I like to think of myself as someone with relatively good taste in music. This is why it's always a little difficult for me to come out to my friends as a Coldplay fan. The most common reaction I get is a look of sympathy and an apology, as if I'd just admitted I was diagnosed with a terrible, incurable illness. But I don't care. I love the band's interplay of melodies, Chris Martin's lyrics, the grandiose piano ... all of it. So I was stoked to finally see them again this past Thursday night at Tampa Bay Times Forum. [Text by Marci, photos by Chris.]
British indie band Wolf Gang played first, and their sound was very much reminiscent of an younger Coldplay. The foursome delivered a solid performance to a still mostly-empty arena. Up next was Swedish Europop diva Robyn, an odd act to find sandwiched in between two Brit alt rock bands. And the crowd took a while to warm up to her. The pulsing "Fembot" got a few people dancing, but in general, all around me, the only other people actually on their feet were the ones who just hadn't found their seats yet. Robyn remained unfazed by the general disinterest, playfully hopping across the stage in her gold velveteen yoga pants. Her cover of Coldplay's "Every Teardrop is a Waterfall" finally caught the crowd’s attention just in time for her to close with her chart-topping UK hit and arguably her best-known U.S. single, "With Every Heartbeat."
In the time between acts, I watched the stagehands climbing rope ladders and swinging from huge racks of lights until Jay-Z's "99 Problems" interrupted the generic indie background music, the lights dimmed and Coldplay took to the stage to the triumphant orchestral instrumental of "Mylo Xyloto" and then threw themselves into "Hurts Like Heaven" without so much as a hello. As fans entered the venue, we were given colorful bracelets and were finally enlightened about what they were for. As the song kicked in, the entire third level of the venue started twinkling with blue, pink, yellow, and green lights as the bracelets began going off simultaneously; I later found out that their seeming independent blinking was controlled by radio frequencies.
My mind was still reeling from taking in all the sparkling colors when "In My Place" began and blizzards of confetti were fired from cannons to flicker down onto the crowd.
Lead singer Chris Martin was 110-percent on this night, as if he'd been even more excited about the concert than the room full of people who'd paid to watch it. Another big spectacle came during Coldplay's performance of "Lovers in Japan," which featured giant balloons filled with confetti thrown out to the audience and even more confetti cannon actio, the paper cutouts wafting down in shapes inspired by the artwork on Mylo Xyloto. The only moment of the show that left me cold was during "Princess of China," which featured projected guest Rihanna singing her part of the song. Come on guys — hologram duets are sooo two months ago.
After a gorgeous performance of "Paradise" signaled the close of the main part of the show, the band ran off the stage. I, along with the rest of the crowd, watched and waited for them to return for an encore, but instead, they popped up in section 102, played two acoustic songs, and then jetted back to the main stage, high-fiving the crowd along either side of their path on the way. The last three songs proved perfect closers, especially the heart-wrenching "Fix You," its a capella start erupting into crashing drums and layers upon layers of guitars.
An amazing show from an amazing band, and I'm finally ready to stand up and proudly pledge my allegiance: "Hi, my name is Marci, and I'm a Coldplay fan."
Tyler- I can't believe how talented of a writer you are. This article was beautifully…
Great interview! Give the interviewer a full time job! He's great!
The DJ was actually The Castle's very own DJ Tom Gold :)
Fabulous review Gabe! Too bad I missed it.