Despite its success, Coldplay is perhaps destined to remain the poor man’s U2, reports the Orlando Sentinel.
In a spirited performance on Friday at Amway Arena, however, the band enlivened its grand songs with an obvious sense of frivolity. With self-importance scraped away, the band is easier to like. "Whatever you’re doing, do it with enjoyment," singer Chris Martin told the packed house in the early going. He was obviously ready to follow his own advice.
For 90 minutes, Martin was a kinetic presence, bouncing around, taking big looping waist-high strides, falling to his knees and rolling on his back as if he were Bruce Springsteen. After addressing the band’s new Viva La Vida album in the opening moments with a somewhat moody "Violet Hill," the band offered a crowd-pleasing dip into the hits.
"Clocks" elicited one of many sing-alongs, although the real highlight was the harmonies on stage between Martin and drummer Will Champion. It was Champion’s hard-pounding beat that introduced "In My Place," another song that allowed Martin to release energy. Thrusting his arms skyward, he savored leading the crowd in yet another anthemic chorus. In a big finish, he collapsed to his knees and rolled over on his back.
Each time the melodrama threatened to become too much, Martin was ready with a nod or a wink. Several times, he expressed astonishment at the raucous reception: "Are you sure you didn’t get us confused with the Jonas Brothers?" he asked. At one point, the band left the stage to perform acoustically in a section of the lower bowl. There, Martin was sassy again, crediting John McCain’s "Joe the Plumber" with writing 'The Scientist'. "We asked him if he would share the wealth with us," Martin told the crowd, "but he refused. So he was out of the band."
If the band’s approach was exuberant and fun, the elaborate stage setting was beautiful. Above the audience, there were beams from multi-colored lasers as well as half a dozen giant orange orbs that framed wild graphics and images of the band members.
And don’t forget the massive confetti drop of shiny paper butterflies that left the floor a colorful mess for the encore of "Yellow."
Yeah, that song is perhaps as vapid as it gets, but the whimsy fit nicely. It wasn’t a grand statement, in the U2 mold, but something equally fine: It was a spectacle and it was fun.
More on this review in the 26th October Izod thread here onwards.
Pictures courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel.