There are those moments where the music takes over completely. School, work, stress, even your very surroundings are whisked away, even just for a minute by the sounds and emotions in the air.
Show Date: Friday, April 20, 2012.
To my delight, UK band Metronomy had the chance to open for Coldplay (along with The Pierces). If you’ve ever seen openers at Rogers Arena, you know it’s always a tough crowd. Joseph Mount and company took the stage as if it were a 800 seat venue. They strummed with confidence and stuck to their loose-leaf script.
Nine o’clock rolls around, and as soon as “99 Problems” finishes (odd choice of background music), the room goes dark. Cue the musical score from the 1985 classic, Back To The Future. Followed by a quick dose of musical silence mixed with an overdose of crowd chatter and anticipation. 20,000 lights fill the room with the first strum of the self-titled and opening track from Mylo Xyloto. Let a night of bliss begin.
After “Hurts Like Heaven,” Chris takes us back to the 2003 Grammy Award winning single “In My Place.” Coldplay has this ability to infuse equal amounts of energy in both new and old records. Whether it’s the clashing drums in the aforementioned song or the soulful piano ballad found in “The Scientist.”
Confetti canons and massive bouncing beach-like balls were included in the first half of the set. If you’re still in the dark about the 20,000 lights reference, bracelets were responsible for the illumination. Each patron was given a bulky, colourful bracelet at the door which all lit up simultaneously. Immediately, you felt connected to each an every person in the arena. There is this age-old phenomenon about music; it has the ability to bring people together, young and old.
Six songs into the setlist and Chris Martin begins gently striking D-Minor on his colourfully spray painted piano. “The Scientist” is the story of a man’s desire for love and knowing when to apologize. Followed by their third singled “Yellow,” which assisted in both putting Coldplay on the map and Parachutes selling almost 9 million copies to date. Before Martin and company wandered off to the B-Stage, he began “God Put A Smile Upon Your Face,” acoustically, which delighted my ears as if it were a song I had never heard before.
At the B-Stage (centre of the arena), the bass was resonating right through the hand rail where my fingers were playing phantom drums. “Princess Of China” was responsible for this power, and while the Barbadian native Rihanna could not be present, the music video with her looking like a “gangsta-goth-geisha” as she described in an interview, was playing on the screens. After the beautifully monotonous ballad “Up In Flames,” came “Warning Sign” featured on 2000’s A Rush Of Blood To The Head. This figurative journey was performed acoustically, leaving the crowd incredibly quiet and attentive. There was a time in their career, when Coldplay was performing on small stages like this one; you can tell that’s not lost on them.
Back to the main stage where just like the LP, “A Hopeful Transmission” is followed by a crashing avalanche of sound in “Don’t Let It Break Your Heart.” During the self-titled track of the 2008 album Viva La Vida, they brought out a cast-iron looking bell for drummer Will Champion to bang on. Much like the music video, crazy honest fun swept through the room during “Charlie Brown” as the bracelets struck again.
As the group jaunted off to the so-called C-Stage, the crowd in section 109 was in for a treat. The heartthrobs performed “Us Against The World” acoustically in the crowd, and while some were trying to get noticed on the main screen, others trying to capture themselves in a picture with the group and the quiet ones just basking in the glory, we all enjoyed the humility.
With the night’s end rearing it’s ugly head like the first day back at school after Christmas break, we chant for an encore. Stepping back on to the stage they perform “Clocks” with a laser light show to match. The only track from X&Y to make the cut on the glorious evening was “Fix You,” and as it turns out, the melancholy ballad stole the encore. Finishing with “M.M.I.X./Every Teardrop Is A Water” left everyone in high spirits and humming falsetto all week long.
I would advise anyone and everyone to attend a Coldplay show at least once in your lifetime. The amount of energy and love Chris Martin brings to the stage is phenomenal. You feel a connection. When he’s leaping around the stage and swinging his limbs every which way, you have that uncontrolled desire to do the same. Whether you’re young, old, an avid fan, a radio listener or just a person in search of good music, Coldplay is for you. On that note i’ll leave you with this, even though it’s shot with just an iPhone, you will undoubtedly feel the magic.