Big, glorious rock concerts are like magic shows. You don't want to look too hard for the invisible wires and trap doors. Just watch and listen. So it was Monday night at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, with Coldplay and 12,000 people lustily cheering all of the tricks, as familiar as they may be, reports the Democrat and Chronicle.
There was the confetti-filled balloon drop, retina-searing lasers, beery sing-alongs by the audience and the entire band exiting and re-appearing on a tiny stage halfway up one of the pavilion aisles, on which all four guys could hardly fit, for an intimate set of songs amidst their fans.
It's all in the name of arena-rock fun. The band took the stage backlit behind a screen, Kabuki Coldplay, twirling sparklers for an opening instrumental, "Life in Technicolor," followed by "Violet Hill" and what remains Coldplay's best song, "Clocks." Front man Chris Martin is a kinetic clown, hippity-hopping and teetering about the stage, commanding attention, and even showing a sense of humor: Holding one long caterwauling note, he glanced at his watch.
They mixed booming arena-rock bass with charming acoustic numbers, including, no kidding, the Monkees' "I'm a Believer."
Coldplay has now reached the exalted level from which it can charge fans more than $100 for a ticket, although I find it harder to excuse asking $9 for a can of Bud Light. It's getting a lot harder to catch a buzz to go with that ringing in your ears. At that price, I'd expect to be served by Gwyneth Paltrow.
Speaking of which, and in answer to the most-asked question of the day, the actor-wife of Martin did not appear to be on the site, unless Paltrow was giving backstage yoga lesson to the roadies. She's been spotted elsewhere along this tour, so perhaps western New York doesn't rate.
The crowd hardly took note of the unbilled opener, the Howling Bells, and chatted socially through Pete Yorn, who introduced a new song, "Long Time," that sounded like Neil Young at his achingly beautiful best. Honest, rootsy rock, but no stage show to speak of. Just enough light to see their guitar strings.
Pictures: Dalboz 17 @ Flickr