by William Cunliffe

With their penultimate concert of 2012 looming with hip-hop mogul Jay-Z, Coldplay were only going to start the New Year on a high.  The band has had no trouble in selling tickets for their most recent tours that Chris Martin promised to be their ‘best live shows ever’.  The set played on December 30th contained tracks that were mostly from their 2011 studio album, Mylo Xyloto, however fans were treated to a few classic hits from previous albums, such as “In My Place”, “Yellow” and “Fix You”, a particular crowd favorite.

After a charming performance from a capella band, Natural Seven, the build-up to the main event began and slowly people took their seats at the landmark sports and entertainment Barclays Center in Brooklyn.  The lights dimmed, and with the crowd cheering, on came the four-piece band to tumultuous applause.  Opening with “Hurts Like Heaven”, a 20,000 strong crowd was instantly on its feet with excitement for a show that was high in promise.  The set list provided listeners with the rigid revolutionary sounds of “Viva La Vida”, as well as mellow and heartfelt tunes, such as “Up In Flames”.  This variation was the main contributing factor to Coldplay’s success at the concert . One minute you were sitting, taking in the crisp chords and sweet melody of “The Scientist”, and the next you were jumping around screaming ‘Para-para-paradise’ at the tops of your voice; it is very clever entertainment.

Coldplay have often been criticized for producing and writing songs well within their comfort zone.  This may be true and as a result some of their music may fall on deaf ears. However there was no faulting their live performance, especially on this tour.  The flashing bracelets given to the audience resembled a sea of dancing multicolored glow fish.  A few gimmicks such as inflatable beach balls and confetti were fired around the arena to keep the crowd entertained, but this was merely a mild distraction from the music.  I think this is the image that Coldplay tries to portray.  Their live show was all about having fun, enjoying the music and experiencing a small piece of their world, even if it was only for a couple of hours.

With Martin sitting down at his colorful piano playing the famous hit “Yellow”, it was clear that he did not want the show to end and neither did we.  Will Champion, as usual, played an important role on the skins, as well as providing harmonies to compliment Martin effectively.  Johnny Buckland and Guy Berryman provided steady lead and bass guitar lines respectively.  Buckland gave listeners yet another chance to absorb the Coldplay experience with the well-known guitar solo of “Fix You”, which he played with certain freshness.  Despite Chris Martin’s dominance, you get the feeling that they rely on each other and there is a strong chemistry between the band as a whole.  As live concerts go, Coldplay puts on not just a great show, but a true experience – one that is both auditorily and visually stimulating.


1. Hurts Like Heaven
2. In My Place
3. Us Against the World
4. The Scientist
5. Yellow
6. Violet Hill
7. God Put A Smile Upon Your Face
8. Princess of China
9. Up In Flames
10. Warning Signs
11. Don’t Let It Break Your Heart
12. Viva La Vida
13. Charlie Brown
14. Paradise
15. Speed of Sound
16. Clocks
17. Fix You
18. Every Tear Drop Is A Waterfall

Here is a video from the evening’s festivities: