Frontman Chris Martin, guitarist John Buckland, bassist Guys Berryman, and drummer Will Champion make up Coldplay, one of the best bands out there today.
The Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Irvine was packed with more than 16,000 people waiting impatiently for the British rock band’s performance Aug. 21.
The band’s “Twisted Logic” tour, which was in support of their new CD “X’Y,” was also meant to raise awareness and support for Oxfam’s “Make Trade Fair” campaign. Oxfam is an advocacy group that works to help put an end to global poverty. The point of the campaign is to give poor countries like Ghana the power to make their own trade policy decisions in order for them to benefit from the international market.
There was a long line of people waiting to sign the petitions for the cause.
We were also shown a video of Martin visiting poor farmers in Ghana to show his support for the campaign.
After the video, a Canadian indie-rock band from Vancouver, British Columbia called Black Mountain opened the show with forty-five minutes of eclectic music.
But the real show began at around 9:30 p.m. when the lights dimmed.
And what a show it was.
It started with a large screen in the back of the stage with a clock counting down.
The entire band was dressed in black.
Martin entered the stage last and started singing “Square One,” the opening track of the new “X’Y” album. He danced back and forth on stage and the crowd went wild.
Throughout the concert, there were images of the band displayed on the screen using special effects with different colored lights and a video show display with every song.
Before playing “Yellow,” from their double-platinum 2000 album debut “Parachutes,” Martin acknowledged his band members, introduced them and reminisced about their friendships before the band hit it big. He said the four of them were just normal guys from Scotland, England and Wales.
He also talked about how they came to the United States five years ago and played their first hit, “Yellow,” saying it is because of that song they are where there are today, playing in front of thousands of people almost every day.
While the band played “Yellow,” confetti-filled yellow balloons the size of beach balls were thrown around the audience. Once the audience popped the balloons, the confetti flew everywhere, covering the crowd.
Martin seemed to enjoy it, telling the audience to keep popping the balloons because it looked “cool.”
Martin dedicated the song “The Scientist” to his sister, and told everyone he would be happy and appreciate it if they would sing along with him. Not to deny a rock star, everybody did so willingly and delightedly. After the song was done he told the crowd that their performance was the best he has heard from an audience.
They dedicated “Til Kingdom Come,” the hidden track from “X’Y,” to the late country singer Johnny Cash. Coldplay also covered Cash’s classic song “Ring of Fire.” People took their lighters out and started swaying back and forth. It was beautiful.
The band also delivered “Speed of Sound,” their first single off the new album, and got a great roar from the crowd.
They also sang some older songs, like “Clocks” and “God Put A Smile Upon Your Face” from their Grammy-winning, triple Platinum 2002 release, “A Rush of Blood to the Head,” and finished the night with “Talk” from “X’Y.” Or so we thought.
They came back on stage, which got the crowd to go even wilder. The encore included “Swallowed in the Sea,” “In My Place,” and “Fix You.”
During “In My Place,” Martin ran off stage, started running through the crowd and started singing from the lodge area of the amphitheatre.
During “Fix You,” Martin swung a light bulb that was hanging over the stage and ended the song by thanking the audience for giving them what he considers to be the best job in the world.
Throughout the 90 minutes, the crowd listened, screamed, sang along and swayed with the music as if they were part of it. I couldn’t help but get lost in their brilliant lyrics, entrancing music, and pure talent.
Vera Hairabedian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.