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    Washington Preview: The warmth of 'Coldplay' extras

    coldplay2008a.jpgPut Coldplay's three 2009 Grammy Awards and front man Chris Martin's marriage to actress Gwyneth Paltrow aside for a minute, reports The Washington Examiner.


    Coldplay has just proven -- once again -- that they're not caught up in all the traditional rock-and-roll egoism. Late last week, the band members announced those who attend the "Viva La Vida" summer tour will receive an exclusive live CD, "LeftRightLeftRightLeft," free of charge. "Playing live is what we love," the British alt rock quartet released in a prepared statement. "This album is a thank you to our fans -- the people who give us a reason to do it and people who make it happen."


    Coldplay has been riding high musically since last summer's "Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends," which won the coveted Grammy for Best Rock Album of the year and other honors.

    Publicists for the band have long said that the group doesn't fit into the popular music mold due to its "soulful, haunting, intelligent songsÉ" But others said the band, which had its first major label release in 2000, actually doesn't fit in because it achieved popular success fairly quickly.


    Jefferson Evans of Alexandria said he thinks the band's decision to release its current album free of charge may compel many to listen to the band without automatically dismissing them as a pop phenomenon. "I think it is a good ideal. They have gotten big enough to suffer a bit of the inevitable backlash when a band becomes 'too popular,'" said Evans. "I had e-mailed a number of friends after listening to the [latest] album, saying I was pleasantly surprised, and one had responded 'I promise not to tell anyone you listen to Coldplay.' [This will] create goodwill to solidify their base and counter any real or perceived backlash out there."


    Although Glen Boyd, assistant music editor at BlogCritics.com, doesn't think the tour will boost the band's popularity, he does see it as an interesting marketing move. "Coldplay emulates Radiohead in a lot of ways, so it only makes sense that they would follow the free download model established by Radiohead with 'In Rainbows,'" he said. "I don't think it will make a bit of difference as far as boosting their popularity or ticket sales though. They are already one of the biggest bands in the world."


    Don't think the free album giveaway is the only way Coldplay is reaching out to fans, presumably to retain the "biggest band in the world" title.


    LiveNation and Coldplay Web sites are filled with rave reviews of the concerts with fans talking about how the band members ran into the audiences, played from mini-stages situated to everyone could see them, and otherwise reached out. "The concert is completely worth it," said one fan. "The [band members] talk to you and make you feel worth it when you are there."


    Source: washingtonexaminer.com


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