For a man who has been a bona fide star since he was 23, Chris Martin appears to be well grounded. He may enjoy a lavish lifestyle with a movie-star wife and all the trappings of modern celebrity but where it matters most, in the studio and in concert, Coldplay's sandy-haired frontman is working as hard as ever.
On Friday night in Perth, on the first date of their Australian tour, Coldplay took to the stage in French Revolution-inspired gear - a touch ironic for millionaires, one would think - and showed that the mantle of biggest band in the world rests rather comfortably on their shoulders.
They have been building towards this moment with four hugely successful albums; if they are at the pinnacle of "when I ruled the world" - as they describe on Viva La Vida - they are doing it with style.
This show does not rely on showbusiness schtick or overpowering personalties. Nor should it, for these are not Coldplay's stocks in trade. Yet if personality was in limited supply, energy certainly wasn't as the four-piece delivered a big, bold and spectacular 100-minute set where they used much of the space within the Burswood Dome to draw 17,000 people to them and inject an appreciable amount of intimacy.
They played all the hits - such as Clocks, The Scientist, In My Place, Fix You and The Hardest Part - in straightforward, instantly recognisable fashion. They utilised eye-catching effects such as hanging massive globes from the ceiling that transmitted distorted images from the screens at the front of the stage, and confetti-filled balls that bounced through the venue. They also played mini sets at other points in the room, including the nosebleed section up the back, but the show never outshone the material.
On their first national Australian tour, halfway down the bill at the 2001 Big Day Out festival, Martin looked almost overwhelmed as 20,000 people took up the stirring chorus to their first hit Yellow. Since then, Coldplay have achieved almost out-of-the-box success. This time around, Martin looked at home as he separated the audience into three sections to orchestrate a huge singalong.
The result was impressive enough but even better was the manner in which the crowd began singing (not shouting) in new songs such as Lost! and Viva La Vida without any prompting from the band. At those moments it was apparent that their reign looks set to continue for some time yet.
Source: The Australian
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