Coldplay - live @ the Ricoh Arena
- By Jordan Halford -
- May 30, 2012
Who could have envisaged a staggering 12 years ago when I first listened to Mercury Prize nominated album, ‘Parachutes,’ that the London quartet led by Chris Martin would conquer the world?
If last year’s headline slot at Glastonbury wasn’t conclusive enough evidence, then the first leg of their 2012 UK tour last night must have convinced even the most stubborn, or jealous, of tweeters amongst us that Coldplay quite simply are the greatest live act on the planet.
Forget the superlatives of previous reviews, as last night Coldplay achieved my personal most memorable gig by bringing a flurry of colour and a wall of sound to Coventry City’s previously lifeless Ricoh Arena. It even surpassed Kasabian’s exclusive live show on a stripped out Boeing 747 in the small Leicestershire village of Bruntingthorpe last year.
Bring unto me anyone who claims that Coldplay are dull and monotonous and I will argue quite the contrary. That was perhaps the Coldplay of old, but not anymore. The attention to detail was palpable, from the colourful wristbands provided upon entry that would later enlighten the West Midlands skyline, to the graffiti and paint-splattered instruments that would illuminate Martin and his fellow band members, or even the beach balls that bounced unapologetically throughout the stadium.
No stone was left unturned, this two-hour show tickled every human sense possible right through to inhaling the stench from the smoke bombs and fireworks that seemed in endless supply. And of course, to accompany all of that there was the most pertinent soundtrack too.
If there were any negatives, of which there were very few, it would only be that my Mother couldn’t also witness this breathtaking spectacle through illness, or the omission of old favourites ‘See You Soon,’ ‘Shiver,’ ‘Politik’ and ‘Green Eyes.’
But their absence only served to highlight the sheer amount of world-class tracks available at Martin’s disposal and they were delivered impeccably by a lead vocalist that was once accused of having no charisma, but for a man who suffers with insomnia and also doesn’t drink alcohol, his stage presence and boundless energy was exemplary. It was simply impossible to identify the show’s zeitgeist moment, for there were several. The four-piece bounced on stage almost 20 minutes late to a frenzied crowd, after they had to endure the painful support acts of Rita Ora and Robyn.
‘Mylo Xyloto’ and ‘Hurts Like Heaven’ were perhaps a slow start, but by the time ‘In My Place’ arrived the carnival atmosphere was beginning to materialise. Personal favourites ‘The Scientist’ and ‘Yellow’ both followed, with the latter beginning as a slow ballad before erupting into a barnstorming sing-along.
A confident Martin then proclaimed, ‘We haven’t even got to the good songs yet, we’re just getting started,’ before a rendition of ‘Princess of China’ with Rihanna on the big screens behind highlighting how the band fit perfectly between mainstream pop and having a back catalogue of hits that were tailor made for a stadium audience. This was echoed amongst the 40,000 revellers too, with foppish-quiffed indie kids often accompanied by their parents and in some curious cases, even their in-laws, such is Coldplay’s widespread appeal.
Proceedings were slowed mid-set when Martin and co retreated to a slow and welcome rendition of ‘Warning Sign’ before a poignant hat-trick concluded the initial set. Newer material ‘Charlie Brown’ and ‘Paradise’ were sublime, but it was crowd favourite ‘Viva La Vida,’ which proved to be the concert’s most spine-tingling moment as the whole arena joined in unison alongside Johnny Buckland to bewail the band’s most famous howl, which carried on long into the beautiful spring twilight after the quartet had left the stage.
The band returned to their third stage of the evening one-by-one to milk their deserved admiration from the indulgent horde, at the back of the Ricoh for a brief encore of ‘Us Against the World’ and ‘Speed of Sound’ before gallivanting back to the main stage for a rip-roaring crescendo of ‘Fix You,’ which left Martin drowned out amongst 40,000 drunken voices.
They predictably concluded on a high, though, with ‘Every Teardrop is a Waterfall’ before departing to an ear splitting applause. Martin wrote on the climax of ‘Clocks’ that ‘nothing else compares,’ and on this evidence, that couldn't ring any truer.
Video courtesy of Alex Morris
By Jordan Halford.
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