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[24-Apr-2012] Coldplay @ Rose Garden Arena, Portland, OR, USA


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Live Review: Coldplay at the Rose Garden



Coldplay's Chris Martin and a bunch of pastel confetti shaped like hearts and butterflies and stuff, in Edmonton earlier on the tour that came to the Rose Garden on Tuesday night.


Chris Martin seems nice. This is something that is written almost every time he does an interview, and was especially prevalent in the coverage last fall when his band, Coldplay, released their latest record, "Mylo Xyloto."


USA Today led with how Martin turned tables and energetically questioned the questioner. The New York Times was fond of how he apologized for being late when he was five minutes early.


Seems like a relatively normal guy. Highly likable, which sounds like an awful thing to say about a rock star, but isn't. He probably does understand "all the crap" fans had to go through to see Coldplay at the Rose Garden on Tuesday night. All "the money, and the parking. And we hope we don't let you down," he said.


To that end, over the course of 90 minutes, Martin and friends employed lights and lasers, confetti and balloons, thousands of illuminating wristbands, a lot of sweat and 90-minutes of music that has made them one of the world's biggest bands. Which is to say anthemic arena sing-alongs. Coldplay writes ear-worming "whoa-oh-oh-oh-oah-ohs" as naturally as the rest of us write our names.


"No wonder you produce so many great bands," Martin said as the mass of voices faded out of "Major Minus" in a chorus of "ooh-oohs." Now, there's no way any one group of 15,000-20,000 people sounds any different than another. But whatever. The point is, the Rose Garden was nearly sold out.


Did you happen to see Chuck Klosterman's Grantland piece about going to see Creed and Nickelback on the same night in New York? It was passed around a lot yesterday. In it, he suggests that in the last 20 years, there have been five bands it's acceptable to "hate reflexively," without any need to justify. Those bands are: Bush, Hootie and the Blowfish, Limp Bizkit, Nickelback and Creed. All those band are also (or have been) very popular.


Coldplay, despite its popularity, is also plenty unpopular, and could have made the list. Then again, unpopular isn't the same as hate. "Meh" isn't "#$%! those guys." Still, with one ad-libbed from Seth Rogan to Paul Rudd in the "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," it became totally acceptable to slag Coldplay. "The Big Lebowski" did the same thing to the Eagles.


"Mylo Xyloto" is, loosely, a concept record about love and art in dystopian times. It's painted in pastels, as if a 13-year-old with his first black light got together with Ocean Pacific's design staff. It has all the musical trappings of a Coldplay record -- big arrangements, lofty melodies. It's made for the big stage, and there it does its job.


Entering the Rose Garden on Tuesday, everyone was handed a wristband. A few minutes before Coldplay took the stage, the video screens began flashing, in a rainbow of colors, the words, "Please Put On Your Wristbands. It's Part of the Show."


Then Jay-Z's "99 Problems"* was cranked up, followed by the theme music for "Back To The Future." Wristbands** flashed to life around the arena and Coldplay droned the 42-second instrumental title track to their new record and then launched into "Hurts Like Heaven."


(*The problem with using "99 Problems" the way Coldplay used it is this: They don't have a better song, which isn't meant as an insult. Most bands don't have a better song than "99 Problems.")


(**These wristbands, are they going to light up every time Coldplay plays anywhere in the world? Will they chase me with marketing pitches? Is this nice guy thing all just an act?On the last night of the tour, will they all explode at once while Martin travels via private jet to his super villain island lair built into a mountain carved into the shape of an apple? The mind wanders when entranced by lasers.)

"Yellow" -- the band's breakthrough 2000 single -- was given a little extra punch. Actually, most everything was given a little extra punch. Which was nice, and necessary. They were joined, via video, by Rihanna for "Princess of China." Martin sprinted and hopped and bounced around on his piano stool. He worked. Guitarist Jonny Buckland worked. Bassist Guy Berryman worked. Drummer Will Champion worked.


Having exhausted all the space on stage, they began the encore near the entrance to section 115, Martin explaining they had to run "about 600 meters" to get there. Which is, like, two gallons, or 15 feet or something. They played "Us Against The World."


Then sprinted back to the stage to work through "Clocks," "Fix You," and "Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall" in a wash of lasers and lights and more sweat, because they seemed genuinely not to want to let anyone down. It was big and fun and shiny. It was ... nice.


(P.S. In order to comply with the conventions of writing about Coldplay: Radiohead, U2, Gwyneth. Whew. Almost forgot.)



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MX/Hurts Like Heaven




Major Minus/Lovers In Japan














The Scientist




Violet Hill




Princess Of China




Warning Sign




DLIBYH/Viva La Vida




Viva La Vida



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MX/Hurts Like Heaven/In My Place




Fix You








[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTB95mPuYd0]Coldplay - YouTube[/ame]


Us Against The World




Princess Of China



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How dare they tease us by soundchecking Glass of freaking Water and not playing it?




They soundchecked GOW!!?:o Hopefully this means a return later on in the tour ,Because if I remember correctly LiJ and DLIBYH were soundchecked too during the European Tour.:D


Well, they soundchecked Prospekt's March/Poppyfields on 2008, we've never heard that live did we?

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A couple more blog reviews:


Coldplay Put a Smile Upon My Face Coldplay didn't exactly rock the Portland Rose Garden last night, but Chris Martin and co. sure know how to throw themselves into an energetic frenzy of anthemic pop/rock. After my past two attempts to see a Coldplay show fell through, the long awaited opportunity to see one of my favorite bands did not disappoint. Soaring melodies, gleeful dancing, and spectacular show production were the order of the night. The randomly flashing glow bracelets that were handed out before showtime illuminated the arena with a multicolored sea of lights. All of that hyperkinetic energy occasionally ebbed away to make room for the intimacy of "The Scientist” (one of the greatest ballads ever) and Chris' beautiful piano outro of "Amsterdam" (no, not a plug for my next BlogSpot post). Most of the show, however, was pure, bouncy pop bliss. Or maybe I should say, Paradise. [thanks Garth http://garthhamilton.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/coldplay-put-smile-upon-my-face.html ]



Last night was just another date night Tuesday evening... except for the fact that it was mine and Josh's first date night since December 2011 and oh, you know, we just happened to have COLDPLAY tickets to their Portland concert! (Tickets I had gotten Josh's for Christmas last year.) The concert was absolutely amazing. It was so just... magical. And happy. And amazing. It basically blew my mind. I wasn't that big of a Coldplay fan before the concert, I liked them well enough but wasn't crazy for them or anything, but oh man! Now? TOTALLY A SUPERFAN. [thanks Bethany http://everywhereismystudio.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/coldplay.html ]

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Music before show


Hi I was curious if anyone could help me out... When I was at the concert the other night there was some music playing before anyone hit the stage and in between the peirces and coldplay that I absolutely loved. It was instrumental music no words etc but I would love to know what it was if anyone was there and heard it etc. Thanks in advance. Or you can text me what it was at 503-949-4782





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Hi I was curious if anyone could help me out... When I was at the concert the other night there was some music playing before anyone hit the stage and in between the peirces and coldplay that I absolutely loved. It was instrumental music no words etc but I would love to know what it was if anyone was there and heard it etc. Thanks in advance. Or you can text me what it was at 503-949-4782






It was the theme song for Back To The Future. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

About my camera





I thought I'd post here to show people how I took my video (above) of Coldplay at the Portland concert. I had to figure this stuff out for myself, so I hope this helps anyone about to go see them!


-Camera I used is a Panasonic Lumix ZS3.

(Still photo camera with filming capability)


The Lumix ZS models are amazingly good for recording concerts: not only do they have *stereo* microphones on the top of the camera, it will automatically tone-down the dynamics of the sound so it won't blare out.

It also has incredible low-light capability. You'll get amazing still shots of the concert, even without a tripod. Take a few. You'll be glad you did!

It has a 20x zoom! (Make sure you get a ZS model of the Lumix to get that zoom!)

It has a wide-angle lens!

The ZS3 is one of the old-old models from the days of Vista, but as you can see, it still records HD in 720p.

Get a newer ZS model if you can, a brand new one might be $275-300, but you'll probably get 1080p out of it. Still, if you're poor like me, I urge you to get at least a ZS3 model, for $100 or so, off a place like ebay or amazon. It will turn out way better than footage from your phone.



-Buy spare batteries.


I would suggest having 3-4 batteries total to fully record a concert. It will record for 15 minutes or so straight, but the camera gets hotter the longer it films. It, like other cameras, eventually shuts itself off to prevent overheating if it's continuous filming. (I haven't run into that problem yet but I've heard about it.)


The batteries are about $24 each, but cheaper in the long run than buying the type of camera that uses AA. The camera comes with a car charger. Each battery takes about 1 hour and 45 mins to charge fully. I top-off my charge on the way to the concert.


*The longer you film continuously, the more battery you drain. If you can pause between each song, even for a minute or so, you get more life. I think it's because the camera cools enough for better efficiency, but that's just my guess.

Also, cup the lens with your hand when you're not filming in order to give the light meter a rest. This saves battery.


-Watch out for the record button: press it *firmly* to start recording. There is sometimes a blinking red icon on the LCD screen that tricks you into thinking it's recording when it's not! **If the seconds/minutes counter is going by in the bottom left corner of the LCD screen, you can rest assured that it *is* recording.


-Note that you can (yay!) zoom while filming, and the camera will re-focus the picture as you do it. Just remember that it will always try to focus on what is in the center of the screen, and sometimes it just won't do it unless you wiggle the zoom in/out again.

This isn't a downside to the camera, it's actually pretty amazing that it can do this in low light.


-Remember to set the camera to 16:9 ratio in order to get widescreen.


***Never put your fingers on the top of the camera where it covers up the microphone holes!****


-Do not sing along to the music while you are recording. (Sad, I know!) The mic will pick up stuff near it much better than far-away sounds from the concert, so do yourself a favor and sing along with them in your mind only. Even if you try to sing softly it most likely will pick up your voice and drown out the music.


-Inform the people around you that you shouldn't be jostled, that you are recording. They usually oblige.

Stand as still as possible, and keep the camera still for the best results. Pan (go left/right) and zoom as slowly as possible in order to not make your viewers motion-sick.


-Pocket the camera in the interior pocket of a vest to get it in.

(This is where having a tiny Lumix comes in handy over a huge DSLR.)

Even if the camera accessories are in your bag, security seems not to notice. Their main concern is weapons anyway.


-To get rock-steady shots, buy a telescoping mono-pod. It screws into the bottom of the camera and is very worth the $9 for the thing. It fits neatly into a purse. It basically is a camera-on-a-stick device. If you hold the stick rather than the camera body, your shots become nice and smooth. It's also handy to shoot covert footage out of the armpit-area of your jacket when you're trying to shield what you are doing from hostile eyes. :)


Happy recording, have fun out there guys!

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