It's no small accomplishment to make a sea of 16,000 people feel like an intimate audience in a small club, but that's what Chris Martin and Coldplay did at West Palm Beach's Cruzan Amphitheatre on Friday night, reports the Miami Herald.
Joking, charming, and leading blissful singalongs, Martin and company made the opening night of their U.S. tour into a celebration of the feel-good power of pop music. The sentimental peak came when the group ventured into the middle of the crowd to lead them in an acoustic version of The Monkees' I'm a Believer, teasing at and enjoying the song's innocent "I'm in love, ooooohhhh, I'm a believer" enthusiasm. "People in the back are you in love?" Martin asked, and got a ringing affirmation.
Given that the British rock group just finished another U.S. tour, also in support of their hit 2008 album Viva La Vida, last November, with a stop in Sunrise that same month, the size and enthusiasm of Friday night's crowd was an impressive demonstration of Coldplay's popularity.
Their music is often somber on record. Live, however, even regretful, elegiac songs like The Scientist, or the plaintive ballad Fix You (which inspired Martin's wife, actor Gwyneth Paltrow, who was in the audience, to press her hand to her heart) became fervent and soaring. Drummer Will Champion supplies a solid, thundering foundation for guitarist Jon Buckland and bassist Guy Berryman ringing, churning guitar lines, lusher and more powerful than on record. Martin's famous falsetto rises through the storm, quiet or wailing, naturally and movingly expressive. "For you, I'd bleed myself dry," he sang on Yellow, the beautiful breakout ballad from Coldplay's first album, as big yellow balloons floated through the crowd, and you believed him.
Martin is a natural showman, alternating classic writhing rock star leaps, stage striding, and firey piano playing with an old school, theatrical British humor and calculated but still charming humility. He thank the audience frequently and profusely, asked them if they were having a good time ("If you came to see the Bee Gees, that's tomorrow, and you'll be disappointed"), and joked about how good looking they were. "We'd be honored if you'd sing this with us," Martin said during Clocks, one of Coldplay's best loved older songs. The crowd didn't have to be asked twice.
The production was beautifully designed, not just for effect, but to heighten the feeling of the music -- with some sly cultural jokes. The soaring strains of Strauss' Blue Danube Waltz (producing some interesting variations on your classic concert wave) led into the opening Life in Technicolor, with a giant backdrop of Eugene Delacroix's famous painting Liberty Leading the People (an emblem of Coldplay leading the masses to aesthetic liberation? A topless woman heading up a really good time?) as the band came onstage carrying torches. Projections swirled over giant globes whirling overhead, and the video on two large screens pulsed in rhythm or flickered in black and white with the songs. For the glowing Lovers in Japan, close to the end, the standard confetti guns instead blasted paper butterflies, a simple change that added a magical feeling to the song.
Source: Miami Herald
More pictures of the West Palm Beach show:
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