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Viva la Coldplay!

August 3rd, 2012 apcook15


So it’s August 2nd, which means it’s less than four weeks now until move-in at Lehy Dorm…. What??? Where did the summer go??

Since it’s flying by so fast, I can only say I’m glad I’ve been making the most of it so far. To this end (well actually, it was last year’s Christmas present, but technicalities…) my girlfriend Mary and I went to Coldplay this last weekend!! I’m a generation behind in a lot of my music tastes, but Coldplay is the one band my generation and I agree readily upon. On College Hill, Chris Martin’s soaring falsetto voice is a common sound pouring out of many different dorm rooms, my own included. I’ve had many dinner conversations at Kimball with my neighbor and track buddy from across the hall at Wheeler (who went to the show the night after my own) doing a track-by-track dissection of their newest album, the cryptically-named Mylo Xyloto.

Before showtime, Mary and I spent the day in Boston and ate dinner in the city’s amazing North End section. Of course, no trip to the North End would count without a stop at Mike’s Pastries. During the course of the school year my friends and I from Holy Cross made many trips to this historic bakery, and I guarantee you there will be MANY more in the coming months.

On to the show! I’ve been to more than my fair share of concerts and I’ve seen acts ranging from Springsteen to U2 to the Dropkick Murphys. As outstanding as each of these were in their own way – especially Springsteen, who I’m seeing again in two weeks at Fenway Park and Gillette Stadium (blog to follow) – they all basically amounted to the band doing their respective gigs on a pretty bare flatbed stage.
Coldplay, on the other hand, draws the line just short of lighting off live indoor fireworks. Lasers that require permission from air traffic control when the band plays outside, a balloon avalanche, glow-in-the-dark confetti blizzards, inflatable props scattered throughout the arena, a host of glowing projection screens – all of these things and more are present in plenty when Chris Martin et al come to town.


Speaking of Coldplay’s much-adored frontman, his performance last Sunday night can best be described as a lovechild of Bono and Richard Simmons. Delivering his trademark anthemic choruses to an accompaniment of Boston Garden’s 20,000, Chris Martin jumped, bounced, slid, danced, dove, strutted, spun and sprinted around every possible square inch of his stage; not a person in the audience would have been surprised if Martin broke into spontaneous jumping-jacks or pushups during a verse of “Viva la Vida.”

There were plenty of laughs as Martin mistakenly botched the words to the piano ballad “Warning Sign” before stopping the song altogether. “I was thinking about the Olympics,” Martin sheepishly apologized, drawing enormous cheers from the crowd. What came next drew even more – and is now raising some eyebrows – as Martin proclaimed, “F*** the Olympics, we’re having a f***ing great time in Boston tonight!!” And indeed we were.

The special highlight of the evening came from the audience, however – specifically, on the multi-colored, glowing “Xylobands” clamped around everyone’s wrists. Controlled by a Coldplay technician to sync in time with the music played on stage, the Xylobands transformed the Garden into a neon-colored nighttime sky spread across the arena. Watching 20,00o bands of light jump in unison to the chorus of “Charlie Brown” will remain with me for quite a while.



Instead of detracting from or obscuring the foursome themselves, these kinds of special effects enhanced Coldplay’s already significant charm and made for one of the most truly unforgettable concert experiences I’ve ever had. They’ve only been around for a decade or so, but (in my mind anyways) Coldplay has already cemented itself as one of the all-time biggest stadium bands in the industry. With their perfectly tailored sing-a-long choruses, new-generation U2 soundscapes and a seemingly endless bag of incredible crowd-pleasing tricks, I’m eagerly awaiting Coldplay’s next stop in the area. Well done boys. 


P.S. A special recognition to the Holy Cross Oxfam group who were able to meet the band backstage after the concert (Oxfam is Coldplay’s most active charitable project). I’m incredibly jealous of all of you!

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