To say that Coldplay is the biggest band in the world right now is probably a bit of an understatement. These multi-talented Brit's are poised to take over the crown of 'most popular musicians' from the group U2 (as soon as the Irish rockers plan on retiring, of course).
Last weekend my husband and I had the privilege of attending their concert in Salt Lake City at the Energy Solutions Arena. It was the biggest spectacle this town has seen in quite some time.
The lights begin to dim, as the first strains of Strauss's The Beautiful Blue Danube come over the speakers. As the music comes to it's crashing crescendo the band can be seen back-lit behind a silk screen. They almost look like still-life paintings, that is, until they begin to play their intro song - Life in Technicolor. Like the Danube, the music comes softly at first and then begins to build on itself, until it suddenly merges into a full-blown rendition of their hard-hitting radio favorite, Violet Hill.
The crowd is pulsing now.
Only this music isn't like the CD I've been listening to in my car all year. This is visceral, loud, and just about perfect. The bass is pounding the floorboards, and I can feel the energy coming off the crowd. Oh yes, they have our attention, and for the next 3 hours we are held enraptured in their creative genius.
It is a transcendent experience.
The playlist includes just about everything from their newest CD, Viva La Vida, and many of their popular favorites, such as: Fix You, Yellow, Politik (my husband's favorite), The Scientist, Speed of Sound, Clocks, and In My Place (my personal favorite).
Front-man Chris Martin is working up a sweat as he races around the stage, dancing like a tribal native, and alternating between a harmonica, acoustic guitar and upright piano. It's a seamless transition for this musician, and the audience is unexpectedly graced with classical numbers (ie: Gnossienne No. 1 by Erik Satie) as piano interludes to the next song choices. The crowd was also treated to the pleasure of their company, as the musicians took up instruments in the upper-middle deck of the grandstands. There they performed, talked, played around, and then raced back to the stage to finish their set. Coldplay is one of the few bands I have ever heard live, that actually sound better than their vinyl recordings. The band is clearly passionate about their work, whether it is creating incredible music or devoting their time and energy to various fair trade charities. In fact, Coldplay is very like their predecessors, U2, in that sense. They are a politically conscious band, with strong roots in rock and punk. Yet despite their enormous popularity, Coldplay has somehow managed to keep themselves grounded by contributing their voice to worthwhile causes.
It is all of these reasons, combined with a healthy dose of rock-star charisma, that make Coldplay one of my all-time favorite bands. You better believe I'll be at their show the next time around. Happy concert-going!