A minute after the lights went down, signaling the beginning of one of the best shows I’ve seen this year, Coldplay took The Greek Theater stage with amazing force. Bright white lights lit the entire stage as the band belted out a stunning version of “Politik.” In addition to getting everyone’s attention, it set a fine foundation on which to showcase new songs from A Rush of Blood To The Head as well as a fair amount of material from Parachutes. ‘Give me real, don’t give me fake,’ indeed.
“This is the first show we’ve played in the middle of a forest. Watch out for the bears,” Chris Martin announced.
The production only added to the stunning show. Digital projection screens on both sides of the stage were amazing, as were the four projection panels that were revealed after several songs. Cameras scattered throughout the stage provided the footage, and I found myself watching the screens just as much, if not more than the band.
Following a couple of familiar songs (“Spies” and “Shiver”), the band played one of the finest songs from AROBTTH, “Daylight.” Mixing beautiful guitar and vocal harmonies, this song made my hair stand on end. Guitarist Jonny Buckland has come a long way since the last album, as has the rest of the band. They clearly have much more confidence in front of a crowd, not to mention more material from which to choose. Hearing songs from both albums in the same set, it really does emphasize how much more full the new songs are. I’m not trying to take the piss out of their older material, but the new material hovers above the old, especially live.
Chris’ banter with the crowd was as entertaining. Like a second homecoming, he explained, Los Angeles holds a special place in the band’s heart. LA has been supportive of the band since the very beginning and Chris wasn’t about to let that fact slip by without a thank you to the people, even if, as he noted, almost no one who lives in LA, is actually from here.
Adding comedy to “Everything’s Not Lost,” Chris broke into Nelly’s “Hot In Herre” during the final chorus. Listening to him recite ‘I am gettin too hot, I wanna take my clothes off,’ made the crowd laugh and cheer. With the women screaming so loud around me, it’s a good thing I was wearing earplugs.
Seeing Chris and Jonny playing “Green Eyes” so close to one another, in such a casual manor was appropriate and endearing. The song begs for the camaraderie that was shown on stage between the two.
If I never hear “Yellow,” again, it’ll be all right with me. I can’t imagine the band enjoys playing it much anymore, but seeing them perform it with all the lights and the crowd singing along made it sound so good.
They closed the set with “A Rush of Blood To The Head,” and then came back to perform “Clocks,” “In My Place” and “Life Is For Living” for encores. I walked away with more confidence than ever that Coldplay are not only a tremendous band, but will be making wonderful music in the future.