Even More Coldplay @ Madison Square Garden

Some additional thoughts/photos from Monday’s free Coldplay show.

At one point, early on in the night everyone got great amusement out of screaming out “BLUE BALLS!” in reference to the gigantic video screen projection spheres that were lowered from the ceiling at various points through the show.

Throughout the show pre-recorded footage and live feeds of the concert were projected onto the AV balls, and as I mentioned in my earlier post, they were used as lyric prompts during “Lost!”

These magical spheres are called “PufferSpheres,” made by a Edinburgh-based company called Pufferfish. Previously they have worked with companies like Google for special events and presentations.

During the final song of the night, machines through the arena shot out tons and tons of confetti into the air. It was especially cool when they made the glowing balls turn blue and all the neon-colored confetti became awesome GLOW IN THE DARK CONFETTI!

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Coldplay’s Free Show @ Madison Square Garden

Tonight I went to the free Coldplay show at MSG. There were not many “surprises”–the show was almost identical in set list as the free Brixton Academy show, but it was super fun nonetheless. You cannot beat FREE!

Here I am in my little bubble…

Setlist: Life in technicolor (intro), Violet hill, clocks, in my place, viva la vida, Chinese Sleep Chant, god put a smile upon your face, 42, square one, trouble, lost!, strawberry swing, [yellow, Death Will Never Conquer (from gate 60, toward the back of MSG)], fix you, lovers in japan/ reign of love [outro]

Of course celebrities are fans of free as well. Folks like Kirsten Dunst, Ed Burns, Charlize Theron, and Danny Masterson (who sadly did not make it in the gossip mentions anywhere else, and who I saw on Sunday afternoon at brunch–weird).

From Gate 60:

There were many stops and mistakes during the performance, like right before they played “Chinese Sleep Chant”–when there were technical difficulties with Jonny Buckland’s equipment at the front right stage and Chris declared that “some people say we are much better as a three piece.” And right before launching into their anthem “Viva La Vida,” Chris stated, “Somehow it’s made it to number one in your country. It just goes to show that with good marketing and a handsome bass player you can achieve anything.

Coldplay–ok, Chris Martin–can be particularly cloying in their desire to seem like the “everyman band”…always polite, always humble, always suffering from a horrible guilt complex in regards to being successful, and this pattern of behavior carried through the MSG performance with Chris continuing to take knocks at himself and his fellow band members throughout the concert.

While this very un-rock star type behavior can make everyone uncomfortable at times (Seriously, it’s that whole YOU ROCK STAR, US SCREAMING FANS thing that makes concert dynamics work, Chris.), I honestly believe that deep down somewhere the men of Coldplay remain honest guys who truly do care about their fans and at their very core they are just four regular dudes who happen to sell millions of records.

During the final number, “Fix You” when Chris mucked up the lyrics from the beginning. Later in the song he improvised by singing, “Lyrics to old songs that you don’t know/And you embarrass yourself at MSG/But it doesn’t matter one bit, everyone got in for free”–one of the many times Chris brought up the fact that the tickets were gratis.

Pretty colors with lyrics projected on the video balls during “Lost”

As I was walking out, I heard some guy behind me declaring to his wife, “Oh boy, the bloggers are going to CRUCIFY them tomorrow. He [Chris Martin] messed up three times in that one song, AND they didn’t play an encore.” Er.. ok. I think the point of seeing a live show is to see a band LIVE–there are going to be mistakes! Seriously, are people predicting what bloggers are going to write about the next day? Or is saying “oh boy, the bloggers are going to write about this…” a “safe” way of putting forth your own questionable opinions?

It was a little disappointing that there was no encore, but hey–maybe they were paying MSG by the hour. But probably with all that merchandise they sold (commemorative concert tees with “VIVA” and “VIVA LA VIDA” cost $30, posters cost $10) helped them recoup any of the money they shelled out do put this show on.

Anyway, I thought the concert was a great. I would say that some of the new songs did fall a little flat with the crowd due to their slow and/or non-sing-a-long nature (“Chinese Sleep Chant” and “42”), but others were tremendous fun (“Lost” and “VLV”). A little sad they didn’t do some of my CP faves like “Shiver” or “Everything’s Not Lost,” but I suppose some songs had to get the boot in order to play the new diddys. (Not everyone can play 3 1/2 hour shows like Ryan Adams.)

The boys are also on the cover of the new June 2008 issue of SPIN:


You Write the Caption: Chris Martin Onstage at Brixton Academy

I know how much you guys love giving Coldplay’s Chris Martin–and even the occasional Coldplay drum machine–captions (see your handiwork here and here), and when I saw this photo taken at last night’s free Coldplay concert at London’s Brixton Academy, I just knew that you’d be itching to have your say.

UPDATE: I Am Fuel, You Are Friends have posted MP3s of the entire Brixton concert. Head there for a download.
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Viva La Vida Released in the US/This Week’s Best Quotes about Coldplay

Hooray! Today Coldplay’s new album Viva La Vida finally hits US shores. In honor of the release, and Chris Martin’s uncanny ability to simultaneous annoy and endear, below will be a billion links to stories relating to Coldplay.

I’ve compiled a (growing) list of this week’s best quotes about the band, so you don’t have to. So embrace your inner “sensitive man” and read on:

Review of Coldplay’s Brixton Academy show from last night. “For a 30 million selling supergroup, there is something endearingly gauche about Coldplay.” (BTW- Will did a cover of the The Goldrush song “Death Will Never Conquer” at the show, which was broadcasted on Radio 1) [Telegraph UK]

“How many albums would Coldplay have to sell to save recorded music, the side of the business we’re all familiar with from movies and television? Approximately 900 billion.” [NY Mag]

“Chris Martin must have just read Chapter 7 of the How to be Like Thom Yorke Handbook: Walking Off and Other Moody Outbursts. Seriously…he’s not cool enough to walk out on anyone. That’s like the nerd getting up to go eat lunch in the phone booth.” [Ricky, TMA commenter]

“I pity the poor bastards who have to watch them. They are utterly humourless,” barked Sex Pistols frontman Johnny Rotten. [The Sentinel]
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Coldplay: Live from Brixton Academy Tonight!

You can visit the photoblog and listen to the concert live on Radio 1 from 7-10pm GMT (aka 2pm-5pm EST).

Coincidentally, Brixton Academy was the very first place I ever saw Coldplay. Here is a picture from that April 30, 2001 show:

At the end of the show, Chris lifted up his arm in the air, guitar in hand and then THREW HIS ACOUSTIC GUITAR INTO THE CROWD.

I remember being in a complete panic on the tube ride home to the dorms since the next day around 11am my final 20 page 19th and 20th Century Novel paper was due. I risked flunking out of college for sweet sweet Coldplay. Luckily, everyone else in my class wrote even worse papers than I did, so I squeaked by. (THANKS NEIL VICKERS!)

Chris Martin Stomps Off During BBC Radio 4 Interview

Last Friday the BBC reported an incident that occurred during a pre-recorded taping of Radio 4 arts show Front Row which resulted in Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin excusing himself from the interview, leaving drummer Will Champion to answer questions for almost the full remainder of the interview.


Writes the BBC:

Martin appeared uncomfortable with the interview from the outset.

When asked [by presenter John Wilson] about a speech he made at a music awards ceremony in 2005 where he said the band would be away “for a very long time”, Martin said: “I always say stupid things and I think Radio 4 is the place that will most remind me of that.”

Presenter Wilson questioned whether the new album – full title, Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends – was a morbid reflection of the band’s lyrical obsession with death.

“I wouldn’t agree with you there at all, no,” said Martin.

“I’d say you’re journalistically twisting me into saying something I don’t really mean.”

A few minutes later, Martin said he was “not really enjoying this” and that he did not really like “having to talk about things”.

Perhaps it was the end of a long day and Chris had had it up to hear with dumb questions? It should be noted, that if you listen to the full interview, the part where Chris says he “says stupid things…” he was saying it jokingly.

Chris does seem to get peeved right around when John says he made a sexist joke about Frida Kahlo. Wilson then goes on to vaguely insult the absurdity of their title, then says that the new album is “morbid.” Wilson presses the idea that Coldplay is lyrically obsessed with death, to which Martin becomes more and more defensive saying that if they only wrote about being happy, it wouldn’t be an accurate image of life.

I must say, it’s pretty amusing to an American listening to it when Chris walks off. There is this kind of uncomfortable silence then Wilson asks “Have I upset him?”, then poor Will responds, “I don’t think so.” The conversation carries on for a few seconds with Wilson and Will muttering to each other. Says Wilson, “I don’t think I said anything conscientiously….” Will interrupts, “No, I don’t think so.” SO BRITISH!

Do you think the storming off was justified?

Presenter John Wilson wrote a story for the Guardian on Sunday, trying to clear up the matter:
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Coldplay Performing “Lovers in Japan”

Via MyColdplay.com:
“Coldplay’s Chris Martin & Jonny Buckland performing ‘Lovers in Japan’ acoustic version and the full Coldplay band perform snippets of ‘Chinese Sleep Chant’ and ‘Yes’. ”

And according to Coldplaying.com:

“Coldplay have completed recording the video for the new single (heavily rumored to be “Lovers In Japan”), Coldplaying.com can reveal.

The video was directed by Mat Whitecross, who you may remember also directed the unofficial Dancing Politicians video for Coldplay’s new single “Violet Hill,” the mini Amazon-clips and the Rough Cut of Life In Technicolor.

Here’s all we know about the new video so far: “Following his hugely successful viral video for Violet Hill, Mat Whitecross has just wrapped the shoot for Coldplay’s next single from their new album. Watch this space for more details.”

Did You Win Tickets to Coldplay at MSG on June 23rd?

About 4 hours ago an email went out to the winners of the free ticket giveaway for Coldplay‘s June 23rd show at Madison Square Garden to promote their new album, Viva la Vida. Then about an hour later, they sent out another email correcting the date (the original email said the show was on June 24th–whoops!).

coldplay at MSG

Tickets will be mailed out to winners on or around June 10th, and when they arrive the lucky concert-goers will find out the location of their seats.

Winners are warned not to try to scalp their tickets. Chastises the email, “We’ll catch you and take your tickets away from you. So please don’t do it. You will get a letter with your tickets that explains the entire process so please be patient.”

Congrats to all that won!

Coldplay Perform “Viva la Vida” on the MTV Movie Awards

Coldplay debuting “Viva la Vida” in a live performance on the MTV Movie Awards:

They also spoke to the New York Times, who wrote a story about them this weekend. This is probably the most amusing part of the piece:

Later that week Mr. Martin stopped by a used-book store and cafe in SoHo. He certainly didn’t carry himself like a celebrity, un-self-consciously bounding in and asking for the men’s room. He devoured the store’s racks of vinyl albums, scooping up an armful of LPs — including the “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” soundtrack, works by Duke Ellington and Ray Charles, and a David Lee Roth 45. At the register he seemed excited by the basket of free condoms.