Coldplay beat all big expectations by all those who bore witness to the elaborate spectacle that one of the world’s biggest bands put on for all who attended Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium on Tuesday the 13th of November were by far exceeded.

Lead by front man Chris Martin, Coldplay blew everyone away with their high energy on stage not to mention the fireworks, confetti cannons, beach balls that were thrown out into the crowd and the wrist bands distributed at the door which lit up to the sound of the beat of their songs.

The first support act were a two-piece act called The Pierces made up of sisters, Catherine and Allison Pierce. They definitely had powerful voices, a great folk/rock sound and not to mention pitch perfect harmonies, which are always beautiful to listen two but when communicating with the crowd, I found the girls too be so uncomfortable and awkward. They just did not know what to say which unfortunately resulted in “Gee, isn’t this a good-looking crowd?”… Please. They also didn’t communicate with one another whilst on stage. I would strongly advise them to rely on each other for support and the audience will relate to them better if they do. Their band were very impressive however, all clearly tremendously gifted players.

Next to take the stage was Australia’s own indie rock sensation, The Temper Trap. I can honestly say that this is one of the best bands this country has to offer in terms of large-scale live performance. From the moment they walked out on stage to their last song, they maintained a level of professionalism and entertainment that got the audience so very revved up. Singer, Dougy Mandagi, is truly a performer to be revered by all in the profession not only for his amazing voice but his consistently captivating stage presence and ability to capture the attention of everyone in the room or in this case, stadium. It was actually quite shocking to hear such a big voice come out of a pretty small guy.

“Love Lost” was definitely one of the biggest crowd responses, but sadly the responses for their newer singles were quite disappointing. The band we’re all just as entertaining throughout the set as well as being terrifically tight. For their last song which was obviously the hit that got them where they are, “Sweet Disposition”, they began with an original intro in which Mandagi played drums for and then the opening riff began, and while this did get a big crowd response, they could have dramatized it better. It came in right over the drums and it was unfortunately a little anti climactic, however they played the song fantastically and ended on a big note.

Considering the pre-empted excitement caused by the incredible back drop behind the stage and the elaborate stage design itself, it was no wonder that the tension began to build as more people poured into the stadium. The ambiance completely changed when the instrumental music that was being played between sets fell away and Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” began to play which, ironically, got everyone more revved up than either of the previous bands. Finally the whole stadium light up and the band emerged as some huge fireworks went off. Amazingly, the afore mentioned wrist bands which were handed out upon arrival began to light up to the beat of their opening number which was spectacular. As soon as all of these spectacular show elements went off, I couldn’t help but wonder if they were in place to keep people distracted from there being little going on with the band. That thought quickly left my mind as they threw themselves right into their opening song, “Mylo Xyloto.” For their next trick, what seemed like 100 beach balls were thrown into the crowd which almost got the audience as excited as the fact that the next song that began was their beautiful track, “The Scientist” which Chris sat down at the piano for and was simply mesmerizing. The crowd absolutely sang their lungs out and became even more enthused when the rest of the band joined in. The band has such a unique tone that just about anyone would recognize a song of theirs even if they weren’t familiar with that particular song. Another huge crowd response was of course “Yellow” which surprisingly they played closer to the beginning of the set when it seems like a song they would save for the end.

There was lots of dynamic variation through their set; there was evidently a lot of thought as to which songs to play when and it really kept the crowd on their feet. Its nice to go to a concert and have everything be unpredictable. Chris Martin as well as being a talented vocalist was just a humble charming person and no matter what he was doing be it jumping around playing guitar, singing at the piano or getting some crowd participation going, he was always the focus and kept the set interesting. The definite crowd favourite of the evening was “Viva La Viva” where everyone rose to their feet and sang at the top of their lungs. Chris Martin Walked down the catwalk in this song and really stayed with the audience. At the end of the song he lay down on the stage as the audience still continued to sing the bridge section. It was unbelievable. This was definitely the high point of the show and the energy in the crowd was only sustained as they continued.

The song they played before their encore was their hugely popular hit from 2011, “Paradise” and again the crowd were uplifted. For the encore the band all made their way to a stage at the back of the arena and played two acoustic songs, as if they hadn’t made the set intimate enough for the fans. They returned to the stage for the moment I had been most anticipating, they played their smash hits and the songs they are certainly known for, “Fix You” and “Clocks”. Everyone was on their feet having such a great time. They then finished on “Every Teardrop” which brought the house down and of course Chris Martin wore the Australian Flag around his shoulders. The audience’s applause seemed endless as the band thanked the crowd took a bow and made their way off the stage.

Coldplay are such a well rounded accomplished band who have really perfected their sound and who’s music are certainly part of the anthem compellation for Generation Y. If ever Coldplay should come to your town, purchasing a ticket to a show would definitely be a good investment. This band really knows how to put on one hell of a show.

The Set Lists:

Temper Trap
•London's Burning
•Rabbit Hole
•Love Lost
•Trembling Hands
•Science of Fear
•Drum Song
•Sweet Disposition


Main Set
•Mylo Xyloto
•Hurts Like Heaven
•In My Place
•Major Minus
•Lovers in Japan
•The Scientist
•Violet Hill
•God Put a Smile Upon Your Face
•Princess of China
•Up in Flames
•Warning Sign
•Don't Let It Break Your Heart
•Viva La Vida
•Charlie Brown
Encore 1
•Us Against the World
•Speed of Sound
Encore 2
•Fix You
•Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall

Review: Sarah Occhino
Photo: Ros O'Gorman

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