There was several beginnings to Coldplay’s two sold-out nights at the Bell Centre for their Head Full of Dreams tour. When the lights went down there was a spoken word intro from Charlie Chaplin’s speech in the Great Dictator. Then came a minute countdown. At last on the screen were three female fans holding up a Canadian flag calling Coldplay the best band. Last night’s performance just might have made them that, if even for one night. Chris Martin bounded (literally) on stage and down the catwalk to the opening, A Head Full of Dreams. Where most bands save a confetti explosion for a finale Coldplay blew confetti during the first song. There would be countless more confetti explosions throughout the night and I must say the most of any concert I’ve ever seen.
Major hits Yellow and Every Tear Drop is a Waterfall came early. Chris sat at the piano and delivered up an emotional plea in The Scientist with the lyrics “Nobody said it was easy / Oh it’s such a shame for us to part / Nobody said it was easy / No one ever said it would be so hard/ I’m going back to the start”.
The circular end of the catwalk became a B stage where Coldplay brought another emotional high with the beautiful single, Everglow that showed a video of Muhammad Ali talking about helping charities and people so when he dies if there’s a heaven he wants to see it.
A great moment was when Chris stopped the song, Charlie Brown. He told the audience that for one song in the night he wanted everyone to turn off their phones or cameras and just be one with the song enjoying it. Thank you Coldplay for making a concert feel like what it used to be before social media with distracting screens or people scrolling facebook when they should be watching a concert they paid good money to be at.
Throughout the night Chris would bounce, dance, and creep along every inch of the stage and the catwalk. His energy was at an all time high. At one point after spinning around he collapsed and was then quickly up again. Another constant of the night was the audience sing-alongs there was plenty of them and it also seemed as if every section of the arena was on their feet from start to finish even during the slower numbers. It brought a real closeness of band and audience connectivity.
The deep emotional connection between band and audience began before the concert, when people were handed bracelets walking into the Bell Centre. For Coldplay die hard fans these are known as Xylobands that contain light emitting diodes. Throughout the show the Xylobands would light up, pulse and change colours. They connect the audience, band, music and light show together as one, but separately at the same time. The connection was so high that Coldplay even shared this on their Facebook page. The Xylobands would make us all feel like A Sky Full of Stars when the band played it as their second to last song.
Speaking of lights there was a laser show that would make Pink Floyd jealous. Adventure of a Lifetime brought up a barrage of coloured balloons that would stay bouncing amongst the crowd for the rest of the night. As mentioned earlier the confetti bombs were still going off from time to time. Fire shot up on the main stage behind the band while they performed an energetic, Something Just Like This.
Just when you thought there couldn’t be anymore to this concert Coldplay walked through the crowd to a mini stage set up within the audience of the red section. This brought another high element of the band / audience connectivity. Here they did an acoustic set that had drummer Will Champion on lead vocals for Don’t Panic the first song from their first album, Parachutes. There was a fan request for Us Against the World via video from Instagram (something the band does nightly). A second request, Green Eyes, was shouted out by a fan in the crowd and Chris did it by himself, as the other Coldplay members made their way back to the main stage.
You believed Chris was genuine with the in-between song banter that added more to the connectivity. He “thanked” the crowd for coming to the concert pointing out sections and added that regardless of ticket prices, traffic and tall people in front of them everyone came out. Early on Chris even tried his best speaking French. He said this was the band’s 94th show of the tour making all other 93 shows rehearsals for this one, which they planned to be the best of their career and by night’s end most would believe it.
Whereas the concert began with a Canadian flag being held by three fans the night ended with Chris kissing a Canadian flag which he wore tied to his pants for most of the night. After all this there was yet a second sold out night to come.
As an added note tennis champion, Roger Federer who is in in town celebrated his birthday at the show and even posted it on his instagram.
O Mio Babbino Caro (Intro)
A Head Full of Dreams
Every Teardrop is a Waterfall
God Put a Smile Upon Your Face (with Oceans excerpt in intro)
Paradise (with Tiesto remix outdo)
Always in My Head
Hymn for the Weekend
Fix You (with midnight excerpt in intro)
Viva La Vida
Adventure of a Lifetime
In My Place (with a snippet of Stromae’s Formidable)
Us Against The World
Something Just Like This
A Sky Full of Stars