Coldplay at the Emirates Stadium: Monday 4th June
June 17, 2012
By: Rosie Hill
Whilst many people spent the Jubilee weekend glued to their televisions drinking fizz under patriotic bunting or curled up on the sofa watching a plethora of Bank Holiday television, I had the honour of seeing Coldplay live at the Emirates Stadium on the Monday evening. I can honestly say there is no place I would have rather been. It seems entirely fitting that Coldplay played the Jubilee weekend. They are the only band that could stand up to the spectacle taking place throughout London, and directly compete with the concert at Buckingham Palace that same evening. With the world’s eyes firmly fixed on our capital, Coldplay flew the flag for British music and thoroughly held their own.
Massive stadium gigs are notoriously impersonal, but it is partly due to the incredible stage set-up and mainly due to their charm that they have maintained a personal connection with their fans despite such a giant arena. Five giant, iris shaped screens behind the band broadcast a selection of live footage throughout the show, as well as Rihanna’s video clips during ‘Princess of China’. When you enter the stadium, each person is given a radio controlled wristband, or ‘Xyloband’, which light up at key moments throughout the show, filling the stadium with thousands of brightly coloured lights. The effect is incredible, and truly does take your breath away.
Coldplay really did start with a bang; opening with ‘Hurts like Heaven’ accompanied by a barrage of incredible pyrotechnics and deafening cheers from the crowd. The spectacle doesn’t end here, during ‘In my Place’ confetti cannons cover the crowd in multi-coloured tissue shapes that continue to float for the next few songs. The band don’t stop there. During ‘Major Minus’ over thirty neon balloons filled with confetti are released into the standing audience, which combined with the flashing wristbands truthfully is an amazing visual combination. It’s not just the big crowd pleasers that Coldplay excel at though, it’s songs like ‘Yellow’ that truly show just how good these four men are. A song not written for stadiums, and affectionately dedicated by Chris Martin to his wife, is miraculously transformed into an anthem and I doubt Islington has witnessed a sing-a-long like that for years. The band work their way through the current album, as well as interspersing classics like ‘Clocks’, ‘The Scientist’ and ‘Speed of Sound’ to thunderous applause. The elephants from the ‘Paradise’ video dance around throughout the show in the middle of the crowd, and seem to be enjoying themselves as much as the rest of us!
For me, I have two highlights. To be in a stadium filled with near to 75,000 people and hearing every single one of those singing ‘Fix You’ with Chris Martin on the acoustic piano was magical, and sent shivers down my spine. In contrast, ‘Viva la Vida’, which if I had to choose is probably my favourite Coldplay song, perhaps down to the sheer joy on drummer Will Champion’s face was maybe the biggest song of the evening as well. The same 75,000 people sung their hearts out, albeit slightly out of tune! When the crew turned all the lights out and the band left the stage for a quick break, all that was left was a stadium full of tiny flashing lights and people singing the ‘oh oh ohhh’ section of the song over and over again, until the boys returned for a small acoustic set at the back of the stadium. Weird Simon Pegg then joined them to show off his harmonica skills, I like to think this was a drunken deal between himself and the frontman, but we will never know.
Coldplay’s humble appreciation of the fame bestowed upon them is obvious; Chris Martin frequently thanks the audience for being there and giving up their time, and even goes as far as to apologise for the cost of tickets and Bank Holiday travel problems. This four piece band have such a desire to please their legions of fans and boys, I can safely say that we were pleased. The Mylo Xyloto tour is visually spectacular, and shows off Coldplay at their best. The stadium filling pop tunes coupled with surprising intimate, acoustic numbers result in a magnificent show that was a pleasure to be part of.
Click here for a video from the concert –> ‘In My Place’ Coldplay at the Emirates 04/06/2012 – Video credit to my little brother!
Hurts Like Heaven
In My Place
Lovers In Japan
God Put A Smile Upon Your Face
Princess of China
Up in Flames
Don’t Let It Break Your Heart
Viva La Vida
Us Against The World
Speed Of Sound
Every Teardrop is a Waterfall