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    Another Ottawa Review: Coldplay Begins Tour Leg On Grand Scale

    magicball10.jpgColdplay kicked off the North American leg of their world tour at Scotiabank Place last on Monday night, and it sure didn't take long to turn into a joyous singalong as the four band members were caught up in a swell of some 13,000 voices, reports the Ottawa Citizen.


    By song three, singer Chris Martin had every man, woman and youth in the stadium belting along as he bashed an upright piano. After the processional Life in Technicolour and the rocking Violet Hill, two songs from the latest chart-topping disc, Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends, the familiar hook of the 2002 hit Clocks created a surge of energy in the near sold-out audience.


    In My Place, another song from the Rush of Blood to the Head disc, had the same effect. With the stage lights up, Martin appeared tickled to see what he and bandmates Jonny Buckland, Will Champion and Guy Berryman had created. He bounced across the stage and down each of the two catwalks, bending backwards as he sang, a limber performer whose body was as supple as his voice.

    Loveable and a bit goofy, the sandy-haired Mr. Paltrow never missed a chance to connect with the audience, sometimes even talking in the middle of a song. Precious, he was not.


    "We're Coldplay," he said early in the concert, unnecessarily identifying one of the biggest bands in the world. "We really appreciate the fact that all you beautiful Canadians have come out to see a band from miles away. You could have been playing Scrabble or doing homework. We hope to give you some good entertainment."


    Indeed they did, delivering a career-spanning set with Martin setting an enthusiastic pace. To demonstrate the diversity of the band's catalogue, highlights ranged from Pink Floydian, as in the dark, mystical Speed of Sound, to Supertrampish, as in the stark piano opening of 42 or Lost, a shape-shifting song that has at least three different versions. On Monday night, it morphed from stark intimacy to a throbbing club beat.


    No longer a wallflower who hides behind his piano, Martin has blossomed into the gregarious host of a magnificient event. It was a concert on a grand scale, complete with artful lighting design, a shower of multicoloured confetti and offshoot staging that helped bring the band members closer to the audience. At one point, the four musicians popped up in the upper stands, delighting the people in the nearby rows, and performed a couple of acoustic songs.


    For those who were not making an early exit in order to get ahead of the traffic, the ultimate high was a gorgeous rendition of the band's breakthrough song, Yellow, played as an encore, the entire stadium bathed in yellow light.


    Opening act Stars showed they have a few things in common with Coldplay, starting with a shared penchant for melodramatic pop music. Fronted by the quirky duo of Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan, the Montreal-based band delivered a strong set, except for the brutal sound and tuning problems. The sound was muddy and the vocals out of tune through most of the songs, but they played well nonetheless, their dark, repetitive songs flowing from a whisper to a frenzied wall of noise.


    The Night Starts Here made the perfect opening to the highly anticipated evening. Ageless Beauty was one of the songs that spotlighted Millan's little-girl voice, while Campbell not only traded verses with her in duet fashion, but also supplied falsetto background harmonies and played keyboards, trumpet and other instruments.


    More on this review here onwards [thanks jenjie]











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