Coldplay was at the top of their game for their performance at the HFStival at M&T Band Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland on Saturday night.
After a long day of performances by groups including Good Charlotte, Billy Idol, Garbage, Social Distortion, New York Dolls, and Interpol they took the stage at about 9:45. Their set almost didn't happen at all when, after Billy Idol's set who played right before Coldplay, the administrators told everyone to leave because of severe weather warnings. It had been pouring rain for about and hour and there had been several lightening spottings but, after nearly another hour, the storm passed and the Boys from Britain took the stage.Chris Martin was his usual energetic self, crouching behind a speaker for the beginning of their opener Square One' and emerging as the song built. The song sounded amazing and the crowd loved it, despite the fact that Coldplay was the "one-of-these-bands-is-not-like-the-other" of the festival. The band, each dressed in black, Johnny in a truckers cap and Will with a large number 44 on shirt, then played 'Politik' to the delight of the crowd. The crowd sang along as best they could but Chris improvised the lyrics in the verse to include "give me festivals by HFS" and "give me Coldplay in the rain." In the piano outro Chris quoted, and briefly sang, Billy Idol's 'White Wedding' before ending the song.
Next, the lights went yellow and so did the band with Chris, instrumentless, jumping around stage and standing on speakers. The next song they played was the new song 'Low' which was incredible and features backup vocals from both Johnny and Guy. Chris played electric guitar for this somewhat uptempo, energetic piece.
Next was 'Clocks' and although it was done without the trademark green lasers it had never sounded better. Chris was rocking his stool back and forth and yelping into the microphone. He told the crowd to clap along saying, "I know we're foreign but give us a chance."
After the song he told the story of when they first played at the HFStival in 2001 (I think) where everyone apparently thought they were "the worst thing to ever happen to the festival" although that was surely just Chris being modest. He introduced the next song as 'Fix You' and told everyone that if they wanted to mosh they could take a break for awhile but if they wanted to kiss someone that now would be a good time. 'Fix You', with Chris using an organ sound on his piano, was perhaps the best song of the night. Lights and cell phones were held up from many of the 50,000 fans as Chris serenaded them. The song, an absolutely beautiful tune, built to the full band after an extended period of just Chris and his haunting vocals.
Chris announced the next song would be the last and Will began the familiar intro of 'In My Place'. Chris seemed to be having the time of his life, as he does everytime he performs, and ran into a security corridor which ran perpendicular to the stage. Fans reached out their hands to him and screamed as he ran to the end of it and back, laughing all the while. The song ended and the four took a bow as the crowd, still soaking wet, cheered and called for more.
Unfortunately, an encore was not in the works as the last band, Foo Fighters, had to play their set but Coldplay fans were just thankful that the severe rain had not stopped them from hearing an incredible set from one of the greatest bands in the world.