Review: Coldplay shines in San Jose
By Tony Hicks
Contra Costa Times
Article Launched: 07/19/2008 10:00:35 AM PDT
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Alternative rock band Coldplay (Publicity art)
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One knows it's not a run-of-the-mill, overly serious Britpop show when, 10 minutes before the band goes on, the crowd launches into a terribly giddy version of the wave.
Is that what Coldplay's career come to: playing to American arenas full of people who don't know they're supposed to take this band more "seriously?"
Yes and ... yes, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially if you aren't one of the music snobs who clung to the band after its first two albums. Coldplay's career arc has gained it a certain level of commercial success that Chris Martin and his mates were in no way eschewing Friday night at HP Pavilion at San Jose. In fact, they were pushing it, with a crowd-friendly, clap-along, c'mon-get-happy show that, at times, would've fit nicely in Las Vegas.
At times it worked; at times it didn't. It was nice to see a band that too many people crowned as the intellectual standard-bearer of rock music eight years ago, just put on a show.
Pumping up the fun factor to an arena packed with screaming, giddy fans certainly had its advantages. The band scored by throwing such Coldplay standards as "Clocks" and "In My Place" to the crowd early on. The self-deprecating Martin — who missed a couple cues to everyone's delight — excelled at being the affable, almost goofy, "who, me?" frontman that made him far more human and likable than in the past.
On the other hand, it was evident Friday night that much of the former
moodiness and aura that lent power to Coldplay's live show has been replaced by stunts like alternate stages in the crowd (not one, but two, including a late-show jaunt through the crowd for a couple songs halfway up the first deck) and props that would've fit perfectly in a circus.
It was difficult to reject but hard to totally embrace at the same time. The band was tight and Martin's voice was as fresh as on record, especially with drummer Will Champion's harmonies.
But the counterpoint to all that smoothness was a show that was almost too seemless. Occasionally, it felt like a hurried review of medleys, as if Coldplay was intent on squeezing as much material from its four records into a 95-minute set as possible — with notable exceptions from its new album "Viva La Vida or Deeath and All His Friends," like "42," which resonated powerfully.
The band shifted gears, not entirely successfully, by disembarking the big stage about a third-of-the way through for a more intimate square out in the crowd. There, Coldplay played a couple songs, including a hurried, stripped-down version of "God Put a Smile Upon Your Face," which lacked the dynamic subtlety of the original.
Throughout the show, Martin and company balanced new and old, with the monster hit "Yellow" being the giant sing-along of the night. "Politik" was one of the few classic Coldplay songs afforded the proper space it needed, as did "Death and All His Friends."
It proved Coldplay can still put the showbiz rush on hold to treat a live song with the proper respect. Coldplay is still a good live band, even if it doesn't seem as challenging as it used to be.
I went to the site that hosts it, and there is a link that says "Download Options" and you can dl the whole 1gb file...
If Coldplay themselves actually came into San Francisco with him... then, just, AHHHH! OMG! WHY DIDN'T I GO CAMP OUT AT THE BRIDGE TO SEE THEM?!?I’m on the bus. Front top bunk. Driver’s side. I just marked my name on the mini-whiteboard that has the 11 other scribbled names for this bus. One of 5 on the tour. I can hear the set frantically being wheeled out case-by-case from the loading bay, onto the shining red trucks. Drivers eager to hit the road, and crew, ready to hit the hay. I’m fascinated by how fast that whole set gets boxed up and heads for another venue. That venue waiting for us this time is the MGM Grand.. Las Vegas.
I hear it’s ‘hot’ in Las Vegas. And Crazy. I’m excited. And intrigued..
If Oxfam has a group of volunteers as good as tonight, we’ll do fine. Another night. Another raft of names signed up for Oxfam America. More people showing support for the cause. More people ready to use their power and take action on injustice. It’s exciting to meet so many people ready to do something positive. Also to meet all the people who already know about Oxfam, and want to do more.
The Coldplay show shifted a little tonight. Don’t Panic was an acoustic track, with ‘Yellow’ played in full, I think for the first time so far. No venue seems too big for this band. If anything, the bigger the better. More people = more noise from the crowd. The HP Pavillion in San Jose is a huge concrete dome. Home of the Sharks hockey team. Coldplay seem to feed off the singing voices of big crowds. Not quite like sharks though.. thankfully.
Just before I go (as my eyes are drying up with this bedlight shining at them), I just wanted to say. I went to San Francisco with a couple of old uni friends last night. Checked out the pacific and the misty Golden Gate Bridge. That thing is awesome. I got vertigo just looking at it. Apparently they never stop painting it. Imagine the guy who paints that thing all year round.. I have enough respect for the rigging guys on the tour who swing from the lights and speaker stacks every day!
Enough from me. 8 hours, 528 miles, and we’ll be in the desert. Farewell California. Viva Las Vegas*.
*I had to say it.
Oh I think I only looked back once, Glad to know though that there were other people around me enjoying the concert as much as I was.lol no i was in section 128 but i was in the back, row 24 seat 19, right next to where the people come down the steps. I was rocking out all right! i was wearing the pink baby doll t-shirt.
If I were Chris running down those ramps under those dim lights, I would be flying into the crowd, not by choice either. I hope too he doesn't fall off at any upcoming shows...since I would feel really bad for laughing when I see the clip (knocking on wood)He's quirky enough with the piano and I see him being a disaster without it. He's definitely going to fall off the cat-walk before this tour is over.
Even though they're quite entertaining, I really hope he stops doing those random somersaults on stage... he's going to break his neck.If I were Chris running down those ramps under those dim lights, I would be flying into the crowd, not by choice either. I hope too he doesn't fall off at any upcoming shows...since I would feel really bad for laughing when I see the clip (knocking on wood)
I didn't say he should stop trying his hardest, I said he needs to take a few breaks in the set that's all. It wasn't a criticism, we were just saying he's going to end up making himself ill if he doesn't slow down a little.a person needs to work hard when they're in the best band in the world.
it doesn't mean that any band if they got enough it doesn't mean that its enough what ever they do.
They need to work hard not stop everything they do because its enough.
infact nothing is enough in this world.I go to my office as today my boss said that i did well doesn't mean that i got enough and i've to stop working hard.
if they play so well then only the people who hate them will have chances to see them even more liking them.
And yeah if Coldplay listens to people's opinions like you and me they'll never top the charts.Because people always have different opinions.
if they do what ever they like to do then only then can do better.
I have a vid of the first 45 seconds or so of LIJ, along with a couple other songs taken from row 8 of the floor. Will post here once its been uploaded. Haven't been home much since the concert to upload much.Most of this might sound like a broken record by now...
So I just got back from the San Jose show 2nite, it was just lovely. Of course all the awesome songs were played especially one of my favorites "Politik", I had fun body and head banging to that one. "Yes" and "Chinese Sleep Chant" were other highlights 4 me. The crowd was cool, the top and lower sections all did the wave b4 Coldplay came out. But what was up with the people in my section (128) sitting down during some of the songs?....really! Literally I was pretty much the only one standing up in my section but at least the band could locate me more easily, I would like to think that Guy Berryman was applauding me for my dancing, even if that's very much wishful thinking.
HP's sound was better than normal so all the booming bass, banging drum kicks, and crisp euphoric guitar notes, and choir-like singing was very easy to enjoy.
Chris slipped up a few times on some of the newer songs, I liked it cuz it showed he is human (knew that already btw). Also I just barely learned all them songs meself. But he bounced back singing something along the lines of "San Jose...the people here are very forgiving" Some lucky people were graced by the band singing right by them, the whole band managed to run across the floor and up into the lower section and Chris said "Oh now I see what it's like" and in2 "the Hardest Part". After that Will sang a song, quite a good singer, he should do it more hans solo.
All in all, it was nice with all the neonized confetti, magical balls, & the band's humble presence.
I hope someone got footage of the Lovers In Japan video on the big screen, loved the screenshot of those 2 puppy dogs : )
For those of you unable to view the Veoh video in your country, here it is on Google Video:
<embed id="VideoPlayback" style="width:400px;height:326px" allowFullScreen="true" src="http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=-3038161540502160845&hl=en&fs=true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"> </embed>
The quality is far worse on Google, which is why I don't use it, too much pixelation, but at least it's viewable in more nations than Veoh.