Coldplay
Viva La Vida Tour

November 23, 2008

Energy Solutions Center, Salt Lake City, UT


On the eve of their AMA performance and the release of the Prospekt's March EP, Coldplay played before a crowd of disappointed Cougars and ecstatic Utes at the Energy Solutions Center. After being entertained for far too long by El Paso openers Sleeper Car and DJ Jon Hopkins with his trippy psychedelic animation, the opening atmospheric strains of "Life In Technicolor" were met with wild excitement.

It was arguable if Chris Martin had had a little too much to drink before taking the stage; he's the kind of guy who twirls around while singing with his eyes closed anyways, but considering some of the things he mumbled, it made you wonder. Still, Martin did not disappoint, showcasing his tremendous range and incomparable falsetto. The show kicked off with Viva's first single, "Violet Hill", followed by fan favorite "Clocks".

A techno rendition of "God Put A Smile Upon Your Face" was performed on the lit-up stage extension with Will Champion trading in his drumset for a drum machine. The remixed "Smile" segued into "Talk", which, with its updated sound, seemed to fulfill its destiny that its Kraftwek sample had in mind.

Chris Martin then took to the piano, talking about how the next song wasn't the best Coldplay or the worst Coldplay song and it wasn't the best Joe the Plumber song or it the worst Joe the Plumber song. For those who could understand what he said, it didn't make sense, but then, he performed "The Hardest Part" and a new song from Prospekt's March, "Postcards From Far Away" and it didn't even matter. True, "The Hardest Part" isn't the best or worst Coldplay song, but hearing it played out by only the piano and Martin's voice raised it to a level of previously unimagined beauty.

"Viva La Vida" brought the entire crowd to their feet for the most euphoric moment of the entire show. Champion's timpani playing and bell hitting was sheer perfection. This song wasn't meant for Martin to sing alone, it was meant for him to sing along with 15,000 other people. After hearing it live, it's hard not to concede that "Viva La Vida" is the song of the year.

The band left the front stage to perform "The Scientist" amongst the fans. Security anxiously kept people back as the group assembled near the back of the Solutions Center, Martin with harmonica in hand. The most entertaining thing to watch was the fans snapping photos feverishly of them in front of Johnny Buckland's back. No doubt those are now MySpace profile pics and whoever caught the harmonica Martin threw out has changed their Facebook status. Wouldn't you?

For the encore, breakout hit "Yellow" was performed. Like "Viva", Martin had the entire audience singing backup as the giant spinning balls above the stage glowed yellow. Coldplay is the biggest, most important band in the world right now. Album sales, trans-Atlantic #1 hits, and their stellar world tour seem to justify it. Seeing them in 2008, when they are arguably at the peak of their power, makes you feel like you are apart of something big and important. With the continual fragmentation of the music industry thanks to the internet, being able to say something akin to "I was there when..." becomes harder and harder. There will never be another Beatles at Shea Stadium or Rolling Stones at Altamont, but at least we have Coldplay's Viva La Vida Tour. At least we can say, "I was there when they used to rule the world, when they used to roll the dice and feel the fear in their enemies eyes."

1 comments:

Bracken said...

It's interesting to think about the music today and if it will still be playing in the headphones of people 20 years from now. I don't think that many bands will have that impact to last 20 or so years, but Coldplay will. It's concerts like the one you just read, that future parents brag about to peers and children in dicussions about the bands of their age and how much music has changed.

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