Thus spoke Coldplay frontman Chris Martin Sunday night as he looked over the soaking crowd on the final evening of the second edition of All Points West Music and Arts Festival in Jersey City, "This has to be the strangest-smelling but best concert we've ever played," writes New Jersey News.
Martin was referring to the odorous mixture of mud, rain water, mulch and swampland into which Liberty State Park was transformed over the past three days, and the audience roared in acknowledgement, as if to say, "We know, but we survived!"
By 10 p.m. on Sunday, the grounds at the park looked as though they had endured all they could. There wasn't much grass left to speak of. The garbage bins were overflowing with water bottles and half-eaten tacos. Stray shoes littered the soggy muck, abandoned by concertgoers who had long since decided that the best footwear at All Points West was none at all.
"We're four people from Britain who grew up in the mud and the rain," Martin said, "so we take our hats off to you New Yorkers and New Jerseyers for surviving what could only be described as a mud jacuzzi."
Coldplay was a fittingly grand finale to this festival -- the largest of its kind on the East Coast. The quartet can arguably be called the biggest band in the world, and Martin and company acted the part. Taking several cues from U2's book, Martin spoke continuously with audience members, inviting them to sing along, then complimenting them for doing so. On "Violet Hill," from the band's most recent album, he replaced the line, "If you love me, let me know" with "If your feet are muddy, let me know."
When the band played its very first hit single, "Yellow," a cascade of large yellow balloons came rolling into the crowd and bounced along its surface. When one came bouncing back toward Martin, he deftly popped it with the neck of his guitar. Coldplay also utilized a smaller second stage (like U2), on which they huddled together to play an electro-freak version of their otherwise pedestrian hit "God Put a Smile on Your Face." Martin followed that with a solo piano rendition of the Beastie Boys' "Fight for Your Right To Party" -- a tip of the cap to the Brooklyn rappers who had to pull out of the festival.
Earlier in the muddy day, electro-pop newbies La Rouge and Lykke Li had the crowd at the third stage raving for hours. Rock acts We Are Scientists, Mogwai, and the Black Keys were among the highlights at the second stage. The Black Keys, in particular, impressed with their thunderous two-man blues-rock assault. And the on the main stage, the crowd stepped around the numerous mud puddles (or, in some cases, danced in them with abandon) as English acts Elbow, Echo and the Bunnymen, and Coldplay made them forget about being wet.
Source: New Jersey News
Coldplay at All Points West festival, Liberty State Park, New Jersey (2nd August 2009):
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