Anticipation builds up in the rows and rows of people waiting for the End. As in Coldplay; the group credited with providing the raison d'être for the Pemberton Music Festival.
It's almost 10:20. The re-scheduled start time was 10:10. Every time any movement occurs on stage there is roar. Then: release.
There is almost a sense of relief when the cascading waves of guitar rain down and the band kicks into "Violet Hill." The first single from the group's new album Viva La Vida. The stuttered two-step rhythm of the song gets the foot-stomping up and folks are fuh-reek-in. When the second tune is "Clocks," followed by "In My Place" you know that the band is going for broke. Jay-Z upped the bar a lot.
Now it's time to prove they've got what it takes.
It has been an incredible experience up here in this beautiful valley this weekend. Here's looking forward to next year where I imagine we might see a little group from Hanna headlining. Just a hunch. If I'm right, you read it here first.
The difference between Jay-Z's steez and Coldplay's is night and day. Where the rap star showed up with his band in natty suits and baggies, the Englishmen went for that ever-popular military officer's style favoured by bands dating back to before the Beatles.
It was all colourful and happy. Chris Martin even looked like he'd been out in the Sun. Not so other members, but that's what you hope for in pasty pop stars.
Always the most interesting element in the band, Martin has come a very long way from those early days when the band was filming videos at the Commodore Ballroom when Parachutes was breaking.
They are a huge group. One that has developed quite a potent live presentation too.
From the shifts in the arrangements to highlight the dynamics of the vocal harmonies and soaring crescendos in the bridges to the way that alll four members played off of one another, it was a spirited performance.
While I still find the group's songs skew towards women who would like to be Gwyneth Paltrow, there is no denying that the anthemic nature of its arena rock is the sort of thing that — as reporter Claire Ogilvie noted — you can close your eyes to and re-live the moment.
That, Jay-Z did not create with his far more funk it up and get busy with it show. That he nailed his show was pointed out by Chris Martin too with a good deal of humility.
The well-oiled Coldplay machine moved from strength to strength. When tthe whole unit moved stage forward to sing in a line, it created a dramatic tension that could really be enhanced by the lasers and images of the band put up on the two screens on either side of the stage. And drummer Will Champion doubtless enjoyed a chance to be seen from the waist up as he ratatat'ed out a beat on one of those electropad kits. “Speed Of Sound” followed and ws one of the evening's highlights as guitarist Jonny Buckland chimed out the tune's hook and Martin finally got behind the keys.
Guess which song was played when the whole stage and audience was bathed in yellow light? Yup, you got it; the first big hit “Yellow.”
Around this time, a woman nearby commented that ‘is it just me, or have they gotten prettier as time goes by?’ Yes, they have.
It's amazing what image consultants and crazy wads of cash can do for your looks. I'm still waiting to give it a try; anyone else?
The big production moment came when the entire band suddenly dropped off the main stage, travelled down the long corridor to a small platform stage near the soundboard and hauled out acoustic instruments for a very intimate take on “The Scientist“ that was pretty classic.
“We were thinking, what could we do in Canada that we'd never done before,” said Martin, noting that the event had been an overwhelming success. Very true.
A success that wasn't over yet either as the Crystal Method was just preparing to start spinning the the Bacardi B-Live tent in a matter of minutes.
All in all, a really fantastic three days.
Thanks are in order for all the concert-goers who kept it on the up and up, not turning any of the minor inconveniences into cause for misbehaviour and to all the hard-working volunteers on site. And, most of all, to Pemberton for letting us all come up and, admittedly, make a real mess all over someone's farm and have a ball. We know that the bug population is going to miss all the extra food, but the fun's gotta end at some point.
The Canadain government announce today that they have hired singer Chris Martin as spokesman for Hernia Self Exam Week. Mr Martin will be doing live demo exams during his band, Coldplay's shows in Canada this week.