San Jose, CA
April 27, 2012
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.
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.