Coldplay: Colorful

HP Pavilion
San Jose, CA
April 27, 2012

Coldplay:  Colorful

Literally colorful.  And, honestly, there aren’t many other ways to describe the Coldplay concert in San Jose on Friday night.  At times, I felt I was inside a massive arena-sized kaleidoscope of spinning, twirling, flashing colors.  The band had distributed thousands of multicolored wrist-bands at the entrances which were controlled with a cheap plastic radio signal so when the band took the stage and during various songs throughout the night, the entire audience lit up like a human piñata.  During the opening number, "Hurts Like Heaven," massive plumes of colored confetti rained over the audience.  The arena crowd looked a bit like a multi-layered cake covered with candy sprinkles and the stage looked as if it was painted by a graffiti artist.  The whole spectacle almost created a sensory overload.  In fact, after the first two songs, I thought the band really had nowhere else to go.

I have frequently denigrated Coldplay’s music.  Others have called it ‘weepy chick rock’ or music that forgot the melody (or stole it).  I have called Coldplay ‘excellent background music’ which is a pretty harsh indictment.  Even super-critic OS, after Friday's show, said that lead singer Chris Martin is 'full of himself' (though he is an Arsenal fan so props for football-allegiances).  However, the extravagant lightshow was well-adapted to the big, open cinematic sound and large crescendos that characterize most of CP’s music.  

There were many highlights despite Chris Martin's insincere thanks for braving traffic and high-ticket prices-  What?? Who's responsible for that??  Some highlights included the release of dozens of giant beach balls from the rafters of the arena, "Yellow," the first encore song being played from the back of the arena before the band sprinted back to the stage through the crowd, large tear-shaped psychedelic colored balloons that lit up around the upper level during the song, “Every Tear is a Waterfall.”   Our seats were rather high up in the front row of the upper deck but this also gave us a wonderful, unobstructed vantage point for the entire concert even if we were left out of the beach-ball party.

I would not consider myself a Coldplay-convert after the live experience which I was assured was a religious experience.  But, I can better appreciate why others adore the band after having seen the spectacle.  I still find the music a bit forgettable but the band puts a huge amount of energy and effort into pleasing their audience.  So, I would definitely recommend the concert and for real CP-fans, I am sure that it will be an great, though perhaps not transcendent, experience.


Lama said...

I just got back from the Coldplay concert here in San Jose and to be honest with you, there are no words to describe tonight. I scoored great tickets i enjoyed my night …I can try, but it won't do it justice. These guys were something else live.

pablito said...

As you may or may not know, I'm not really a fan of Coldplay. But, I am a huge fan of confetti! If they come around again in, say, 20 years, I'll join you. It'll be like going to see Air Supply today. Although I suspect Coldplay has better jams. Regardless of my feelings for the band, I do appreciate the integrity of the review.