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Coldplay Concert Up Close and Personal

Adriana Pratt | Monday, August 3, 2009

Chris Martin was 10 feet away from me jumping around with his band mates as he blew on his harmonica. Thank goodness I hadn’t forgotten my picture-taking cell phone as I rushed to the mini-stage located in the vast expanse of the concert’s lawn, or else the image of Coldplay, glistening from the fantastic enthusiasm and energy they put into their performance, would have been eventually lost in my feeble memory.
Call me a bad sibling if you must, but there was no way I was going to miss the Coldplay concert this summer even if it fell on the same night as my sister’s graduation. Don’t worry; I stayed through the ceremony (complete with a sloppy version of “Pomp and Circumstance”), gave my congratulations and only after the final “sister hug” did I rush out the door. I’d already missed Snow Patrol’s opening performance, but hey, sometimes you have to make sacrifices.
The show started off vibrantly with a performance as visually appealing as it was musically. The instrumental intro to “Life in Technicolor” slowly faded in, bringing with it the dancing members of Coldplay who used only the sparklers in their hands to find their instruments. As the music grew louder and the sun went down, the brilliant stage lighting turned up, highlighting the quintessential Coldplay costumes that materialize the chic British Coldplay vibe. Magical giant light bulbs hung on stage, serving as screens for close-up shots of the band members and immense holders of confetti that would be released throughout the concert.
“Life in Technicolor” morphed into “Violet Hill” and the image of “Liberty Leading the People,” the 1830 painting by Eugène Delacroix adorning the cover of their latest album “Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends,” appeared through the fog as the stage’s backdrop. What followed was an engaging and enthralling performance of personal favorites and crowd-pleasers including “Clocks,” “Viva la Vida,” “Fix You,” and “Lost!” and more. Audiences never grew bored.
During the first encore’s performance of “Lovers in Japan,” the stage took on a beautiful violet hue as video images complimenting the song’s lyrics played on the big screen. All of a sudden with a magical wave of his Japanese umbrella, Chris Martin brought a shower of butterfly confetti over the front rows and band, coordinating the hopeful imagery with the piece’s theme. The smiles brought to audience members’ faces were irrepressible.
The front rows were not the only ones that received love from the members of Coldplay. Chris Martin (lead vocals, keyboards, guitar), Jonny Buckland (lead guitar), Guy Berryman (bass guitar) and Will Champion (drums, backing vocals) ventured out onto additional stages set up in the venue to get as close as possible to all of their adoring fans. Songs like “Green Eyes,” “Death Will Never Conquer” and a cover of The Monkees “I’m a Believer” were played up close and personally for all to appreciate.
A second encore of “The Scientist” and “Life in Technicolor ii” ended the show and with it a night of invaluable entertainment. Free CDs full of some of Coldplay’s best live performances were handed out to audience members as they headed to their cars, taking the concert experience above and beyond what any fan could dream of.
Coldplay’s 163-show “Viva la Vida Tour,” which began June 16, 2008 and will end Sept. 19, 2009 has included a whirlwind of performances all over the world ranging from Europe to North America, and Asia to Australasia. Their success has been so large that they have even been booked three nights in a row at various venues. The only disappointment in their June 5, 2009 performance in Noblesville, Ind. was that they didn’t stick around another night.