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    Toronto review 2: Coldplay and their cult of believers (Air Canada Center, 23-24 July)

    7580351156_5865ec793b_s.jpg“We want Coldplay!” someone shouted during a break in Marina and the Diamonds’ opening set – to a smattering of applause – at the first of Coldplay’s two Toronto shows at the Air Canada Centre Monday night, and it’s easy to see why, writes the Globe and Mail in the second featured review of Coldplay's two shows at the Air Canada Center, Toronto, ON (23-24 July). Catch up on the latest tweets, pictures, videos from the two Toronto shows at the Coldplay Live forum here (23rd - Monday) and here (24th - Tuesday) onwards now. Thanks to everyone who has contributed with tweets, photos, reviews, videos and comments for both shows! Read on for the rest of the Globe and Mail's review article below...


    It’s not just because the tinsel-clad Marina emptily twirled her way through a starchy set in front of a crowd that filled up exactly when she left. It’s also because Coldplay has managed to quietly become one of the defining bands of the aughts, an achievement even more impressive because it happened on the strength of just a handful of tracks. Odds are, most of the generation it predominantly defines has likely never heard an entire Coldplay record; their popularity far outstrips the perception of their talent.


    The band’s greatest gift is their effortless wide appeal, but they’re also impossible to develop strong feelings about – and they’re well aware. Their latest album is an excellent expression of this; frontman Chris Martin gets away with propagating a contrived thesis that Mylo Xyloto is a complex concept inspired by World War II and old-school graffiti despite it sounding, largely, like any other Coldplay record...

    But when Coldplay got onstage, it wasn’t even fair. Their stage show’s preparatory smoke puffs got more whoops than the two openers combined (despite Emeli Sandé’s lovely voice). When, in an exuberant burst of confetti the band rattled off five straight classics, Martin had the crowd eating out of his hand.


    This is the evolution of Coldplay: They’ve amassed a deep enough repertoire of hits that they can start shows in a way that would be premature for a lesser band. So when Martin says at the show’s start, “We talked earlier and decided this would be the best concert we’d play in our lives,” you want to believe him, you really do. “But isn’t this Coldplay,” your mind nags, “the world’s blandest best band?”


    Indeed, Coldplay has spent so long being perfectly vanilla, serving up flawlessly anesthetized anthems, that when Martin muffed a cue on Speed of Sound and joked, “Don’t put this on YouTube,” it’s hard to shake the thought it might have been put-on imperfection. But you want to believe him, you really do.


    And really, all the things that make Coldplay so ambivalence-inciting make them superior live, where it’s near impossible to sound airless and edgeless. Recorded, Coldplay’s synths swoop under Martin’s slurry drawl just so, and the best songs are anthems for anthems’ sake; live, Martin is dynamic, and the audience swells with every crooned “ohh,” and rides the parabola of every lingering “ahh.” Drums crashed and guitars wailed on typically understated tracks; the show only lulled during Martin’s slower, overlong balladry. It works because it sounds like Coldplay set free; it’s what a great live show sounds like.


    Of course, this brand of soaring arena rock was U2’s shtick first; this has long been Coldplay’s unfair, inescapable bane. But that can’t change the fact the sold-out crowd pumped their fists through Violet Hill as if it was Cypress Hill on stage. Or that, despite the encore’s inevitability, the crowd spontaneously burst into the melody of Viva La Vida to lure the band out. Or that after the show, strangers took to the “Play Me I’m Yours” piano outside on York Street and sang The Scientist. Or that on the organ’s dying strains on Fix You, the stadium became a cathedral and everyone stretched their hands skyward, shouting the hymn’s every word.


    Monday’s performance – not their best, but deeply entertaining nonetheless – showed that being a Coldplay fan is less about the facts and more about belief. And that night, the crowd let itself believe, it really did – because even an atheist would be hard-pressed to say that a church is not a beautiful place to be, once in a while. [Article ends]


    New photos of Coldplay performing at the Air Canada Center, Toronto, ON (23rd July 2012):












    Photos courtesy of The Star (click for more!)


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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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