Chris Martin grew up hearing a lot of hymns, and it's a musical influence that shows through particularly clearly when his band Coldplay performs in concert.
Like the church songs of Martin's devout upbringing, Coldplay's music is often stately and solemn, with an uplifting undercurrent meant to inspire. It's grown more pronounced with each of the band's four albums, and it was evident in the soaring sing-alongs throughout the English quartet's performance Saturday at XL Center in Hartford.
That's not all that was evident: Coldplay has evolved into a fully capable arena-rock band, in the very best sense. Songs that sound insipid or even pretentious on the band's albums became epic on stage: the stinging guitar riff that elevated "Fix You" into an anthem, for example, or the grinding organ underpinning "Lost!"
The four musicians have grown as performers, too, exchanging the slightly mopey, if intense, air that accompanied the band's early shows for an energetic, commanding stage presence.
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