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    Detroit Review: Coldplay Returns With Lights, Epic Sound

    magicball3.jpgIt was an evening of pretty melodies, plaintive piano ballads and arena-sized charisma as Coldplay stepped into the Palace of Auburn Hills Monday night, reports Freep.com.

     

    The English quartet arrived at the Palace with an increasingly valid claim to the title of world’s biggest rock band, delivering the latest in a line of stellar Detroit shows for a multigenerational crowd of about 13,330.

     

    Coldplay’s trick is making intimate music sound grand: Monday night, songs such as “Clocks,” “Speed of Sound” and “In My Place” were equal parts lovely and epic, accompanied by an elegant light show and illuminated spheres overhead.

    The rapt but relatively low-key Palace audience occasionally broke into full voice to sing along, welcoming both older staples and the more sonically expansive material from the band’s recent “Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends.” Vocalist Chris Martin treated the concertgoers as old friends, slipping into an amiable patter between songs and eliciting roars as he made generous trips to a pair of side-stage ramps.

     

    The new material showed well, most markedly with the jagged-edged suite “42” and a rousing, all-together-now rendition of “Viva La Vida.” Coldplay is quietly learning how to get adventurous without becoming inaccessible.

     

    The group aimed for rock communion with its crowd during the 110-minute show, frequently bringing up the house lights and even sandwiching itself amid some lower-level seats for a quick acoustic set. “We can’t come all the way to Michigan without coming to the back of the room,” Martin quipped to the frantic nearby fans.

     

    As always, the mobile Martin was an easy focus of attention, his shimmering tenor serving up warm melodies over Jonny Buckland’s chiming, ice-white guitar. During a trip to a B stage out on the Palace floor, he apologized for this show’s postponement – it was originally slated for July – and dedicated the poignant “Hardest Part” to grieving fellow star Jennifer Hudson.

     

    Martin is the perfect rock star for an age of no rock stars: affable and approachable, quick to self-deprecate, happier to bond than to bask. At the Palace, swapping between guitar and electric piano, he revealed a sense of showmanship that continues to sharpen. If the breezy demeanor is practiced, it’s getting hard to tell.

     

    Coldplay’s music, even in concert, isn’t muscular enough to lend itself to the verb “rocking,” at least as traditionally understood. But the pumped-up twofer of “Viva La Vida” and “Lost” during the show’s homestretch certainly came close — an emotional cascade in a set that skillfully pushed the right buttons at the right times.

     

    It wasn’t the best Coldplay concert Detroit has seen: That honor still belongs to the band’s 2005 show under the stars at DTE Energy Music Theatre. But it was good — very good — from a band that seems positively empowered by its own success.

     

    More on this article here onwards [thanks mimixxx]

     

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