‘Thanks for giving us your Saturday night’, said Chris Martin, ‘and for dealing with all the s**t you have to put up with for liking Coldplay’ he concluded, in the midst of Coldplay’s Saturday night closing song Up&Up. Coldplay are one of those bands that everyone claims to hate, but the 90,000 strong crowd at Wembley Stadium on Saturday (and the 90,000 strong crowds that filled the stadium for the previous three nights) prove that this is a band that really does have huge appeal. Perhaps the most varied crowd I have ever seen at a gig, it ranged from small kids with their parents to young couples to rowdy blokes – and all were singing along to every word.
Support was from Reef (who we missed) and Lianne La Havas, who performed in a gazebo for reasons that are yet to be confirmed. It meant anyone sitting was unable to see her as, well, she was inside a gazebo. No idea if Reef got this same treatment – maybe it was something to do with Coldplay wanting their staging to look even better compared to this very odd setup.
Kicking things off with A Head Full Of Dreams, there was a no expenses spared pyrotechnic display featuring fireworks and a rainbow of confetti that fired along the b-stage showering the whole stadium in multicoloured tissue paper. This excitement continued throughout, with Coldplay’s staging including so many different tricks it’s hard to know where to start. There were fireworks throughout (occasionally filling the venue with so much smoke I could hardly see the band anymore!), regular confetti cannons, incredible lighting displays including a small circular stage in the crowd which had different images projected on it. And, of course, the now famous Coldplay light-up wristbands. If you’ve seen these on the telly you’ll know the idea, but when you’re actually there seeing the effect live it is really impressive. The bands light up every colour imaginable in time with the music to create a spectacular effect. In a space as huge as Wembley Stadium there needs to be some way to make everyone feel a part of the show – even way up in the furthest away seat – and the wristbands did this perfectly.
Coldplay have so many big songs that it’s impossible to have a dull moment. Standout moments were definitely during Adventure of a Lifetime as the wristbands kicked into overdrive, the crowd was showered with bouncy balloons and everyone was told to kneel down then jump up together as the chorus came in. A Sky Full of Stars was also one of my highlights, along with a remixed version of Paradise. They also included a nice amount of older material, including classic singalongs Yellow, The Scientist and Fix You along with rarely played Green Eyes which sounded lovely from a small breakout stage at the back of the crowd.
A fantastic show by a band that I’d definitely go and see again. Well worth ‘all the s**t I put up with for seeing Coldplay’!