Aud recording exists.
6. The One I Love
7. Don't Panic
8. Everything's Not Lost (Hot in Herre)
9. Green Eyes
10. God Put a Smile Upon Your Face
12. The Scientist
13. A Rush of Blood to the Head
14. Encore: Clocks
15. Encore: In My Place
16. Encore: Life is For Living
Warm melodies of Coldplay
September 26, 2002
BY JEFF VRABEL STAFF REPORTER of Sun-Times review
Oh, sure, the slightly more famous Brit playing on the other side of the Eisenhower may have drawn a larger crowd and scored more ticket revenue. On Tuesday night, the lads in Coldplay made sure Paul McCartney didn't maintain a West Side monopoly on melody-soaked British rock; in fact, they seemed out to prove Sir Paul didn't even put on a better show. For the last stop on its U.S. tour, Coldplay delivered 90 minutes of warm melodic goodness that had to make the band's homeland very proud indeed.
Part of a mini-British invasion that also brought us the likes of Travis and Starsailor, Coldplay had the song of 2000 with the near-perfect "Yellow," but, by most accounts, an atmospheric quartet with a sweet little love song for a hit single should be hitting its sophomore slump right about now. Coldplay sets itself off from the flock by employing two obvious aces: a stash of ridiculously accessible melodies and the soaring vocals of Chris Martin.
That's why the band's acclaimed new CD, "A Rush of Blood to the Head," is such a happy surprise. It's a fantastic step up from 2000's pretty-darn-good-itself "Parachutes." It's also an immediately ingratiating statement of melodic purpose that improves everything Coldplay deals in--more lilting melodies, more crashing guitars, more propulsive backbeats, more of Martin's sweet falsetto.
Here's a band that doesn't boast much in the way of originality--Radiohead for Dummies, its detractors said when "Parachutes" bowed--but dishes out hook after hook in a show that's almost impossible to resist.
From the opening notes of the thunderous "Politik," Coldplay stuck with its template--gentle, meandering verses that gave way to pounding, twin-guitar choruses, with an overabundance of memorable hooks mixed throughout. These are songs that should be melancholy, and some are, like "The Scientist," which sounds like a darker sequel to "Yellow." But the song lines, twinkling piano, anthemic crescendos and propulsive backbeats create a buoyancy that can't be denied. It's sad music for hopeful people.
If these aren't the most imaginatively arranged songs in the world, they're warm and gratifying, particularly the "Rush of Blood" songs. "The Scientist" provided some of the night's best harmonies, the pretty acoustic "Green Eyes" could be an outtake from Billy Bragg and Wilco's "Mermaid Avenue" sessions, and "Everything's Not Lost" became a sweeping mini-epic that highlighted the evening, with Martin jumping around on vocals, piano and guitar.
But for all its skill during the quiet parts, Coldplay had equal success breaking out the rock. The pretty "Daylight" closed with a riotous wall-of-sound jam, and even "Yellow," slightly extended in customary hit-single fashion, was an inspired rocker and a crowd sing-along.
And for anyone who thought all British rock came with a required level of mopeyness, there was Martin, the evening's effervescent host, seeming about as genial as frontmen get these days. He spent most of the show bounding around the stage with his guitar, occasionally cracking jokes, like suggesting the band's hit "Trouble" was originally written for Mariah Carey, and turning the stage over to a guy proposing to his girlfriend. His best little joke of the night was incorporating a solo-piano sample of Nelly's "Hot in Herre" into "Everything's Not Lost."
Martin saved two of his strongest offerings for last, closing with "Clocks" and current single "In My Place," which, with its trickling piano and gently rolling vocals, is maybe the finest example of Coldplay's plan--that with enough charm and indelible melody, music doesn't have to be terribly original to be perfectly lovely.
It's a fine plan, and who knows, one day, they might even start knighting people for it.
I just saw Coldplay at the UIC Pavillion on Tues. Sept. 24th...and they were so awesome. I remember the first time I saw Colplay was in Chicago at the Aragon Ballroom a couple years ago and hardly anyone knew who they were back then. I'm so happy that the band has become so successful here in the States. They even let a guy propose to his girlfriend onstage. It was so sweet. Well, thanks Coldplay for putting on another awesome performance for us "Chicagoeans." I love your music so much...it is truly inspiring. I'll see you guys next year! I wouldn't miss it for the world.