Calgary review 1: Coldplay paradise at Scotiabank Saddledome (18th April)

The proof is on the stage. The measure of any great band is — and always should be — judged by its live show. Sure, over the past 15 years, Coldplay has become one of the biggest and most consistent recording bands in music — all well and good, writes the Calgary Sun in a review of last night’s concert in Calgary (18th April). Catch up on the latest tweets, pictures, videos from this show at the Coldplay Live forum now.

But in front of a sellout crowd of nearly 15,000 fans at the Scotiabank Saddledome Wednesday night (Day 2 of the group’s North American leg of the Mylo Xylotour), Chris Martin and his mates made a statement as one of the best live acts in recent rock and roll memory. Despite selling more than 55-million records, the easy knocks of being a “chick band” (a term likely buoyed by the group’s tendency towards syrupy pop balladry), pop-rock “lightweights” or, worst of all, a “poor man’s U2,” become unfounded and/or irrelevant when the band walks onto a concert stage…


If the snippy criticisms carry any weight whatsoever, it was important for the disbelievers to forget what they thought they knew. Cynics be damned! As a frontman extraordinaire, Martin possesses the kind of presence and star power that projects to the last row of the third deck — no small feat in these heady times of the American Idol-ization of commercial pop and rock music.

In front of a snappy and colourful black light, graffitied backdrop, several round video screens and bathed in lights of red, blue and yellow, Martin commanded the stage as very few can through set opener Hurts Like Heaven, which followed the intro music of the Back To The Future theme and the title cut from Mylo Xyloto.

The effect was enhanced by the 15,000 glowing wristbands that were handed out to fans entering the arena. The dizzying effect, as well as the first of many arena rock gags: Confetti cannons which covered the main floor with a mass of paper flurries, only added to the excitement through Lost! Guitarist Jonny Buckland and the rhythm section of bassist Guy Berryman and drummer Will Champion brilliantly backstopped the colourful onstage assault on the senses.

Clearly, the crack players give Martin the freedom and gravity to work the room into a frenzy — prancing, preening, spinning and even sitting still long enough play piano here and there. “Is anybody out there, Calgary?” he asked to thunderous applause. “Thank you for giving us the best job in the world!”

After a storm of multicoloured beach balls dropped from overhead, the crowd erupted as Martin led a crowd sing-along during The Scientist, which only got twice as loud through the band’s first major North American hit, Yellow, from the 2000 album Parachutes. The pace was picked up with God Put A Smile Upon Your Face, followed by the duet Princess Of China, which featured Rihanna’s portion on screen. It was slightly … well, tacky, but still effective as the group seemed to be gaining momentum.

On a night where believers knew what they were getting, non-believers became the converted. With Calgary’s concert schedule growing every week, Coldplay will go down as one of the year’s best. Opening the evening was the curious contradiction of the atmospheric electric folk sister duo, The Pierces, followed by British electronic dance outfit, Metronomy.

Despite playing to a sparse crowd, many of whom were still entering the venue, Catherine Pierce channelled her inner Stevie Nicks to her sister Allison’s Christine McVie during a number of thrilling lead vocal swappings, coupled with numerous outstanding harmonies. Standouts such as Drag You Down, Kissing You Goodbye, Love You More and You’ll Be Mine make these Alabama-born, New York-based sisters worth further investigation.

Although Radiohead has nothing to worry about, Metronomy had its moments through bouncy funk-laden busts such as Heartbreaker, Radio Ladio and Holiday. You may have liked them better when they were called the Pet Shop Boys.



Don’t forget to check out your tour discussion thread if you are getting Coldplay tickets or just getting excited for the European & North American 2012 shows and other forthcoming appearances:

FEBRUARY 2012
8 Los Angeles, CA @ Club Nokia (iHeartRadio) [discussion]
9 Los Angeles, CA @ Jimmy Kimmel Live [discussion]
10 Los Angeles, CA @ GRAMMY Week MusiCares Person of the Year tribute [discussion]
12 Los Angeles, CA @ 54th Grammy Awards, Staples Center [discussion]
16 Sydney, Australia @ 2DayFM, Mobile Live Set (intimate show) [discussion] [CANCELLED]
17 Sydney, Australia @ Sunrise (intimate show) [discussion] [CANCELLED]
21 London @ Brit Awards 2012, O2 Arena [discussion]

MARCH 2012
2 New York, NY @ Good Morning America [discussion]
4 New York, NY @ The Secret Policeman’s Ball, Radio City Music Hall (Amnesty International) [discussion]

APRIL 2012
17 Edmonton, AB @ Rexall Place [discussion]
18 Calgary, AB @ Scotiabank Saddledome [discussion]
20 Vancouver, BC @ Rogers Arena [discussion]
21 Vancouver, BC @ Rogers Arena [discussion]
24 Portland, OR @ Rose Garden Arena [discussion]
25 Seattle, WA @ KeyArena [discussion]
27 San Jose, CA @ HP Pavilion At San Jose [discussion]
28 San Jose, CA @ HP Pavilion At San Jose [discussion]

MAY 2012
1 Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl [discussion]
2 Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl [discussion]
4 Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl [discussion]
5 Los Angeles, CA @ KROQ’s Weenie Roast y Fiesta [discussion] [NEW!]
18 Porto, Portugal @ Dragao Stadium [discussion]
20 Madrid, Spain @ Estadio Vicente Calderón [discussion]
22 Nice, France @ Stade Charles Herman / Nikaia [discussion]
24 Turin, Italy @ Olympic Stadium [discussion]
26 Zurich, Switzerland @ Letzigrund [discussion]
29 Coventry, UK @ Ricoh Stadium [discussion]

JUNE 2012
1 London, UK @ the Emirates Stadium [discussion]
2 London, UK @ the Emirates Stadium [discussion]
4 London, UK @ the Emirates Stadium [discussion]
7 Sunderland, UK @ the Stadium of Light [discussion]
9 Manchester, UK @ the Etihad Stadium [discussion]
10 Manchester, UK @ the Etihad Stadium [discussion]
22 Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center [discussion]
23 Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center [discussion]
25 Houston, TX @ Toyota Center [discussion]
26 Houston, TX @ Toyota Center [discussion]
28 Tampa, FL @ St. Pete Times Forum [discussion]
29 Miami, FL @ American Airlines Arena [discussion]

JULY 2012
2 Atlanta, GA @ Philips Arena [discussion]
3 Charlotte, NC @ Time Warner Cable Arena [discussion]
5 Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center [discussion]
6 Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center [discussion]
8 Washington, DC @ Verizon Center [discussion]
9 Washington, DC @ Verizon Center [discussion]
23 Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre [discussion]
24 Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre [discussion]
26 Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre [discussion]
27 Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre [discussion]
29 Boston, MA @ TD Garden [discussion]
30 Boston, MA @ TD Garden [discussion]

AUGUST 2012
1 Auburn Hills, MI @ Palace of Auburn Hills [discussion]
3 East Rutherford, NJ @ Izod Center [discussion]
4 East Rutherford, NJ @ Izod Center [discussion]
7 Chicago, IL @ United Center [discussion]
8 Chicago, IL @ United Center [discussion]
11 St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center [discussion]
28 Copenhagen, Denmark @ Parken Stadium [discussion]
30 Stockholm, Sweden @ Olympic Stadium [discussion]

SEPTEMBER 2012
2 Paris, France @ Stade de France [discussion]
4 Cologne, Germany @ Rheinenergie Stadium [discussion]
6 The Hague, Netherlands @ Malieveld [discussion]
12 Munich, Germany @ Olympiastadion [discussion]
14 Leipzig, Germany @ Red Bull Stadium [discussion]
16 Prague, Czech Republic @ Slavia Eden Stadium [discussion]
19 Warsaw, Poland @ National Stadium [discussion]
22 Hannover, Germany @ AWD Arena [discussion]

Read also: European Stadium Tour announced! (general discussion thread for the Europe tour)
Read also: North America Tour announced! (general discussion thread for the US/Canada tour)
Read also: 2012: Live Appearances – Easy Thread Finder (last updated – 12th January 2012)
Read also: 2012 tour date rumours (please post dates for ALL countries in here)

Kit yourself up for the forthcoming MX tour and get spotted with Coldplaying’s new range of merchandise! [click on the items for the full shop]

The new range of Coldplaying merchanise (unofficial of course to the official shop) has hit our stores, with our biggest range of goods so far. Prices are as low as they can be for a Cafepress shop so more people will be able to afford them. We don’t take any profits for the sale of the merchandise as a result. Take a browse in one of the online stores nearest to you: UK | US | Canada | Australia | European (shipping is worldwide, but you can choose what currency to pay in) – simply alter the country dropdown menu at the top of the shop page. [thanks to TracieMorgan and zzz]