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Concert Review: Coldplay

Air Canada Centre, Toronto - July 23, 2012
By Jane Stevenson, QMI Agency


TORONTO - Colour me impressed.

British pop-rockers Coldplay touched down for the first show of two night stand at the Air Canada Centre on Monday night and treated a sold-out crowd to an intense yet artful music extravangaza.

The wow factor included twinkling, glow-in-the-dark multi-coloured wristbands worn by audience members, multi-coloured confetti - that blasted out several times during the second song and set highlight, In My Place, and multi-coloured balloons that dropped down during the fourth song, Lovers In Japan.

It was like one gigantic street art project with a lot of financial backing emphasized by Coldplay’s own enormous stage decorated by glow-in-the-dark, multi-coloured neon graffiti and a long catwalk that looked like a landing strip with a red ‘X’ at the end - a location where the group ventured early and often.

After treating hundreds of contest winners to an hour-long live televised show in the MuchMusic parking lot last September in the lead up to the October release of their fifth studio album, Mylo Xyloto - the weakest album in their discography in my opinion - Coldplay returned with their A game in a live setting.

Singer-pianist Chris Martin, a charming, lively Mexican jumping bean as usual on stage, made a bold pronouncement at the beginning of the show: “The four of us have decided to make this the best concert of our lives.”


And while it didn’t quite hit that mark it certainly had its moments.

Among the standouts, the crowd singing along to The Scientist - “We’ve got the best fans in the world and everybody knows it,” said Martin and the dedication of Yellow, which started soft before it went into high gear with guitarist’s Jonny Buckland’s well known hook, to the victims of the movie screening massacre last week.

“This song goes out to everybody in Colorado,” said Martin.

Also good was the muscular drumming of Will Champion during God Put a Smile Upon Your Face, with Martin, Buckland and bassist Guy Berryman all standing in line in front of his kit in a sign of respect, and Viva La Vida.

Another crowd pleaser was when the group emerged on a small stage in the back left corner of the audience to sing Us Against the World and Speed Of Sound, with Martin screwing up the beginning of the latter song and starting over again.

“Oh sorry, I f---ed that up. I was looking at someone. Please don’t put us on YouTube,” Martin joked.

When the foursome returned to the main stage for two more highlights - the piano-driven Clocks and Fix You - with Martin performing some Olympics worthy jumps on the catwalk as the latter song geared up in its second half - the only thing left to perform was Mylo Xyloto’s first single, Every Teardrop is a Waterfall, which closed the show after a fast-paced hour and 45 minutes.

Opening were two of the UK’s more promising female newcomers.

First up was Scottish-raised, British based singer-songwriter Emeli Sande whose powerful voice was on full display as she sang material from her debut, Our Version of Events.

Sande was followed by the kookier if still talented Marina and the Diamonds from Wales, with the singer’s outfit of silver tinsel top, pink furry shoes, and a sash that read Miss Shellfish Beach, helping to represent her off the wall pop sound, along with her little stuffed animal - a pink dog named Marilyn.

SET LIST:

Mylo Xyloto

Hurts Like Heaven

In My Place

Major Minus

Lovers In Japan

The Scientist

Yellow

Violet Hill

God Put A Smile Upon Your Face

Princess of China

Up in Flames

Warning Sign

Don’t Let It Break Your Heart

Viva La Vida

Charlie Brown

Paradise

ENCORE:

Us Against the World

Speed Of Sound

Clocks

Fix You

Every Teardrop is a Waterfall

 


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