04 August 2009

Coldplay - August 2, 2009

So.. Coldplay.

This is a band I've had a love/disinterest thing going on with for awhile. When I heard they were closing out All Points West and I'd have a chance to see them from a VIP seat, I figured why not? Might as well take advantage of one of the few perks I had.

Now before I lose your attention I'm just going to get to the good stuff. I'm not a real reviewer, I don't have to speak chronologically. Chris Martin pulled such a stupid stunt that it not only ruined part of the concert for me but proved he's a egotistical jerk.

Throughout the first half of the concert he was jumping all over the stage like a maniac. I know a lot of people appreciate the enthusiasm on behalf of the performer but this was like too much. It's Coldplay for God's sake, it's not The Ramones. It's a step faster than Phil Collins. I don't want to be too critical but from a basic concertgoer's perspective - someone who is not a huge Coldplay fan - this guy looked ridiculous. Yeah, his little colorful costume was nice and if I were talking to him in person I'd probably tell him it was a great show but on the inside I feel like I missed out on MGMT, who was playing on a different stage at the same time, for nothing. I was disappointed. Even though the entire band sounded spectacular, I almost attributed it more to the sound technicans than Chris Martin.

ANYWAY, at the end of "Viva La Vida" (the first time they played it - there was also a strange dance version in the middle - not that I didn't enjoy it, it was just strange..), Chris Martin decides to fall to the floor of the stage. At first everyone in the audience started cheering because clearly that's what he expects them to do but then he starts rolling on the floor in a dazed sort of way. He starts reaching for the microphone several times and moaning into it. The audience stops cheering and starts to think that something is seriously wrong with this guy. In my head at this point I'm thinking that I'm witnessing something really bad like he's having a drug seizure and emts are going to start rushing the stage. Seriously! I was really scared, my heart started racing. I was worried about the stupid idiot.

Then the intro to "Lost!" starts playing and he jumps back up like a jackrabbit and clearly he was just 'joking around'. Okay, Chris Martin. You don't have enough faith in your music? You have to pull dumb stunts like that to get us to pay attention to you? Or maybe you're just unaware of how already frail and drug-ridden you look when you're acting normal. That must be it. I have never seen a well respected musician act in such a way before and it made me angry. I wanted to leave.

Of course I'm a pro and will stick it out at a concert no matter what the circumstances are even if the lead singer thinks he's a dog and decides to play dead. I'll still watch. And overall, the concert turned out well despite the unlikable frontman. The rest of the band seemed confident and professional. At one point their drummer Will had the opportunity to sing an acoustic song, "Death Will Never Conquer", and it sounded fantastic. Even their covers of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" and Beastie Boys' "You Gotta Fight" were really top notch. I definitely see why Coldplay is regarded as one of the biggest, most successful bands in the world. I get their U2 style, stadium soft rock niche, and I do like some of their songs a lot but they are still too much for me.

The highlights of the concert were "God Put a Smile Upon Your Face" - my favorite Coldplay song, "Politik", and "Green Eyes" that sounded so beautiful with the gorgeous New York skyline in the background and this amazing light-up balloon display highlighting the moonlit sky. There were some moments in this concert that made me feel like all my mixed feelings about this festival were worth it. Any concert is a special event and seeing a band as renowned as Coldplay really touched me regardless of my personal feelings towards their wacky leader.

I wouldn't pay to see them again but I'll continue to buy their songs on iTunes.

The complete setlist:

Life In Technicolor
Violet Hill
In My Place
Fix You
Strawberry Swing
God Put A Smile Upon Your Face
You Gotta Fight (Beastie Boys cover)
Viva La Vida
Green Eyes
Death Will Never Conquer
Billie Jean (Michael Jackson cover)
Viva La Vida Remix
Lovers In Japan
Death And All His Friends

The Scientist
Life In Technicolor ii
The Escapist

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