British rock group Coldplay wrapped up its North American tour Wednesday in Glendale with a solid, understated performance, reports AZCentral.
"You can't do an American tour without finishing in Phoenix, Arizona," said singer Chris Martin, who could be forgiven for his slight geographical slip-up. Coldplay is one of the most dependable touring bands in rock these days, and the group's 90-minute set gave the near-sellout crowd at Jobing.com Arena plenty of well-executed anthems.
Clocks, Yellow, Speed of Sound and the title track from the band's latest album, Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends, all were delivered with precision. This tour was one of the Grammy-winning group's largest undertakings in terms of staging, with a huge screen occasionally used for videos, intense strobe lights, scores of lasers and intriguing illuminated globes that alternately held artsy designs and images of band members.
Martin hopped and bounded all over the stage, often playing a guitar instead of his signature standup piano. Bandmates Jonny Buckland (guitar), Will Champion (drums) and Guy Berryman (bass) were content to hold their positions until the curly-haired Martin dropped by to give them a hug or a good-natured shove.
Much of the concert spotlighted this year's Viva La Vida album, with the crowd singing along to such new classics as Violet Hill and Lost! A highlight of the new material was a haunting-yet-sleek version of Cemeteries of London. Martin slid behind his famed upright piano for another strong new tune, 42, a slow song building to a climax in which the singer jokingly stuck out his tongue.
The band took to a small stage sticking out into the crowd to pick a few favorites, including 2002's God Put a Smile Upon Your Face. Martin took a solo on 2006's The Hardest Part, playing a nice extended piano solo as the song wound down. Later, the group ventured into a far corner of the arena and delighted ticketholders in that section by mounting a small, hidden stage to perform a few songs. "Here's an old song, and it's not even that good a song. But it means something to us," Martin said, in introducing The Scientist. The audience disagreed, going crazy when Martin played a harmonica as other band members strummed guitars and a mandolin.
Coldplay mixed things up just enough to keep it interesting, and although Martin will never be compared to Bono or Jagger, his low-key stage demeanor strongly connects with a younger generation that doesn't demand bombast in its rock stars.