As Coldplayers who attended the Wembley shows return home, more comprehensive fan reviews of the two shows continue to be posted at the Coldplay Live forum. Here is the third part of the Wembley fan reviews, focusing on the early reviews posted of the Coldplay concert on Friday 18th September (more reviews needed for this show!):
After seeing Coldplay 5 times (Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Nijmegen, Nijmegen) the first Wembley show was the big finale of this tour for me. I wanted to get there as early as possible and I managed to get there at about 11.00. By then, there were ~25 people and the wait began. The weather was good, there were toilets and food nearby, so the wait wasn't even so hard! There were a couple of Coldplayers with Coldplaying t-shirts in the queue, but not much and I had no idea who they were.
At 15.30 everybody suddenly stood up and lots of people who were sitting behind me suddenly now stood before me. When the gates opened and we walked/ran towards the far right gates, I was one of the first to get through (don't know what happened to the people who were going to the left, as I was one of the first to enter the field). We started running down the stairs, were told to slow down, slowed down, but when we saw people coming from the other side, we started running again and all three of us made it first row (again!)...
Everyone was pushing, alot more than in Nijmegen. I didn't really care as I had food and drinks with me and didn't have to use the toilet. A funny moment during the wait was when my friend asked to throw away his banana peel in the garbage can. So, I threw it away, being surprised by the reaction of the security people who were taking it out of the garbage can, because it was actually a water supply for the crowd. Oops! So, if anyone though there water tasted like bananas, they were right! White Lies were great again, just as in Nijmegen. The singer seemed much more into it and looked really happy (and nervous) to play such a big stadium. Their set was a little shorter though. Girls Aloud were ok (although the Girls Aloud fans were annoying - they even had the best spots and remained there during the Coldplay show ), but Jay-Z was really brilliant. It was almost like everybody came for him! I didn't know most of his songs, but that didn't matter at all. The downside of standing front row is the sound, which was quite... loud. Jay-Z's show was great and I managed to take some nice pics.
I'd like to begin with something negative this time. It's because, during the Coldplay concert I didn't have the wow-feeling as I had the week before in Nijmegen. It probably has something to do with the show being almost the same as last year and me being a little tired of Viva. That being said, I still enjoyed myself, especially during songs as In My Place, Yellow, Glass of Water, Politik and Lovers in Japan. Other highlights were the appearances of Simon Pegg and Jay-Z coming back to sing Lost+. The guys also seemed much more into it than in Nijmegen, more laughing, more enthusiasm (especially Jonny, I have a video of him going 'wild' during 42), more jokes. I hoped for a little more front row interaction, but for the third time: there was none. I'll might make a banner next time, to improve my chances. That's about it, we got out pretty quickly afterwards, got a LRLRL cd and walked back to our (very cheap and shitty) hotel. The Viva tour is over. [thanks Stefan-C8]
I won some tickets to the 18th Fri show and was in the comfy seats reserved seating section. I really went to see Jay-Z and the missus to see Girls Aloud. I have to say I was blown away by the whole Coldplay experience though, I REALLY enjoyed it. The Left Right cd they gave away is a really good listen too and brings back the gig in full flood! I read on here that they might release this gig on DVD is that right? I'd love to see this again just to see if it is as good as I remember it! [thanks crjmcc]
It pains me that Girls Aloud are as average as they are tonight, as that’s primarily the reason why I’m here. I’ve been bought a ticket in the knowledge that there may never be any more live performances by the quintet, but the fact that they’re playing a mere 40 minute set at 6pm is a real organisational oversight. An even bigger cock-up however is the Girls’ setlist choice. Their performance is perfectly passable, but the material itself lets them down; a sickly cover of ‘I’ll Stand By You’, a lacklustre version of ‘Something Kinda Oooh’ and an unnecessary take on Robyn’s ‘Every Heartbeat’ are all wasted opportunities. Things are somewhat rectified when the layered vocals pull together for the heart-melting chorus on ‘Call the Shots’ but even a dynamic rendition of the appropriately titled ‘The Promise’ leaves you feeling like it’s too little, too late.
Whereas Jay-Z’s performance is downright brilliant. Despite my seat being nearer Brentford than the stage, Jay-Z impressively manages to make the stage his own within seconds and fill the gargantuan arena thanks in no small part to having two drummers and a fuckload of volume at his disposal. ‘On to the Next One’ and ‘Dirt Off Your Shoulder’ sound immense, with a great deal of the standing audience bouncing along with Jay-Z’s instructional hand gestures. ‘D.O.A.’ mixes in with the rest of his material seamlessly and the ever reliable ’99 Problems’ provides a great opportunity for 100,000 middle aged people to mock practise their air-scratching. Hell, even the slightly pompous-on-record ‘Empire State of Mind’ is elevated to modern classic status, in no small part due to Alicia Keys stand-in Bridget Kelly’s haunting vocals.
Throughout, Jay-Z manages to strike that difficult balance between being a solo superstar and a loveable down-to-earth chap, stopping to point out various American Football shirts in the crowd he approves of or ladies’ haircuts. Such is the feel good factor in the stadium that the four safety stewards next to me begin taking 15 minute shifts to cover one another in order to go dance down the front. After an hour, Jay-Z cements his place as a global phenomenon and leaves the stage to a pumped up, wholly appreciative room of converted fans, no doubt adding to the ones he collected at last year's Glastonbury.
Confession time: truth be told, I don’t hold any hope of Coldplay touching their warm up, seeing as I have no more than a passing interest in them. It’s not that they’re bad, or dislikeable. Just so…. beige? Even their name sounds a bit limp. However it will be eternally baffling to me that the band has always attracted such a venomous level of hatred, mainly because their music is merely far too pleasant to waste anger on. Coldplay have always worked around musical structures at their most base and therefore if it’s not for you it’s easy enough to ignore. But it would appear that whilst we’ve been largely overlooking their progress, Coldplay have now fully grown into what those subtle, fledgling EPs hinted at: much like Jay-Z, they are now fully-rounded global stars, and tonight is as good a performance as you’ll likely ever see from a rock band that straddles such a broad music-loving spectrum.
The live show itself is grand and one that - in print - will likely sound appalling; featuring a heavily scripted interchange between Martin and a giant Simon Cowell video, a Mexican wave of mobile phones, Simon Pegg fleetingly joining the band playing harmonica on a makeshift ‘impromptu’ stage and U2-esque pyrotechnics. But in actuality, there’s something massively endearing and human about the entire evening that breaks up the seriousness (and occasional similarity) of the slightly excessive 26 songs. The set is understandably Viva La Vida heavy, with the band’s best record to date A Rush of Blood to the Head also heavily filtering proceedings, but the difference between the formers recorded rendition and the live translation is a world apart. ‘Life in Technicolor’ bookends the gig, creating a stunning sense of anticipation; the new album's title track manages to join an entire stadium in song, which echoes long into the tube ride home; and lesser known tracks such as ‘Death and All His Friends’ and ‘42’ sound colossal when allowed to spread their wings, encroaching previously uncharted territory for the band which many Radiohead fans would claim as solely theirs.
Former glories naturally get the warmest greeting, whether it’s the early unveiling of the somehow-still-mesmerising piano line of ‘Clocks’, an empty arena being magically filled with giant balloons in a three second blackout as breakthrough hit 'Yellow' fades in, the epic intro to ‘Politik’ nearly deafening everyone, or the huge sing-a-long that is sparked by ‘God Put a Smile Upon Your Face’. Or indeed ‘Trouble’. Or ‘Talk’. Or ‘Fix you’… This is in no small part due to Martin understanding that a snappy couplet is more memorable than a piece of prose yet - when handled delicately - ultimately more rewarding. In fact when you hear these songs all together, you realise just how good a back catalogue the band has, even if it is perhaps still a little too one-dimensional to be regarded alongside some of their peers.
To many readers of DrownedinSound.com, Coldplay will likely never be more than a passing name, and I suspect this review or anything barring a night in their presence will do anything to alter that. It somehow feels too easy to fall for their charms. Yet there is a natural, unpolished energy to their performance tonight that is joyous to behold and feel part of. And if they’re good enough for a beaming Jay-Z to want to get back in on the act, returning to sing ‘Lost+’ with the band towards the close, then just maybe they should be good enough for us too. 8/10. [Courtesy of drownedinsound.com]
Photos of Coldplay at Wembley stadium, London, UK (18th September 2009):
^ Photos by iriden
^ Photos by Gitta1977
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