Article by: Mike Danenberg
Photos by: Brian Morgan
I walked into the United Center and was handed a nylon wristband with a plastic piece embossed with Coldplay. Thinking it was just some souvenir, I placed it on my wrist and headed to my seats. My seats were fantastic. Club level, front row with nothing blocking my view.
I got there in time to catch Marina & The Diamonds opening directly for Coldplay. Her posh and upbeat attitude won over the crowd with her pop influenced dance tracks. She delivered a great opening set and got the crowd ready for a great night.
The anticipation built before Coldplay took the stage. I grabbed a beer and sat back in my seat with my friends. The lights went off and all at once. Then, I saw the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen at a show. Everyone’s wristbands lit up in arrays of different colors as the opened with Mylo Xyloto. Everyone became part of the light show. Screams poured the air.
The stage looked incredible. It contained a backing ramp for people to see the band from behind along with video screens surrounding the arena. The wristbands filled the place with glowing beauty.
Into the second song, Hurts Like Heaven, they busted out tons of confetti. And I mean tons! It kept pouring in and in. My initial thought was “if this is the second song, I can’t wait to see what’s next!” Lasers filled the air in bright greens, reds, and yellows. The band sounded crystal clear and really filled the air with powerful music.
They followed with tracks Major Minus, Lovers in Japan, and one of my favorites The Scientist. Balloons were released from the ceiling and exits in a very well planned manner. They really put effort into making this show appealing and interactive. It was a great sight.
The band moved to the center stage shaped as an X, most likely to keep the theme of their album Mylo Xyloto. They performed their hit Princess of China, but used with a video of Rihanna for her vocal parts. I personally would have just not played the song instead of using fake vocals. I just like real music in front of me, but I could respect why they did it. They then performed their song Amsterdam that hasn’t been performed live since 2005. That was quite a treat.
Their set was fantastic. The array of lights and lasers filled the air and left quite a good feeling with the whole arena. I must have been lucky when they disappeared from the stage and ended up popping out 20 rows in front of me on a small stage for a short set. Chris Martin began playing Us Against The World and out came their drummer playing on a small keyboard. The rest of the band one by one joined them for a stage no larger than 8 feet wide in the middle of the audience. That’s quite cool of a huge band to cater to more than the front row people that paid a good $200 more than I did. I can’t even imagine being the one right up against the small stage. What a treat.
Back for the encore, they performed their classics such as Clocks, Fix You, and Every Teardrop is a Waterfall. The show ended with lighting filling the entire arena. The incredible wristbands, which I later found were called Xylobands, were the highlight of the night. Every person felt more involved in the concert by being a part of the light show. I would give this show a 5/5 for sure. They put a ton of effort into making this a show to remember. I think those wristbands were genius and I can’t stop talking about them. I had a great time at this one. Will definitely see them again, but I wonder how they’ll top this one.