Coldplay on Saturday Night Live: Easy-Listening Performance Art, Awful, Or Both?

An interesting article has been published by of Australia over Coldplay’s performance last week on US television’s Saturday Night Live:

Whether you take or leave Coldplay mostly depends on your taste for their brand of overproduced nursery rhymes and moody rock-star glowering. But what of the megaband’s performance this past weekend on Saturday Night Live, with frontman Chris Martin bounding through Studio 8A like a sort of atonal Bono?

What of that insistent pitchiness and those karaoke-grade moves underscoring his most recent album’s title track “Viva la Vida” — the single on which Coldplay’s label EMI was counting to help rescue it from certain insolvency in 2009? In a post-Groban world where any court jester who tries hard enough can usurp his king’s crown, is Martin’s lunacy the un-self-conscious work of a born performer, or just another postmodern, funk-faking harbinger of SNL’s obsolescence?

We could go either way, though (SPOILER ALERT) the inspired back-bend at the end puts this just over the top for us every time. Team Coldplay? We think?

In response to the article, one reader mused the following:

Article sets up an interesting dichotomy of reader reactions; those indifferent(or less) to Coldplay might find it mildly amusing (or who knows – maybe even hysterical) and may enjoy sniggering at the silly looking performance, those who like them may just find the article annoying as it mocks a band whose music they may hold dear.

I remember as a kid laughing at the “hard-core christians” in church, singing with their arms in the air as we walked passed. I used to feel so smug and smart to see them worshiping things my intellect could easily pick holes in.

Now I cringe at the naked self-congratulatory smugness of it all. Especially in the arts, where intellectual hole-picking is such a trademark of the unsuccessful and disgruntled, and reverence of less rational forces is more a trademark of the people we as a society tend to revere.