BY DAN NAILEN
THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE
British rockers Coldplay finally made it to Utah Friday, performing a
sold-out concert at Saltair, and it is safe to say the quartet came, saw
and conquered the crowd with its inspiring live show.
Delivering a set taken almost equally from its Grammy-winning debut, "Parachutes,"
and excellent sophomore effort, "A Rush of Blood to the Head," Coldplay
came off as a much more dynamic band on stage than on record.
Whereas much of "Parachutes" could incorrectly tag the band as yet another
shoe-gazing guitar group from England, the newer songs and lead singer
Chris Martin's energetic frontman moves elevate Coldplay to something
more; namely, a mesmerizing live act capable of full-on rock excess just
as much as wistful moodiness.
Martin is, no question, the star of the group. While guitarist Jonny Buckland,
bassist Guy Berryman and drummer Will Champion are integral to Coldplay's
sound, they essentially stay in their respective spots on stage, leaving
Martin as the visual focal point.
On Friday, Martin took that attention and ran with it, whether pounding
on a piano at center stage; making sure the "MakeTradeFree.com" written
on his hand was caught by the cameras relaying images to screens hanging
above; or twirling in circles while strumming an acoustic guitar. At various
points, Martin was bouncing up and down, manically strumming a guitar
and thrusting his microphone to the heavens, leading joyous singalongs
that rang through the building. This guy knows how to command a crowd.
The songs were what drew the adoring crowd out on a cold night, and Coldplay
delivered them with style and power only hinted at on record. The show-opening
"Politik" set the pace, Martin leading from his piano, and segued smoothly
into an energetic "God Put a Smile Upon Your Face," one of the best tracks
from "A Rush of Blood."
For "Spies," from "Parachutes," Martin's searing falsetto
made its first significant appearance, while Buckland picked out noticeably
Edge-like guitar licks, before switching into a slide-guitar riff to introduce
a lush "Daylight."
"We finally made it here!" Martin announced about halfway through the
90-minute set, referring to the canceled Coldplay show on the "Parachutes"
tour two years ago. "It's pretty mad that four skinny guys from England
could turn up in the middle of America and get such a nice reception."
That reception only got more raucous as Coldplay closed the show in a
blaze of worthy cuts, including "Trouble," "Warning Sign," "Everything's
Not Lost," "Yellow," "The Scientist," "Clocks" and "In My Place."
If there was any quibble with Friday's show, it was its brevity -- 15
songs, including the two encores. But then again, maybe Coldplay is savvy
enough to know it's always better to leave the crowd wanting more. On
Friday, they certainly did that.
What a show...I was VERY impressed with visual effects.
This was my first time seeing Coldplay live. I have been to many, many
live shows in my life. This show ranked top five
for sure. I could not believe how tight the show was. This band is impressive.
They sound so great live! I hope I have the chance to see
them again soon. PS - I REALLY enjoyed the cameras on the paino and infront
of all the band members! "Make Trade Fair"