“Hello, we’re Coldplay and we’re the biggest band in the world.” That was frontman Chris Martin‘s introduction before the British quartet’s concert this past Monday at the Rogers Centre. Bono and pals might challenge that assertion, but there’s no doubt that Coldplay is one of the most popular acts on Earth right now. You know you’re powerful when you can use the CN Tower as part of your performance’s light show.
That tower trick was only one of many visual treats Coldplay offered over the course of the night. There were of course the requisite lasers, pyrotechnics, confetti and balloons you’d expect from a multi-million dollar arena act, but the band took it to the next level with their interactive wristbands (“Xylobands”). They essentially made the audience a part of the spectacle by lighting them up in pre-programmed patterns based on each song. More electronic-based tracks like “A Sky Full Of Stars” featured a dazzling array of colours, while the band’s debut single “Yellow” had the stadium aglow in…you guessed it, yellow.
Despite the technological marvels and big budget effects, the band came off as exceedingly humble throughout the whole set. As ballad “Fix You” began, a piece of confetti from the previous performance floated into Chris Martin’s mouth, prompting him to begin the song again. He brushed the mistake off in his endearing Englishman’s manner, quipping “if any of you are wondering what this confetti tastes like – it’s not very good.”
Although the tour is in support of the band’s 2015 album A Head Full of Dreams, the set was pretty diverse and most of the band’s albums were fairly represented. 2002’s A Rush of Blood to the Head got a fair bit of attention, with all four of the big singles (“In My Place”, “Clocks”, “The Scientist” and “God Put a Smile Upon Your Face”) being played. First album Parachutes got decent air time as well, with “Trouble” being played acoustically and drummer Will Champion taking on lead vocal duties for “Don’t Panic”.
Being the 100th show of the tour, Chris Martin decided to pull out a special surprise for the crowd: a solo acoustic song written entirely about Toronto. As you’d expect, name-dropping Lake Ontario, Drake, and the Blue Jays drew huge cheers from the audience. It was a nice, improvised touch that once again showed that even when they’re playing to fifty thousand people, Coldplay are still all about the personal touch.