The reviews are starting to flood in after Coldplay's headline performance at Glastonbury last night, and early indications are that the consensus is outstanding...
Playing the new material from their forthcoming fifth studio album, including 'Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall', Coldplay's third go as headliners at Worthy Farm seemed to be a test for Chris Martin and co, writes the NME with a review of 9/10. With a set that included the big guns 'Yellow' and 'In My Place', as well as most fans' first chance to hear the new tracks live, they pulled off a great Saturday night headline set. And it was done without too much Chris Martin cheese.
Best bit: 'Yellow'. At Glastonbury. Just brilliant. Low point: The lager-spilling, cigarette-burn-enducing, loud-mouthing idiots that we were stood next to for most of it. Banter: Chris Martin: "Beautiful, wonderful Glastonbury, thank you for having us, we're glad the sun came out for you and you stuck around to see us." Verdict: Emily Eavis said that Chris Martin would "do anything for Glastonbury" after he convinced Beyonce to play Worthy Farm this year - and you could see how much the festival means to the band during their live show. A great set of the classics and some of the new tracks, and not too many Chris Martin cheese moments/air punching/odd marching band outfits. Even the doubters seemed to enjoy it.
It's not easy being the boy band U2 when the real thing played the night before, writes the Guardian (who gave 4/5 stars for last night's performance). Guitarist Jonny Buckland got his apologies in early, telling the NME last week: "We hope U2 do a B-sides set with no lights". Before they walked onto the Pyramid stage, Coldplay were Glastonbury 2011's forgotten headliners. U2's mere presence on Friday generated intense debate and booking Beyoncé for Sunday night induced squeaks of delight. Yet a band whose last album, Viva La Vida, sold almost 7 million copies in 2008 somehow slipped into the background.
But that level of success is no fluke. Coldplay are a light, bright pop act, specialists in the kind of non-specific, one size fits all emotion that plays well in front of the Pyramid stage. Crucially, they're also on home turf, this being their third headline appearance in nine years. It doesn't hold the same fear for them that it did for four men from Dublin.
So after the symphonic intro music and fireworks, no one cares that the opener, new track Hurts Like Heaven, is basically a Walt Disney version of Arcade Fire's Keep the Car Running. Besides, it's only there to kill time until the audience have made it through the bog. What follows sets the mood properly, with shameless crowd-pleaser Yellow followed by In my Place and not long after, Scientist. It works, too. In the end they needn't have been quite so modest. Sure, they benefited from facing an audience who'd spent an afternoon in the sun, and who were still on a high from a spectacular Elbow performance, but they're also a kinder, more welcoming proposition than U2. So it didn't matter that they needed two shots at new song Us Against the World, or that it was a bit sappy. As with their earlier European festival performances, the whirling Charlie Brown was the standout new song, a definite advance on the still forgettable Every Teardrop is a Waterfall, even if the lyrics were guff about "running wild" and "glowing in the dark."
And despite front-loading the set, they kept plenty in reserve, Viva La Vida winning the prize for most joyous sing-a-long, at least until Clocks kicked off the encore. A victory that few predicted. Who knew a band this big could sneak up on people?
In this year's battle of the Glastonbury headliners, the old guard vs newcomers roles were reversed, writes Spinner on the third headline performance. U2 may be the elder statesmen of communal stadium rock, but they were wet behind the ears new boys when it came to headlining Worthy Farm. Coldplay, one of many bands in U2s stadium wake were the band to be contended with here. On Saturday night they took to the Pyramid Stage as headliners for the third time. Chris Martin and co.'s strong relationship with the festival started in 1999 -- they only headlined in 2002 after they agreed to play the local village fete the year before to help festival organiser Michael Eavis out of a tight spot. So you could have been forgiven for thinking headlining wouldn't have given them too many butterflies in the stomach, but then there was the spectre of U2's bloody-minded debut the night before; fierce, and with something to prove.
With fireworks wrupting at their entrance, Coldplay alunched into new song 'MX,' a song that bears more than a little of the urgent DNA of Arcade Fire. The start was a mix of old and new, with 'Yellow' rubbing shoulders with another new cut, 'Major Minor' and 'Lost!' and 'The Scientist' leading to a particularly grungey but splendid 'Shiver,' with Martin saying at the end, "That was the first song we ever played at Glastonbury." Maybe Coldplay had been taking some notes from U2 in how to suff up their back catalogue. 'Politik', too, was particularly loose-limbed and lusty. The question everyone was asking beforehand was would Martin's mate Jay-Z make it to the stage. After all, his missus Beyoncé is playing Sunday. TV footage showed them singing along to 'Viva La Vida' in the pit. That's one thing U2 didn't seem to have...
Coldplay are sometime half-jokingly referred to as the Pyramid Stage House Band. After a night which cemented their special place around the Glastonbury table, expect another Eavis invite soon.
Coldplay are to festivals what Michael Eavis is to beards, says The Sun reviewing a red hot performance. The cynics can say what they like - Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion and Guy Berryman belong at the top of the bill on the Pyramid Stage. They know how to do it - a nod to Jay-Z before they come on with 99 Problems blaring out, some fireworks, a new song then BANG... Yellow. The band have rehearsed like demons to be ready for the gig. And it showed. They are always tight live, but this was special. The paper butterflies blew into the crowd during In My Place - with over 100k in tthe audience in full voice. It was beautiful. Chris said: "Forgive us for playing some new songs. One day they will be your favourites."
The new songs fiitted in seamlessly, but the big hits sent Worthy Farm into orbit. U2 might have 30 years experience - but there is no doubt their natural suitor is already in place. Chris said: "Thank you for giving us the best job in the world." Not a problem.
Latest photos of Coldplay at the Pyramid Stage, Glastonbury Festival, UK (25th June 2011):
Photo source: BBC