Coldplay Inch Closer to U2 in Achieving Authentic Arena Rock Spectacle

July 2, 2012 · Print This Article

In the same space where one week earlier the Miami Heat were crowned basketball champions, the jubilant city of Miami welcomed Grammy-winning superstars Coldplay to the American Airlines Arena.

Imagine over 20,000 multi-colored lights flashing all together in a single space. Add to the equation 20,000 voices singing along to worldwide hits. Multiply all this by 100 minutes, and we see why Coldplay is becoming a live band to rival any in terms of stage presence, including their inspiration and ours in Irish rockers U2.

The only British band to be equally successful in Europe and the United States, Coldplay are currently touring to support their latest release Mylo Xyloto across the globe throughout the year.

The stage design is all based on their graffiti theme, with five huge circular digital screens. Special wristbands were given on entry, with the screens telling the crowd to wear them because they were actually part of the show.

The evening began with the Back to the Future theme followed by a huge laser spectacle as Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland, Guy Berryman and Will Champion entered the stage and started playing “Hurts Like Heaven.” All the wristbands suddenly started flashing in rhythm with the music—wow.

The audience was already warmed up thanks to the brilliant opening performances of Wolf Gang and Robyn. However, next on the list was “In My Place” which made every single person stand up once and for all for the remainder of the show.

New songs from Mylo Xyloto prevailed, mixed with selections from A Rush of Cold Blood to the Head, Viva la Vida, X&Y, and only one from their debut Parachutes. But it was that single song “Yellow” that took the concert to a higher level.

The show was cleverly planned and well-balanced: a ballad followed every three uptempo songs, part of the setlist was played on an X-shaped stage in the middle of the crowd, and closer to the end a little stage at the very back of the stadium hosted the performance of two songs (“Us Against the World” and “Speed of Sound”).

The highlight of the concert took place as the darkness fell: that was when Viva la Vida and Charlie Brown were played. Their 2008 number one hit was fantastic in terms of response and sense of belonging (like when U2 plays “Where The Streets Have No Name”) but “Charlie Brown” was simply a visually spectacular Miami party. Watch to believe at this link:

Then followed a never-ending sequence of top-charting songs: “Paradise,” “Clocks,” “Fix You,” and the grand finale of their energetic “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall.”

Chris Martin was certainly born to be a performer, running and jumping across the whole stage from the beginning to the very last moment. A talented singer, he also found rest from his antics as he turned to his piano.

Some people may think Coldplay as a rock band are a little too poppy, but the show they put on clearly proves the rock roots of their repertoire, inching them closer to U2 in comparable live show extravaganza. –Jaime Rodriguez, Contributing Writer


4 Responses to “Coldplay Inch Closer to U2 in Achieving Authentic Arena Rock Spectacle”

  1. Marien on July 3rd, 2012 3:27 am

    I attended the Coldplay show about a month and a half ago, it was a good show, short, almost an hour an a half with the encores, and with a great flop, at least for me and the people near me, towards the middle section as it had too many acoustic songs some of them not so popular, but the beginning and the end of the show were great, you could only object that it was more of a visual show than a concert and at times the music became eclipsed by the fireworks.
    I’m not in that position, sometimes popular in U2 forums, “I hate Coldplay because I like U2″ , I like Coldplay, but they aren’t my favourite band ever, I don’t like comparing acts, I think every artist gives you what they have inside, I only want to say that I don’t see them that near a U2 show, I completely forgot the claw in Breathe in Barcelona 3 years ago and it only appeared in my mind as more than a screen while waiting for the encores, once the music was there it commanded, and that kept happening in all the 360 concerts I attended. I also attended a Bruce Springsteen show two weeks ago, no fireworks, only the band, the singer and their audience, the show was unbeatable. I’m sorry I can’t think Coldplay are aready playing in the same league, but the must keep trying, they must be confident in their music and forget the comparisons they made themselves, to be honest I liked Coldplay more when they weren’t obsessed with U2.

  2. U2Fanatic4ever on July 3rd, 2012 11:00 am

    I disagree here.. I give them credit for trying to get to the level of U2 in terms of performance of the show, experience and spectacle. But what a Coldplay lacks is the emotional, churchlike feeling that the show brings when you leave. Coldplay will never get to this level. It’s not just about the spectacle it’s so much more than that. Hard to explain but very few bands can accomplish this feeling from a live show. U2 just can.

  3. financeguy on July 7th, 2012 6:58 pm

    Coldplay are an awful band. Really terrible. Purveyors of derivative elevator musack with not the slightest hint of originality, soul or spirit..

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    [...] already on 31 pages of discussion!), we focus on a nicely written article from the guys over at Inteference (a U2 blog) who have blogged an article this month entitled “Coldplay Inch Closer to U2 in [...]

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