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    Montreal review: Coldplay creates intimate, playful show in cavernous Bell Centre (26 July)

    7654689508_e0d79114f1_s.jpgYou can’t even trust artists to avoid dropping spoilers these days. Walking through the Bell Centre doors on Thursday, you were given a nifty Coldplay bracelet. Walking into the belly of the arena, you were requested via a host of screens to wear the device, because “it will light up automatically in the show.” Then you were given a pictorial lesson in how to apply a bracelet to a wrist, just in case you had already spent your paycheque at the beer concession, writes the Montreal Gazette in a review of the first of Coldplay's two shows at the Bell Centre, Montreal, QC (26-27 July). Catch up on the latest tweets, pictures, videos from these shows at the Coldplay Live forum here (26th - Thursday) and here (27th - Friday) onwards now. Thanks to everyone who has contributed with tweets, photos, reviews, videos and comments! Read on for the rest of the Montreal Gazette's review article below...


    Maybe this was pedantry, but it was also insurance. Because when Coldplay took the stage and segued from the scene-setting Mylo Xyloto to the sprightly Hurts Like Heaven, and thousands upon thousands of flashing wristbands turned the packed Bell Centre into a neon wonderland, it was one of those rare moments that will be seared in the memory of even veteran concertgoers...

    It wasn’t the only time Coldplay transcended the spectator-sport nature of arena rock during the first of two shows at the venue. When fans weren’t a living part of the set design, they were fully engaged by tireless and eternally jovial singer Chris Martin – a man who can take cheerleading clichés like “let me see those beautiful hands” and make them sound like revolutions in crowd participation. He wasted no time in praising the audience for enduring “the traffic and the ticket prices and all the other s— you have to go through for a concert” – all the (bleep) most artists never acknowledge – promising in return that “we’re going to try to play the greatest f—ing show we’ve ever played in our lives.” He probably meant it, and if he makes the same vow to Friday’s full house, he’ll probably mean it again then.


    Because Martin was singing – make that performing; this is an entertainer above all else – as if this was the last concert Coldplay would ever give. During In My Place, he had travelled around the circumference of the graffiti-scrawled main stage, acknowledging the obstructed-view seats along the way, before guitarist Jonny Buckland was even done with the intro. When Martin cued the confetti cannons to fire – all those bracelets still twinkling – it felt like an encore less than 10 minutes into the show. Even more astonishing, the atmosphere was so ecstatic that it felt like Coldplay had already earned an encore.


    Lovers in Japan was ushered in with chiming guitar and psychedelic balloons (filled with more confetti), pointing to two pillars of influence: U2 for panoramic scale and the Flaming Lips for amusement-park elation. Great influences to have, especially if one can get beneath the surface and mine the Lips’ genuine joy and U2’s genuine spiritual salvation. Coldplay brought forth all of the former and a healthy dose of the latter.


    The eruption of raw enthusiasm that met The Scientist was as magic as that spine-melting, soul-healing piano melody. Yellow was dedicated to Aurora, Colo., starting as a churchly and heartfelt eulogy before the familiar full-tilt arrangement kicked in with the house lights blazing. Another premature but justified encore. The first half of the show was so dynamic, so inspirational that Coldplay risked delivering a top-heavy set. But the momentum didn’t flag, aside from the electro-pop identity crisis Princess of China – the first of several songs played on a secondary stage, with Rihanna’s piped-in duet vocal setting up an awkward situation where Coldplay became its own backing band. It was a rare lapse in taste, quickly redeemed by the sweet Up in Flames and Warning Sign, whose feather touch could be felt in the corners of the room.


    Indeed, Coldplay have become masters at the art of filling a vast space, and not just musically. Along with those wristbands (which flickered back to life sporadically throughout the show), there were the circular screens hanging from the rafters, the glowing inflatable ciphers that surreptitiously appeared at the exits before a relentless Don’t Let It Break Your Heart, Martin’s frequent trips down the catwalk, and especially the encore played on a platform set up in the far reaches of the red seats. Few bands have taken such advantage of the physical possibilities presented by a cavernous venue, and fewer still have made the Bell Centre feel so intimate.


    The common criticisms levelled at Coldplay – lightweight, thematically vague, more in tune with the signifiers of anthemic drama than with drama itself – were irrelevant on Thursday. If the show’s visual element had a frivolous side, it was also magical. There was no missing the overriding theme of connecting with the masses. And in an atypically stern God Put a Smile Upon Your Face, a plaintive Fix You and more than a few other moments, the drama was very real. As a whole, the evening was a revelation – in terms of what arena shows can be and, for detractors, in terms of what Coldplay can be. Only the band members know if it was the greatest show they ever played, but it may well have been the greatest show the Bell Centre has seen so far in 2012. [Article ends]


    New photos of Coldplay performing at the Bell Centre, Montreal, QC, Canada (26th July 2012):


















    Photos courtesy of Musik Universe (click for more!)


    Thumb by DanChammas @ Flickr


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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]

    10 St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy 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]


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    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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