It was obvious that Coldplay -- on tour in support of its enigmatic fourth album, Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends, would focus on its new material. What was unexpected was how dynamic the British band could make the show, and how well the more recent songs would mesh with the classics, reports the Miami Herald.
Frontman Chris Martin -- equally charismatic sitting at the piano, strumming a guitar or roaming about with just a microphone -- has never been a wallflower. But the singer has truly evolved into a master showman.
Sunday night at the sold-out BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Martin and the rest of the band -- lead guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman and drummer Will Champion -- offered 90 minutes of pure emotion and adrenaline, mesmerizing and uniting the crowd with its shout-out-loud anthemic rock.
Throughout the show, Martin was an unstoppable marvel of energy and precision. Over the first four songs, he jumped from playing guitar on Violet Hill, the first single from Viva La Vida, to rocking the piano on Clocks (and he literally rocked it, almost falling off his chair), to hopping around the stage's side catwalks on In My Place before returning to the piano for Speed of Sound. Wherever he wandered -- sometimes skipping, sometimes jerking around like a marionette, sometimes writhing on the floor -- Martin's voice rarely faltered or hit a sour note, whether howling Viva La Vida's chorus or finessing the tender falsetto of 42.
The visuals were as impressive as the band. Two high-definition screens flashed a mash-up of video from the stage, and other images were projected from inside six giant floating balls that were suspended from above.
Before the new Cemeteries of London, during which videos of the band's faces flashed on the floating balls, Martin looked up at the ads around the arena and cracked, ``Let me point out that we didn't pay for all those Hooters signs. Coldplay has nothing to do with Hooters, although we'd like to.''
All of Coldplay's albums were well-represented except for its first. The band waited till the one-song encore to play Yellow from 2000's Parachutes. Microphone feedback -- the one chink in an otherwise flawless performance, temporarily flustered Martin, but he recovered quickly.
Highlights were abundant: Martin crooned the hymn-like Fix You while the crowd sang along bathed in soothing blue light. The new Strawberry Swing felt like a friendly, front-porch jam, with the line ''It's such a perfect day'' summing up the evening's mood. The forceful Politik and Lost! were even more powerful live.
The band didn't confine itself to the stage, either. Coldplay set up on the right catwalk for a medley of God Put a Smile Upon Your Face, Talk and The Hardest Part, and later thrilled fans in the cheap seats (if you can call $97.50 cheap) by venturing up into the back corner for an acoustic, bluegrass-style performance of The Scientist, with Martin adding capable harmonica solos.
No one seemed to mind that the concert was fairly short. As the crowd poured toward the exits, many sang Viva La Vida's ''Whoa-oh-ohh!'' at the top of their lungs in celebration. Like rowdy British football fans, only without the violence and vandalism.
More on this article and more pictures from this show here