Coldplay, the Emirates Stadium, London
Monday 04 June 2012
“Jump, jump with us,” Chris Martin demands before “Charlie Brown”, Coldplay’s Big Country-style stomp, and his adoring fans promptly obey, leaping in a sea of brightly lit, radio-controlled wristbands. There are numerous, very vocal Coldplay haters, but this slick indie quartet really do try awfully hard to please. Martin even apologises for “all the crap [travel, food prices etc] you have to go through to go to a concert these days”.
They are indubitably a polished, formulaic, stadium-friendly machine, but Coldplay do endeavour to mix it up – at one point they even play a couple of acoustic numbers, “Us Against the World” and “Speed of Sound”, on a tiny stage at the back of the stadium, claiming “we can’t play the Emirates without playing both ends”. It’s not as spontaneous as their touching tribute, “(You’ve Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party)”, to Beastie Boy Adam Yauch in Montreal in May (singularly the most surprising thing Coldplay have done in years), but this tight unit strive staggeringly hard to entertain, with considerable success, at this vast venue on a drizzly night.
The former UCL students enter to the Back to the Future theme, and, at various points of this robust, expensively mounted event, cannons release multi-coloured balloons, confetti and giant inflatables butterflies and raindrops into the audience. It’s very pretty, if a tad excessive. As for the actual tunes? Well, it’s nothing to scare the horses and they’re lyrically flimsy, but in “Fix You”, “Yellow” and “The Scientist” – their earlier, earnest heartache songs – they have some of the most exquisite pop anthems anyone’s produced in the past decade. Each one of these tracks is a highlight tonight, but the pleasingly spare and simple “Fix You” is wonderful.
Most of the set comprises of material from their latest album, Mylo Xyloto, a bloated, underwhelming affair that has sold by the bucketload from Argentina to Switzerland. However, a lot of the record’s tracks gain a new life and feel more potent live, particularly the opening two numbers, “Mylo Xyloto” and the vigorous and very Eighties-sounding “Hurts Like Heaven”.
It helps also that in Jonny Buckland they have an adroit guitarist and in Will Champion an imposing drummer. And then there’s Martin himself, a wafer-thin streak of infectious energy, forever flapping his arms and wind-milling around the stage like a jubilant striker – a tribute to Thierry Henry? He’s such a formidable frontman you can even forgive his transatlantic twang and his annoying habit of asking “Is anybody out there?” Yes, a great many and they don’t seem terribly hateful.
1. Mylo Xyloto
2. Hurts Like Heaven
3. In My Place
4. Major Minus
5. Lovers In Japan
6. The Scientist
7. Yellow/Violet Hill
8. God Put A Smile Upon Your Face
9. Princess of China
10. Up in Flames
11. Warning Sign
12. A Hopeful Transmission
13. Don't Let It Break Your Heart
14. Viva La Vida
15. Charlie Brown
17. Us Against the World
18. Speed Of Sound
20. Fix You
21. Every Teardrop is a Waterfall
Review: Of Mice and Men
By opportunistic local hoping to exhibit the work
Fans will be hoping the role finally wins him an Oscar
What do gigantic horse heads tell us about Falkirk?
Finnish Postal Service praises the 'self irony and humour' of the drawings
The actor has confessed to his own insecurities
Allotments are the focus of a new reality show
Arts & Ents blogs
The best movies on Netflix: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
Record Store Day 2014: Best exclusives coming to a UK independent record shop near you
Grace Dent on TV: Game of Thrones has jumped the shark
Misheard song lyrics: Lady Gaga and Ozzy Osbourne's lyrics named hardest to understand
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 1 KFC 'sorry' after lesbian couple are kicked out of Bath restaurant for 'heavy petting'
- 2 Dylan Tombides: West Ham confirm 20-year-old striker has died after battle with cancer
- 3 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 4 'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
- 5 PFA Player of the Year: Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard all nominated as Liverpool dominate award shortlist