Boston Review: Coldplay Puts On One Hot Live Show

Coldplay’s the biggest band in the world? How is that even possible?

It’s not the lite rock radio hits or monochromatic albums that make Coldplay rock champions. It’s the live show. And everybody at last night’s sold-out TD Banknorth Garden shows knows that. Chris Martin’s got a rock star bio – married to starlet, kid with weird name, known the world over – he just doesn’t have Bono’s ego. But he doesn’t need it. In front of thousands, he’s (almost) got Bono’s charisma.

The band began with “Life in Technicolor,” but life didn’t go from black and white to high-def until “Clocks.” Louder and brighter than on the album, the song was the starting gun for a show with a shockingly furious pace. “In My Place” jolted the audience into a singalong that lasted an hour and a half and had Martin whirling and bouncing around the stage like a top. When Mr. Paltrow wasn’t pounding out piano chords, he was sprinting and shouting and dancing and collapsing in (maybe) mock exhaustion.


Throughout the night, songs flattened on albums were inflated into stadium rock: “Cemeteries of London,” “Fix You” and the expected encore “Yellow” became fat hooks that elated fans.

And for a band with a blah reputation, it took loads of live risks. The electro set of “God Put a Smile Upon Your Face” and “Talk” had the whole band at the end of a catwalk including drummer Will Champion on electronic kit. The sound hiccups helped make it chaotically un-Coldplay. The acoustic set had the band popping up in middle of the audience in some lower loge seats. Coldplay didn’t sell out the Garden for the second time this year because of a few hits. The band did it because they legitimately rock.

Opener Duffy – the latest female retro soul singer – overcame some early sound problems to put on a decent show.

More on this review here onwards [thanks mimixxx]