Coldplay were joined onstage by Alicia Keys, who played piano on 'Clocks' as the band closed the final night of Japanese festival Summer Sonic tonight (August 10).
Against a backdrop depicting the French Romantic painting by Eugène Delacroix, 'Liberty Leading The People' - used as the band's album artwork for recent release 'Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends' - the band performed in costumes aping the style of French revolutionaries, as they have done for other dates on their current tour.
Throughout the performance, frontman Chris Martin displayed an admirable - if slightly questionable, grammatically speaking - level of Japanese, communicating with the crowd in their native tongue at almost any opportunity. After 2005 single 'Speed of Sound', he performed a solo, piano-rendition of a song by Japan's most famous pop band, SMAP, eliciting a breathtakingly loud response from the surprised audience.
Early on in the set, during 'Politik', Martin changed the lyrics of the song to sing, "60,000 Japanese people watching us/Let Alicia Keys always play with us", giving an early hint of the upcoming collaboration.
Elsewhere the band performed songs from across all their albums including the massive single 'Yellow', 'Fix You' and 'In My Place'. For 'The Scientist', all four members of the band ran into a specially constructed podium in the middle of the crowd, performing a stripped-down acoustic version of the song.
Then, introducing her on stage before 'Clocks', Martin said that Keys was, "the most beautiful woman in the world… except for my wife".
Earlier in the day, the Tokyo event, which runs a sister festival in Osaka the same weekend, saw performances from Super Furry Animals, Late Of The Pier, DEVO and The Wombats. To read more about Coldplay’s performance with video clips from the evening, and exclusive coverage of the rest of Summer Sonic, make sure you read NME’s festival blog now.
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