WORTH A LOOK?: *****
SETLIST: A Headful of Dreams; Yellow; Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall; Clocks; Charlie Brown; Hymn For The Weekend; Fix You; Viva La Vida; Adventure Of A Lifetime; A Skyfull Of Stars; ‘Til Kingdom Come.
From a TV audience of 600 million at the Super Bowl (pic above) this month to the 2,000-strong Indigo2 here just weeks later (pic below). ‘This is the gig that you’ll be telling your mates about for weeks afterwards,’ promises our compere for this Brits aftershow party Radio X’s Chris Moyles.
Earlier this evening Coldplay had become most garlanded act at the Brits (nine, after winning Best Group in 2016) and played Hymn For The Weekend live on ITV on the main 02 stage. Tonight they take to this much smaller setting at 11.15pm to treat us to a whistlestop tour through an hour of 11 of some of their best known songs in aid of charity War Child.
16 years, seven albums and 80 million record sales after their 2000 formation, Coldplay look set to bow out of the music scene in some style in 2016 with a Sunday Glastonbury headline, international tour and multiple summer dates at Wembley Stadium.
We’ve only ever seen them live once before – closing the 2012 Paralympics at the Olympic Stadium in east London with Jay Z and Rihanna – and so this is by far the most intimate setting we’ve encountered them in. Both Kylie Minogue and Rihanna, who Coldplay have written for recently, are in the building and hopes of an unexpected duet are high.
That doesn’t happen tonight but what we do see, at close hand, is what a great multi-instrumentalist frontman Chris Martin is. He plays a piano draped with flowers as well as the traditional guitar while effortlessly falsetto-ing all over the shop as he throws his arms into the crowd to gee us on.
We don’t need much encouragement. Martin seems like a man on a mission to squeeze in as much to this set as time permits and we’re blessed by a hits and treats set (list above) of anthems and the odd curio before the glitter cannons go off and we all miss the last Tube home.
We enjoyed early Coldplay, fell out of love with them for most of the rest of their career (predominantly perhaps as a reaction to the monsta success they were enjoying) and are only really now experiencing that crush flush again as we ready ourselves for their disbanding. They do excel in penning awkward anthems that aren’t obvious yet are utterly danceable, unless they’re the big, X Factor-style ballads.
It’s an unforgettable night that we’ll be regaling anyone who will listen about for perhaps much longer than a fortnight. The fact that it was for a fine charity and maybe the only time we’ll ever see Coldplay in such an intimate venue means it’s going to be a tough gig of the year to better.
- Coldplay tour the world from March to September including closing Glastonbury Sunday and four nights at Wembley Stadium. Tickets here. Pictures via Facebook courtesy Coldplay. Yellow pic by Neil Durham. Details of War Child’s Passport to BRITs week.
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