Isn’t it remarkable when you have the opportunity to see things in your life come full circle? I have an uncanny ability to remember moments. Moments that impact me, moments that take my breath away, moments that move and inspire me and moments that will eventually shape my future. At the age of 22, I was listening to radio when the song, Yellow, came on. The melody sounded different than anything else being played in late 2000 and I took notice. The lyrics were beautiful and the band’s emotion came freely flowing through Chris Martin’s vocals. That day, I turned to my soon to be husband, and told him that Coldplay would become a band that we will listen to for years to come. 16 years later, Coldplay has released 7 wildly successful albums, sold more than 80 million records worldwide, and here I am covering their show.
In 2015, Coldplay, consisting of founding members, Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland, Guy Berryman and Will Champion released their seventh, and quite possibly their last album, A Head Full of Dreams. Martin stated; “It’s our seventh thing, and the way we look at it, it’s like the last Harry Potter book or something like that.” He added that the band will be touring for this album and then hinted that the show would be “colorful and uplifting”. And that it was! Colorful, uplifting and so much more.
Rainbow colored confetti fell from the top of the packed arena, holding nearly 19,000 screaming fans, as Coldplay opened their show with one of their newest hits, Head Full of Dreams. Lead singer, Chris Martin, danced down the catwalk, smiling and making eye contact with his adoring fans. Martin then grabbed his tie-dye decorated guitar and sang Yellow, the first song that introduced us to Coldplay so many years ago. He later rocked back and forth on his signature piano, draped with brightly colorful flowers, as he performed their hit Paradise and the crowd’s LED wristbands given to them as they entered the show lit up in coordination with the song. For a toned down performance of Magic, band members joined Martin at the tip of the catwalk and the crowd roared as Martin customized the lyrics to say, “Still I call it magic, when I’m here with all of you”. Martin then pulled up a sweet, seven-year-old boy from the audience and went on to perform the heartfelt ballad, Everglow, after asking the audience to send out love and good vibes to the rest of the world in need. The band started rocking again as they played Speed of Light and rainbow colored glitter shot out from the stage during Hymn For The Weekend, as Martin twirled down the runway. Gigantic balloons bounced around during Viva La Vida and Martin’s playful and witty sense of humor was showcased as he stopped and restarted the song, joking that he had messed up the lyrics. The crowd’s wristbands once again lit up during Sky Full of Stars, creating a sea of twinkling blue lights.
As the show neared its end, Coldplay made their way through the crowd to a much smaller stage, on the second level of the arena, surrounded by fans so close that they could reach out and touch them. They took a request from a fan on Instagram, asking them to play one of their very first hits, Shiver. After the amazing, yet simple performance, Martin said that it had been a long time since they have played that song and he was feeling a bit sentimental. He went on to say that performing on that small stage, without all of the glitz and glamour, reminds them of where they came from nearly 20 years ago. They closed their set with Martin back on his piano as the band performed their newest hit single, Up and Up. After one final instrumental solo by Martin on the piano, he thanked the crowd and said, “I wish you could feel how we feel, you have been the best possible audience”.
Finally, Martin, Buckland, Berryman and Champion made their way to the front of the stage, arm in arm, and took several bows as the audience cheered. Their gratitude seemed genuine and endearing as they laid out a red and white flag with the word “LOVE’ on it and then walked off the stage. Earlier in the show, a clip of the late Mohammed Ali was played where Ali says, “So I’m going to dedicate my life to using my name and popularity to helping charities, helping people, uniting people…we need somebody in the world to help us all make peace.” I can’t help but feel that Coldplay, in their own way, is doing just that.
Rreview and photos by Robbie Flores
All photos © Robbie Flores 2016
The setlist included:
- A Head Full of Dreams
- Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall
- The Scientist
- Always in My Head
- Charlie Brown
- Hymn for the Weekend
- Fix You
- Heroes (David Bowie)
- Viva la Vida
- Adventure of a Lifetime
- Don’t Panic
- Til Kingdom Come
- Amazing Day