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    London review 2: Coldplay conjure moments of intimacy on a crowded football field

    7342977792_178621f298_s.jpgMinutes before stage time, Jay-Z's 99 Problems booms over the PA system, stirring the bedrizzled punters on the covered pitch, its titanic strut perfect for these vast environs, writes the Guardian this week, in another of our featured reviews of Coldplay's three concerts at the Emirates Stadium in London this past weekend (1-4 June). Catch up on the latest tweets, pictures, videos from the shows at the Coldplay Live forum here (1st - Friday), here (2nd - Saturday) and here (4th - Monday) now. Read on for the Guardian review article and some new pictures...


    Such bold thrills are notably absent from Coldplay's quiver – just how are their more muted charms going to command the attention of a damp 60,000-strong stadium audience?


    The production values are lavish: five vast iris-shaped video screens, plus an armoury of rockets and roman candles, confetti cannons, beach balls painted like the globe and audience wristbands that blink multi-coloured lights to the music, transforming them into human lighting rigs. The effect is not unlike a Flaming Lips show, albeit with their psychedelic lunacy firmly dampened down...

    These pyrotechnics are not enough to distract from the show's longueurs, those moments when Coldplay try to rock. Turning up the guitars on the likes of Major Minus, they're beholden to their clearest influence, U2, the Edge's instantly recognisable chime haunting most songs, while the cod-Celtic arena-rock of Princess of China – with Rihanna guesting via pre-recorded video – betrays the hollow bluster of Simple Minds. Their rock gestures just don't convince, not even when Chris Martin hurls his guitar skyward at the end of God Put a Smile on Your Face. He's clearly more Manilow than Marilyn Manson, thanking us for waving our "beautiful arms", for giving him this "wonderful job", gushing showbiz gratitude that is probably genuine, but doesn't entirely feel like it.


    Tonight's show works best when Coldplay lean upon their soppier, soft-rock instincts, Martin singing with a sincerity that transcends the sentimentalism of his songs. His delivery redeems Viva la Vida's woolly positivity, as he throws himself into it with unabashed abandon, rendering its euphoric stomp giddily infectious as it fills the stadium. The group's finer ballads – Yellow, Fix You – also triumph here, Martin's expert lachrymose melodies and vaguely emotive lyrics enough to spark grand cathartic singalongs, enough to sweep even cynics up in the communal moment.


    As the soft-rock confections reach their crescendos, with the confetti cannons and fireworks at full blast, Emirates Stadium feels like the set of some twee, manipulative, "magical" mobile-phone ad – but then subtlety counts for little in venues like this. Still, it's not the spectacle that wins the crowd over tonight, but the songs with which they connect so easily, conjuring unlikely moments of intimacy on a crowded football field.


    New photos of Coldplay at the Emirates Stadium, London (1-4 June):














    Photos courtesy of louisehunt1 @ Flickr (click for more!)


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    Don't forget to check out your tour discussion thread if you are getting Coldplay tickets or just getting excited for the European & North American 2012 shows and other forthcoming appearances:


    FEBRUARY 2012

    8 Los Angeles, CA @ Club Nokia (iHeartRadio) [discussion]

    9 Los Angeles, CA @ Jimmy Kimmel Live [discussion]

    10 Los Angeles, CA @ GRAMMY Week MusiCares Person of the Year tribute [discussion]

    12 Los Angeles, CA @ 54th Grammy Awards, Staples Center [discussion]

    16 Sydney, Australia @ 2DayFM, Mobile Live Set (intimate show) [discussion] [CANCELLED]

    17 Sydney, Australia @ Sunrise (intimate show) [discussion] [CANCELLED]

    21 London @ Brit Awards 2012, O2 Arena [discussion]


    MARCH 2012

    2 New York, NY @ Good Morning America [discussion]

    4 New York, NY @ The Secret Policeman's Ball, Radio City Music Hall (Amnesty International) [discussion]


    APRIL 2012

    17 Edmonton, AB @ Rexall Place [discussion]

    18 Calgary, AB @ Scotiabank Saddledome [discussion]

    20 Vancouver, BC @ Rogers Arena [discussion]

    21 Vancouver, BC @ Rogers Arena [discussion]

    24 Portland, OR @ Rose Garden Arena [discussion]

    25 Seattle, WA @ KeyArena [discussion]

    27 San Jose, CA @ HP Pavilion At San Jose [discussion]

    28 San Jose, CA @ HP Pavilion At San Jose [discussion]


    MAY 2012

    1 Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl [discussion]

    2 Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl [discussion]

    3 Los Angeles, CA @ American Idol show [discussion] [NEW!]

    4 Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl [discussion]

    5 Los Angeles, CA @ KROQ's Weenie Roast y Fiesta [discussion] [NEW!]

    18 Porto, Portugal @ Dragao Stadium [discussion]

    20 Madrid, Spain @ Estadio Vicente Calderón [discussion]

    22 Nice, France @ Stade Charles Herman / Nikaia [discussion]

    24 Turin, Italy @ Olympic Stadium [discussion]

    26 Zurich, Switzerland @ Letzigrund [discussion]

    29 Coventry, UK @ Ricoh Stadium [discussion]


    JUNE 2012

    1 London, UK @ the Emirates Stadium [discussion]

    2 London, UK @ the Emirates Stadium [discussion]

    4 London, UK @ the Emirates Stadium [discussion]

    7 Sunderland, UK @ the Stadium of Light [discussion]

    9 London, UK @ Wembley Stadium (Capital FM's Summertime Ball 2012) [discussion] [NEW!]

    9 Manchester, UK @ the Etihad Stadium [discussion]

    10 Manchester, UK @ the Etihad Stadium [discussion]

    22 Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center [discussion]

    23 Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center [discussion]

    25 Houston, TX @ Toyota Center [discussion]

    26 Houston, TX @ Toyota Center [discussion]

    28 Tampa, FL @ St. Pete Times Forum [discussion]

    29 Miami, FL @ American Airlines Arena [discussion]


    JULY 2012

    2 Atlanta, GA @ Philips Arena [discussion]

    3 Charlotte, NC @ Time Warner Cable Arena [discussion]

    5 Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center [discussion]

    6 Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center [discussion]

    8 Washington, DC @ Verizon Center [discussion]

    9 Washington, DC @ Verizon Center [discussion]

    23 Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre [discussion]

    24 Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre [discussion]

    26 Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre [discussion]

    27 Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre [discussion]

    29 Boston, MA @ TD Garden [discussion]

    30 Boston, MA @ TD Garden [discussion]


    AUGUST 2012

    1 Auburn Hills, MI @ Palace of Auburn Hills [discussion]

    3 East Rutherford, NJ @ Izod Center [discussion]

    4 East Rutherford, NJ @ Izod Center [discussion]

    7 Chicago, IL @ United Center [discussion]

    8 Chicago, IL @ United Center [discussion]

    11 St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center [discussion]

    28 Copenhagen, Denmark @ Parken Stadium [discussion]

    30 Stockholm, Sweden @ Olympic Stadium [discussion]


    SEPTEMBER 2012

    2 Paris, France @ Stade de France [discussion]

    4 Cologne, Germany @ Rheinenergie Stadium [discussion]

    6 The Hague, Netherlands @ Malieveld [discussion]

    9 London, UK @ Paralympics Closing Ceremony [discussion]

    12 Munich, Germany @ Olympiastadion [discussion]

    14 Leipzig, Germany @ Red Bull Stadium [discussion]

    16 Prague, Czech Republic @ Slavia Eden Stadium [discussion]

    19 Warsaw, Poland @ National Stadium [discussion]

    22 Hannover, Germany @ AWD Arena [discussion]


    NOVEMBER 2012

    10 Auckland, New Zealand @ Mt Smart Stadium [discussion]

    13 Melbourne, Australia @ Etihad Stadium [discussion]

    17 Sydney, Australia @ Allianz Stadium [discussion]

    18 Sydney, Australia @ Allianz Stadium [discussion] [NEW!]

    21 Brisbane, Australia @ Suncorp Stadium [discussion]


    Read also: European Stadium Tour announced! (general discussion thread for the Europe tour)

    Read also: North America Tour announced! (general discussion thread for the US/Canada tour)

    Read also: 2012: Live Appearances - Easy Thread Finder (last updated - 12th January 2012)

    Read also: 2012 tour date rumours (please post dates for ALL countries in here)


    Kit yourself up for the forthcoming MX tour and get spotted with Coldplaying's new range of merchandise! [click on the items for the full shop]


    cpingshopdesigns1.png cpingshopdesigns2.png cpingshopdesigns3.png cpingshopdesigns4.png cpingshopdesigns5.png


    The new range of Coldplaying merchanise (unofficial of course to the official shop) has hit our stores, with our biggest range of goods so far. Prices are as low as they can be for a Cafepress shop so more people will be able to afford them. We don't take any profits for the sale of the merchandise as a result. Take a browse in one of the online stores nearest to you: UK | US | Canada | Australia | European (shipping is worldwide, but you can choose what currency to pay in) - simply alter the country dropdown menu at the top of the shop page. [thanks to TracieMorgan and zzz]


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