Live Review: Coldplay

1st June - The Emirates Stadium

When you're one of the biggest bands on the planet, there's only one way to step up a gear - embark on a nationwide stadium tour. Armed with a hypnotising light show and pyrotechnics to blow any jubilee celebration out of the water, Coldplay delivered a truly incredible show. 60,000 people can't be wrong...

Last night saw the first of three dates for Coldplay at The Emirates, proudly flying the flag for British music during the royal weekend. Unfortunately, I arrived just seconds after 90's Alt-Rock band, Ash vacated the stage, but a set from Marina And The Diamonds was also on the cards.

Dressed in a distinctly princess-esque outfit with sky-high heels, Marina strut around the stage projecting near perfect live vocals and an impressive range. Beginning with a stripped back version of album track, Starring Role, she launched into some of her best-loved songs; her current single Radioactive, Primadonna, Bubblegum Bitch and I Am Not A Robot. Despite her fantastically controlled vocals, her stage-presence wasn't overly captivating.

Only the real movers and shakers in the music industry get a stage set up like Coldplay; A main stage, a long walkway through the crowd to the middle arena stage, and a small stage at the very back of the arena which was later used as an acoustic setting. Turning the famous football stadium into a real Rock spectacle, their Mylo Xyloto themed set featured a huge graffiti backdrop with 5 enormous, circular screens relaying each member of the band and some impressive visuals. Team this with the complimentary, LED flashing wristbands we were given, and the show was something pretty special.

After the rather majestic Back To The Future entrance music, Coldplay's set was a pleasing mixture of old and new, kicking into action with the upbeat Hurts Like Heaven along with the first, surprising explosions of fireworks and confetti cannons. That wasn't it though. With each song, came something even more amazing than the last; more fireworks, more confetti, giant balloons, inflatable butterflies and birds dotted around the stadium. The sheer execution of the concert was like nothing I had seen before. The stadium shimmered with each twinkling light, smoke swirled in the air and lasers danced among the seated tiers.

As well as their obvious stadium crowd-pleasers (Violet Hill, Princess Of China, Paradise, etc) Chris Martin and the band managed to transform the vast space into something more intimate with the inclusion of their slower, more solemn hits. In My Place was a particular highlight with it's different arrangement, bringing something new to their loyal fans.

Songs like Yellow, perhaps not an initial contender for a stadium gig, was by far one my favourites, along with the heart-felt Fix You, which was preceded by a piano an vocal led version of the jaunty Singing In The Rain. An unexpected move, but that's the kind of inventiveness that made the show. As every word was sung, there was an overwhelming sense of unity among the crowd as I gazed around, and I remembered the familiar 'fix' I received from live music.

The band, aside from everything else, were absolutely without fault, each one giving all their energy. The drummer especially impressed me; a modest multi-instrumentalist, he moved around the stage confidently as he took on each one. Chris' vocals were brilliant, subtly altering and embellishing certain songs, making each one that bit more exclusive. The natural delivery that comes with Coldplay's ten-plus years as a band was the show's crowning glory.

Coldplay's reputation for plodding, melodic rock was completely shattered with the likes of Charlie Brown, where the line "We'll be glowing in the dark", was again brought to life as Chris told everyone to "put those gorgeous hands up in the air", to reveal a sea of lights and colour.

Completing the extravaganza, Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall saw the final surges of adrenaline penetrate every corner of the stadium. The famous, high-pitched guitar riff resonated as simultaneous sets of fireworks shot up into the sky leaving the crowd in awe. That is how it's done.

Full track-listing:

  • Mylo Xyloto
  • Hurts Like Heaven
  • In My Place
  • Major Minus
  • Lovers In Japan
  • The Scientist
  • Yellow
  • Violet Hill
  • God Put A Smile Upon Your Face
  • B-Stage
  • Princess of China
  • Up in Flames
  • Warning Sign

Main Stage:

  • A Hopeful Transmission
  • Don't Let It Break Your Heart
  • Viva La Vida
  • Charlie Brown
  • Paradise


  • Us Against The World
  • Speed Of Sound


  • Clocks
  • Fix You (with 'Singing In The Rain' Intro)
  • M.M.I.X.
  • Every Teardrop is a Waterfall