Saturday, June 6, 2009
Coldplay with Howling Bells and Snow Patrol
Lucky, lucky us. We saw Howling Bells, the Glasgow band Snow Patrol, and Coldplay last night at Verizon Center near Noblesville, Indiana, under a nearly full moon. Years ago we saw Coldplay in Louisville with Fiona Apple. Both were great concerts, but this was the best, due to the perfectly beautiful night.
Coldplay gives a fabulous concert. Chris Martin literally throws himself across the stage, but he's like a super ball, he bounces. He's light on his feet, sweet, there is something so endearingly childlike about his persona, a hard thing to pull off in the world of rock music. But it works. (I had this weird flash that we were in the world's best possible kindergarten class – which sounds strange, but then I saw the new Coldplay video, "Life in Technicolor ii" – check it out, below.)
The other thing about this band is that they have absolutely gorgeous visual effects; this time there was very cool video throughout, sometimes projected on spinning balls that were lifted and lowered over the stage. During the song "Yellow" huge yellow balloons bounced into the crowd. At another point tissue and mylar butterflies are shot out into the sky, for a euphoria effect. We did a cell phone wave.
These guys are really good musicians, something that is apparent when they perform live. The group includes vocalist/keyboardist/guitarist Chris Martin, lead guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman, and drummer/backing vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Will Champion (coolest drummer ever). Coldplay invited Oxfam on this mammoth Viva la Vida tour, and there's a great website about that.
A couple of times the stage went dark and the lads reappeared on smaller platforms in the audience, once way back out on the lawn. There, they clustered like a bluegrass band, playing in a tight ensemble. At the end of the night, as we were leaving, they gave away their latest CD, a live album, Left Right Left Right Left. So as the crowd crawled through traffic leaving the concert, we could carry the music with us, extending the mood. Sweet, sweet, sweet.
You too can download the album free of charge: "a thank you to our fans." At the Coldplay website you'll find an interview with Chris Martin about giving away over a million of these CDs. Travel here for an interview with Dougal Wilson, video director of "Life in Technicolor ii":