time in a man’s life when he realizes he’s old enough to be Justin Bieber’s dad,” said Martin.

“Just when we thought we were still the new soft-rock band on the block, along comes this wonder kid who makes you feel like an old, old man.”

It was basically an hour-long promotional appearance as Coldplay - rounded out by guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman and drummer Will Champion - prepares to release its fifth studio album, the tongue-twisting-titled Mylo Xyloto on Oct. 24, and Canada not likely to see them on tour before next year.

So, as those things go, it was pretty good with fireworks opening and closing a show that was also big on videos, laser lights, circular backdrops, and butterfly shaped confetti.

But I would have liked to have seen the songs intercut with some kind of interview so they could talk about where they’ve been and where they are now.

The most poignant moment occurred when Martin elected to open the band’s signature ballad Fix You, with a snippet of Amy Winehouse’s Rehab.

Wristband holders wound around the block as they slowly gained entry to the parking lot while media types and VIPS were fenced off in a separate part of the space and treated inside to drinks and food.

Ponchos were even handed out as the sky opened up on and off with both torrential and lighter rain as the night wore on but mostly it was blessedly dry, even humid, for Coldplay’s outdoor performance.

“Coming to play in Canada is always like taking a bath in greatness,” said Martin, whose group was dwarfed by the CN Tower looming behind them.

Still, I found the crowd on the street and in the lot strangely subdued for a lot of the concert as about a half-dozen songs off Mylo Xloto were performed, the most promising new anthems being Paradise and Charlie Brown, in terms of inducing crowd singalongs, and the touching show ending ballad, Us Against The World, featuring Martin and Champion on lovely harmonies.

It was, as you might expect, older songs like Yellow, In My Place (with that special confetti), God Put A Smile Upon Your Face, Viva la Vida, The Scientist, and Clocks (their best song ever), that really revved up the audience.

That and Martin’s dance moves, including twirling his jacket wildly over his head like a rodeo champion fixing to lasso a calf during Fix You.

SET LIST:

Mylo Xyloto

Hurts Like Heaven

Yellow

In My Place

Major minus

Paradise

God Put A Smile Upon Your Place

Viva la vida

Charlie Brown

The Scientist

Clocks

Fix You

Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall

ENCORE:

Us Against The World


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