British pop group Coldplay started mesmerizing U.K. music critics since before their Mercury Prize nominated debut 'Parachutes,' but the band exploded worldwide when the ambitious and bittersweet anthems written by principle tunesmith Chris Martin on the follow up 'A Rush of Blood to the Head' crossed over to MTV and alt-rock radio dominance in 2002.
Though Martin has gotten more unwelcome press about his relationship with Gwyneth Paltrow and the birth of their first child over the last year than most bands get in a lifetime, singer and his group recently returned to the States to preview songs from their new album 'X&Y' at the Coachella Valley Music Fest in April of 2005. Some lucky local fans got a chance to hear the fresh material up close when the group played a sold-out show at the Fillmore, but most followers will have to be satisfied with seeing the popular band at larger venues like the Arena in Oakland.The group is joined on this tour by talented alt-rock songwriter Fiona Apple. Since emerging in the '90s, Apple has earned a rabid following with her jazzy exploration of dark and tortured pop, despite only issuing three albums over a nearly decade-long career. She exploded onto the music scene with the ambitious sounds of her debut effort 'Tidal' which featured MTV hits "Criminal" and "Sleep to Dream."
Apple's sophomore album featured a 90-word poem as its title, but 'When the Pawn...' (as the opus is commonly referred to) showed startling maturity and ambition to match its ponderous name. The follow-up release 'Extraordinary Machine' was the center of much speculation and controversy after it was leaked onto the Internet amid rumors that Apple's label Epic had rejected it. Fans went so far as to start online petitions demanding the album's release, but when the final revamped version finally came out in October of 2005 (helmed by hip-hop producer Mike Elizondo instead of original collaborator Jon Brion), word circulated that Apple herself had scrapped the original 'Extraordinary Machine' recordings. The mystique surrounding the album certainly didn't hurt sales as it soared to #7 on the Billboard charts when released, Apple's highest showing yet.
Date(s): 2006 Jan: 31
Location: East Bay
Venue: The Arena In Oakland
Time Info: 8 p.m.
Price Info: $40.50-$76
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