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21-Nov-08: Denver - Tickets, Preview, Meetups, Review/Photos

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Wow this night snuck up on me. Tomorrow's the day!


Hopefully we'll get quite a few Prospekt's March previews. Too bad the "gang" has more or less disbanded (many of our Coldplay concert regulars went to other states or have moved on). Hopefully I'll be pleasantly surprised and re-invigorated by the new tour as X+Y at the Pepsi Center was mildly disappointing. Still, my seventh Denver Coldplay show.

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Coldplay -- the band you love, or love to hate


They're a punching bag for critics and a punch line for comedians.


Pick the put-down, and they've been on the receiving end: insufferable, unoriginal, pompous, arrogant and - worst of all - boring.


And yet they've sold 40 million albums, routinely pack arenas and once even affected a company's stock by changing a record's release date.


That's the dichotomy of Coldplay, which has a date at the Pepsi Center tonight.


At best, their critics have slammed the earnest Brits as "Radiohead Lite," featuring all the wistful atmosphere, but none of the musical innovation. At worst, even the band's fans are slagged. "Music for medium-level dull people." That's how the Washington Post's J. Freedom du Lac described Coldplay's catalog earlier this year.


But would this vitriol be in such high supply if Coldplay weren't so successful? Do critics hate them because they've become rich and famous, with an Oscar winner in the family, or do they merely feel obligated to tell the masses they're buying the wrong band?


Perhaps they're just baffled that any artist could be so reviled and revered at the same time.


"None of my personal or professional acquaintances, nobody in the street or the local cafe, not a single soul will admit to liking Coldplay or purchasing their music," Andy Gill of The Independent wrote this summer in his article titled Why I Hate Coldplay. "Indeed, most seem to agree that they epitomize everything that's wrong with modern rock music. So who's buying all their albums? Who are those masses politely arrayed in their thousands at stadiums when Coldplay plays?"


A look at how Coldplay has always been the band you love. Or love to hate.







Coldplay's debut, Parachutes, is an immediate hit, selling more than 5 million copies worldwide, but it's bashed for sounding like a less exciting version of Radiohead. The pattern is established in England, whereby the band is nominated for every major award - and routinely ripped for being too safe.


"The criticism most often leveled at Coldplay (certainly 'round these parts) is that they will never be the saviors of rock 'n' roll," wrote the country's influential New Musical Express. "They will never cause front-page tabloid sensation, and they really like their parents."


The honors


Parachutes debuts at No. 1 in the U.K., goes gold in the U.S. and is named best British album at the 2001 Brit Awards and Best Alternative Music Album at the 2002 Grammy Awards. It's also nominated for England's prestigious Mercury Music Prize.


The backlash


After the band is nominated for the Mercury, indie rock label chief Alan McGee calls Coldplay "bed wetter's music." He later expands on his remarks: "Coldplay are the dictionary definition of corporate rock. The singer is about as weird as Phil Collins."


A tale of two reviews


"All told, it's incredible this is a debut album. Accomplished, yet subtle, it works perfectly as a whole."


New Music Express


"There's little on Parachutes that demands attention or punctures the pensive spell. . . . These indistinct London lads might as well be Canadian."


Barry Walters, The Village Voice






The band releases A Rush of Blood to the Head and becomes a bona fide arena act, hitting the road for nine months of concerts that cover five continents. The group spawns a legion of imitators, particularly in England, where similar one-named acts such as Keane, Starsailor and Aqualung echo Coldplay's sound and "anthems of insecurity."


The honors


A Rush Of Blood To The Head debuted at No. 1 on the British charts, giving its label the highest first-week sales since the Beatles. It was named best album at the Brit Awards and won the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album in 2003, followed by Record of the Year for Clocks in 2004.


The backlash


Critics continue pounding Chris Martin for his rare combination of self-loathing and arrogance, ambition and paranoia. Despite its early success, the band has to defend itself in most interviews. Martin tells Canada's Jam! music site, "We know in our heart of hearts that we're not as evil as Dick Cheney. We can sleep at night."


A tale of two reviews


"It's a relief to hear music that revels in the joys of a simple, graceful melody. The overall effect is tuneful and hypnotic."


David Browne, Entertainment Weekly


"Yet it's Coldplay's lack of humor . . . that makes the dourness so detestable. Coldplay is content to create directionless palettes of sound."


Ethan Brown, New York Magazine






We learn just how powerful Coldplay has become when the stock price plummets for EMI, the parent company of the band's record label, when it's announced that the release date for X&Y will be delayed five months while the group reworks songs.


The honors


X&Y sells more than 700,000 copies in its first week of release. It debuts at No. 1 in 32 countries and eventually wins the Rolling Stone Readers Poll for best album of 2005. The band's tour grosses $24.1 million on its North American leg, according to Pollstar.


The backlash


Beating up the band becomes almost blase - until The New York Times delivers a particularly excoriating damnation, calling Coldplay "the most insufferable band of the decade." Then comes 40 Year Old Virgin, in which the band becomes the punchline for one of the film's funniest - if most politically incorrect - gags.


A tale of two reviews


"It is almost - not quite but almost - flawless. X&Y is a fantastically confident collection of songs."


Amy Raphael, The Observer


"(Martin) makes a sound somewhere between a yodel and a hiccup. And the lyrics can make me wish I didn't understand English."


Jon Pareles, The New York Times.






Brian Eno, who helped shape U2 into arena-rock gods, tells the band its songs are "too long, too repetitive and use the same tricks too much" - but signs on to produce its new album anyhow.


Evidence they've still got the power to sell magazines, Coldplay graces the cover of Spin, Rolling Stone and Q to coincide with the release of Viva La Vida.


The honors


The album sells 722,000 copies in its debut week. The only other band to enjoy that much first-week success in the last five years? Coldplay in 2005.


The backlash


A survey by Travelodge in England says Coldplay is the king of putting people to sleep. "The research shows that we are increasingly relying on slow, sleepy music and unchallenging books to take our minds off the pressures of modern living," said Travelodge spokesperson Leigh McCarron. "Coldplay seem to hit just the right spot among Britain's insomniacs."


A tale of two reviews


"The confident majesty of the music . . . belies how (Martin) and his bandmates have invigorated their rock-lite reign."


Chris Willman, Entertainment Weekly


"(While) the experimentation makes this their most musically interesting album to date, its political messages are too vague to be heard amid its outsize hooks."


Will Hermes, Rolling Stone






* When: 7:30 p.m. today


* Where: Pepsi Center


* Tickets: $49.50-$97.50


* Information: 303-830-8497



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Denver may be chilly, but Friday night it is Coldplay




DENVER - For those of you just joining us from 1999, allow us to introduce you to Coldplay-one of the biggest bands in the world.


Their sensitive pop singles are ubiquitous across generational lines, their first three albums sold tens of millions of copies, and the fate of a gigantic record label (Capitol/EMI) is said to pretty much rest in their hands. But what the band really wants, of course, is to be taken seriously as artists.


"Viva La Vida" is their latest album release which fights the good fight for Coldplay, gently nudging them into new territory without taking any turns sharp enough to jolt the bandwagon. They've mostly shirked the maudlin piano ballads in favor of a style more complicated, more crowded and more cinematic (the opening track is even called "Life in Technicolor"). Famed producer Brian Eno (U2/Talking Heads) joins them here on their slightly quixotic quest to become something more than the sum of their parts.


Friday night, Nov. 21, Coldplay is coming to The Pepsi Center while currently on their "Viva La Vida" tour.



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they will be smokin the "Ganja" in the nosebleeds in Denver, i wonder if the boys will wander up there again .


Joe, are you goin to 2 concerts?

Hahahaha!!! Im sure they will make their way up there slowly!!!


Well, im going to the Anaheim one, on tuesday:dance::dance:

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