The cover of Coldplay’s latest album, A Head Full of Dreams, is full of colour, as 24 Years Of Coldplay 1996 2020 Shirt if the whole spectrum of light could, potentially, coat the English band’s new songs. Remember that in concert, even at the Bell Centre in Montreal, it’s exactly the same thing. For the past few tours, attending a Chris Martin band show has been like watching a Technicolor show at power 10, compared to Jain, Tegan and Sara and Toronto’s The Weeknd at the Osheaga Festival this past weekend, which seemed to go back to the black and white era.
Of course, I’m kidding. These three shows, and many others, offered festivalgoers a very colourful visual experience, but Coldplay has been in a class of its own since the advent of bright electronic bracelets.
The little things given to the spectators when they arrived at the Bell Centre were of the same kind as those we had seen at a Coldplay concert in 2012. After the introduction of Maria Callas’ O mio babbino caro and an excerpt from a speech by Charlie Chaplin in The Dictator, the thousands of bracelets lit up in red for A Head Full of Dreams. As expected, the effect is still as striking as ever.
24 Years Of Coldplay 1996 2020 Shirt, Hoodie, Sweatshirt, Long Sleeve, Tank Top
Monochrome light for Yellow (in yellow, of course), tricolor for Every Drop Is a Waterfall (blue, white, green) and all the colors for Paradise: the variations were multiple and led to a regular bludgeoning of the pupils.
Especially since the images on the screens, the laser beams and the contours of the scene were bathed in an ocean of limitless colours. My hardware store doesn’t have that many choices in its color palettes in the paint department. While the budget for bracelets is huge (about $500,000 per show), those for confetti (used every third song) and balloons (about 150) must be respectable.
It is rare to focus from the outset on the coating of a show rather than its substance, but Coldplay is one of the few bands where this element has become a must. Almost second nature, actually. To the point where you sometimes feel a sense of emptiness when Martin, Jon Buckland, Guy Berryman and Will Champion drop the tricks.
After a fiery first half hour filled with old hits and a devastating version of Paradise, the show fell flat for a few minutes when the musicians took their place on the small stage in the middle of the parterre.
It must be said that the song Always in my Head is probably the worst song we heard all evening. And Magic, contrary to its name, was missing a lot. Martin saved the day with the brand new Everglow room, after asking the crowd to show “Quebec energy” and send good vibrations to Syria, Manchester (because of the attack)… and the White House.
Irresistible and charming, this Chris Martin, who speaks French well. He has done his counts ” 1, 2, 3, 4! “in the language of Molière and borrowed from the Belgian Stromae with a “Alors on danse” in the middle of Paradise and a piece of Formidable, during In my Place. The singer also performed Fix You lying on his back and asked the audience to turn off their smartphones after a few measures of the furious Charlie Brown. Everyone followed suit. Excellent initiative.
The other good idea is of course the other stage, the one in the middle of section 116, right in the middle of the audience. Finally, in the same place as the 2012 show. Four songs on the menu: In my Place, Don’t Panic, from the first album (Parachutes), performed by Will Champion, Us Against the World and a real surprise.
“I’m going to do it because someone shouted very, very loudly,” Martin said, pointing to someone in the crowd, as these colleagues returned to the main stage. And there, on the acoustic guitar, the singer played Green Eyes, from A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002). This shows that Coldplay can still seduce when exposed. But sometimes, the production is used to better convey the recent songs, not as strong as some of the past. Would Hymn for the Weekend, with its arabic scents and its slightly pagan rhythm 24 Years Of Coldplay Shirt, have been as well received without the rain of thousands of confetti? Would Adventures of a Lifetime, with its soft tempo, have passed the ramp as well without the arrival of the balloons? I’m not sure. But the formula has proved its worth. Because there is a formula. All the things I have just mentioned in terms of production, as we saw five years ago. Only part of the song selection has been changed.