If Coldplay haven't achieved world domination by 2010, it sure won't be for lack of trying. By year's end, they'll have played every mid-to-major U.S. market at least twice, in many cases to crowds that have doubled, and they'll have done so with a handful of tunes that have sold millions. (See a photo gallery of the show here).
The band's tour kickoff Friday night at West Palm Beach, FL's Cruzan Amphitheater was a dazzling spectacle by four dudes determined to entertain. This was the band's second visit to South Florida since the release of their multi-platinum 2008 album Viva La Vida, but this time Coldplay came as conquerors, reveling in the fact that they can get away with bringing the same show to the same place and still sell 16,000 tickets. In an age of diminishing sales, that's saying something.
Which is probably why Coldplay came bearing gifts. Chris Martin and company are giving away copies of the nine-track live LP LeftRightLeftRightLeft to each and every attendee of their U.S. tour. (Non-attendees can also download it for free through the link above.)
Coldplay came and conquered all right -- with almost the exact same set list as their November BankAtlantic Center blowout. It appears they're of the opinion, "If it's not broke, why fix it?" And Friday night it certainly wasn't broke.
The boys delivered each song with a bluster that was as glorious as ever. Martin, guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman, and drummer Will Champion are superstars and their contentedness is contagious, especially when they break out somber anthems like "Clocks" or "Yellow," Martin's "favorite song," during which the band dumped hundreds of yellow beach balls on the crowd. Meanwhile, high-definition video of the performance was projected on five orbs hanging over the band's heads, showing Martin's bounding from all angles. Not a step was missed.
Even when a song called for some calm, say in "Fix You," Martin and Co. -- sporting their colorful Stella McCartney-designed marching band get-ups -- continued to bandy about the stage as if their livelihoods depended on it.
The one notable difference from their last pass thru town was their cover of the Monkees' "I'm a Believer." Before ripping into the song's joyous verse, Martin instructed the crowd to hold their cell phones high and sing along. He should have asked them to swap the song title's pronoun, too, because by the final notes he'd made believers of everyone. And two songs later, during the ethereal, piano-led "Lovers in Japan," the show climaxed as confetti butterflies streamed down from the ceiling.
But it wasn't enough for Martin, who ran for the cheap seats during "The Scientist," singing face-to-face with the crowd like he really owed them something.
Imagine having the confidence of Nero, had he grown up on a diet of Mr. Rogers, and you'll get some idea of how ruthlessly nice, bubbly, and self-assured Coldplay can be. And after nearly two hours of heart-stirring songs, you almost forget that the band is designed to rule the world. Then again, it's kinda hard to be critical when you want to hug the conquering heroes.
"Life In Technicolor"?
"In My Place"?
"Glass Of Water"?
"Cemeteries Of London"?
"God Put A Smile Upon Your Face"?
"The Hardest Part"?
"Postcards From Far Away"?
"Viva La Vida"?
"Death Will Never Conquer"?
"I'm A Believer"?
"Lovers In Japan"?
"Death And All His Friends"?
"Life in Technicolor 2?