It's always a concern when a band cancels the two previous stops on the tour amid reports that the singer lost his voice. And it's not like Coldplay's Chris Martin doesn't need it, with all those high falsettos, reports the Post Gazzette.
Last night for the opening of the Post-Gazette Pavilion season, he didn't seem to be feeling any ill effects -- not if he could handle the sustained notes on "Cemeteries of London."
Martin and his mates marched on stage (after opening sets by Howling Bells and Pete Yorn) in those colorful quasi-military jackets, twirling sparklers, and then sparkled through a nearly two-hour set of anthemic British rock. Coldplay hasn't been around these parts for several years, during which time the band has swelled musically and visually to fill the big stage. With "Viva la Vida" in the set now, Coldplay even has a good soccer stadium chant to rile the adoring fans.
The show would have been entertaining even without the sound (and there are plenty of people who prefer Coldplay without the sound, but let's not get into that). Nearly every song came with a visual, from the red lasers on "Clocks" to the giant yellow balloons for "Yellow" to the blinding strobes on "Politik" as Martin urged us to "open up your eyes."
Coldplay also wasn't bound to the stage. Martin ventured off to auxiliary one for "The Hardest Part," allowing him to show off some of his piano training. Soon after, the foursome grabbed acoustic instruments and marched up to lawn stage for a loose mini-set that included "Green Eyes," a "Let's Go Pens" chant and a cover of The Monkees' "I'm a Believer," with drummer Will Champion taking charge on acoustic guitar. And who says Coldplay isn't innovative? Have you ever seen a choreographed "cellphone wave" across an amphitheatre lawn?
Martin, who clung to his piano back on that first visit to Pittsburgh, proved to be a lively, smiling frontman shaking the rafters with rockers like "In My Place," "Glass of Water" and "Politik" while also connecting emotionally with tender songs like "Fix You" and "The Scientist," part of the second encore.
Even the dudes in the Penguins jerseys, who may or may not have been dragged there by their girlfriends or wives, seemed to be drawn in by Coldplay's shimmering art-pop.
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