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Still Impressed – Coldplay At the Xcel Energy Center

14 Aug

By Rob Frost

My name is Robert Frost and I’m 23.  I graduated from McNally Smith College of  Music in April with a Bachelors in Music Production, work at Valleyfair as a Live Entertainment Engineer, freelance at Humans Win! in  Northeast, and play in the local band, Youth At Large. Needless to say, I’ve got my mind on music, and I have for a while now.  On Friday I saw the band that drove me to pursue the dream of making music my lifestyle – U.K. alternative rockers, Coldplay.

Like all bands running 10+ years with major commercial success, Coldplay have gone through some serious identity changes. Some of these were welcomed by their fans and others… not so much.  Personally, I think their most recent album, Mylo Xyloto, is a pile of garbage.  Don’t get me wrong, there are a few tracks that stand out for me, but for the most part the albums is either too poppy or downright badly written.  This, coming from the guy who used to watch the Rush of Blood to the Head tour DVD daily.  All biases aside, the show they played on Friday at the Xcel Energy Center was top-notch – like something straight out of a child’s imagination.

Eager to see the show, I arrived and was surprised to be handed a blue wristband with a twitter hash tag reading “#coldplayfilm”.  I didn’t think too much of it, as Coldplay’s been notorious for giving out free stuff in the past – like the Left Right Left Right Left EP from their last tour.  Little did I know wristbands were remotely linked to all similar ones in the arena. When the band began “Hurts Like Heaven,” the room lit-up like a huge Christmas tree.  I’ve never been so mesmerized.  Suddenly, I was a child again.  Waving my hands around with a huge smile on my face, I was reminded of the reason I moved from Michigan to Minnesota four years ago to begin a life in music.

The production of this show was incredible.  I can’t remember a moment where some new special effect wasn’t introduced throughout the 90 minute show.  If you weren’t amazed by the thousands of glowing wristbands, you were glazing at the lasers, gigantic balloons, or the millions of pieces of confetti shot from the ceiling. After seeing the Flaming Lips last year at Soundtown, I almost wondered if Coldplay were trying to one-up those guys with this over-the-top production. It was seriously unlike anything I have ever seen.  Like their last two tours, there were a few remote positions in the audience where they performed stripped-down versions of a few songs. It was nice to see a band playing in such a large stadium will still try to give everyone, whether they’re in the nosebleeds or front row, a memorable experience.

Though the show was nostalgic and personally uplifting, there were still negatives among the highlights. I was really bothered when they played “Princess of China,” which features Rihanna on the album.  Obviously, she wasn’t present, so they had a recorded track going in the background and a video projection of her up on the screens.  Why wouldn’t they just play a different song? I also didn’t like that they played “Clocks” right after “Speed of Sound.”  Who are they trying to fool?  The two songs are so similar it was cliché.  Being a big fan of the band, I’m also a little bothered by them performing the same set list for an entire tour.  I understand the logic behind it, but as a performer, wouldn’t you get a little bored? It may seem like a strange thing to be bothered by, but if you’re a mega-fan it can be disappointing.

Fan or not, this show is a must-see.  If you ever get a chance to see Coldplay live, GET TICKETS – you’ll be entertained regardless of whether or not you like the music.  To be honest, I haven’t been into Coldplay since Mylo Xyloto came out, but their live show always reminds me of why I wanted to work in the music industry in the first place.  It was truly inspiring.  Thanks for a great experience, Chris. Take care of baby Apple. Peace.

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