9 December 2011: O2 Arena, London, UK
- Mylo Xyloto
- Hurts Like Heaven
- Major Minus
- In My Place
- What If
- Violet Hill
- God Put A Smile Upon Your Face
- The Scientist
- Up In Flames
- Don't Panic
- Us Against The World
- Viva La Vida
- Charlie Brown
- Rehab (Amy Winehouse cover)
- Fix You
- Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall
Photos from this show can be found at Coldplaying.com in the Gallery thread for London O2 Arena: http://www.coldplaying.com/forum/gallery/showgallery.php/cat/1887
All post-show discussion for this show at the forum thread http://www.coldplaying.com/forum/showthread.php?t=88639
All fan reviews have been submitted to us by the members of Coldplaying.com, unless stated otherwise.
I'm home too and would have to agree to an extent with Tonsu.. didn't help that THE ENTIRE section I was in (Upper tier) did not get up on their feet until Viva.. I was up and dancing, but nobody else was.. I did feel a bit billy no mates up until then. But it REALLY got going from Viva onwards, shame that was nearly the end! But a great gig for all that. I think I was probably spoiled with being SO up close and personal at the Little Noises.. to be SO far back and with so many sitting people for me meant it was a bit lacking something? My son however LOVED it.. he was amazed.. and overawed by the entire thing. As his first concert, It was great. I loved Don't Panic.. although UIF was a bit too low key for me.. shame they didn't do Viva earlier, if only to get my section off it's behinds! Glowbands were AWESOME.. but they only glowed for some songs, not all.. But I still loved it.. LOL.. But all in all a great night.. when's the next one again?! LOL.. I'm quite emotional this morning. It's all over.. I wish wish wish, that I had been closer, but it wasn't to be.. and it WAS an epic gig. Thanks for all the photos Jason, they're awesome! I will have to take most of tomorrow and watch all the videos, look through the photos others have taken. Unfortunately my iphone died half way through Emile Sande's set and I couldn't get it to turn back on?! No idea what was up with that! Still not fixed.. despite them doing "Fix You" LOL.. I have half a dozen x's and M's collected off the floor on the way out of the O2 last night, a tour guide, a t-shirt, a wrist band and two ticket stubs to remember it all by.. Oh and some crappy photos taken on a very old digital camera with no sound... NEXT TIME we're going down the front! LOL.. [thanks Comicforce]
Back from the gig before twelve (due to an exceptional and extremely friendly and amenable taxi service). Warning, long, mostly negative, review incoming: It wasn't a great gig imo. I gave it C+ to my travelling buddy (but to be fair he seemed surprised I'd rated it so low). A really strange setlist tonight... After such mouth-watering festival appearances that I've been watching since early summer I was expecting one of the better gigs I've seen from the boys, but it just didn't seem to come together in the way it usually does (16 or 17 gigs for me now back to 2003). They hit many of the high notes (at times) but often it seemed Coldplay-by-numbers. We were about a quarter of the way back from the stage (level with the end of the ramp). The start was incredible, the bracelets were amazing. They had the crowd rocking from the first song, and I think Hurts Like Heaven is probably one of the most spine-tingling songs live that I've ever seen, by any band. Stunning. From Lost to Violet Hill it felt on the floor like they increasingly lost the crowd Lost is probably my own feeling, more likely it was the song after (MM). The balloons were much enjoyed but it took away from the music. For me those balloons are the YELLOW balloons, and anything else seems wrong. Still it was fun - one of the weakest tracks from VLV for me, but after hearing some of the MX songs tonight unfortunately the feeling I came away with is "one of the worst songs from VLV is better than the songs they think are strongest from MX".
After that MM - crowd didn't care much. In My Place - great as always, confetti here is very wrong for me - the song doesn't need it and it doesn't 'fit'. What If - brave of them to play it., I'll say that! It ends like A Day in the Life, and so one of their more Beatle-y efforts. But no thanks. Square One, White Shadows, a number of others - yes please. The crowd were limp here. Violet Hill - personal fave, would have been absolutely gutted if they'd dropped it, but only half-stirred the crowd I thought. GPaS - Back on track at last!! Scientist - they'd just stirred us from our slumber with a real belter, but back into slow-down mode. Lovely performance as always. Then onto the three-song set at the end of the ramp (think it must have been the protrusion seen at Manchester as they also sold tickets behind the stage).
Up In Flames - played as just on the record. Many around us shaking their heads by this point. Don't Panic - amazing to hear this again after five years, but another lowish-key song, so for me it didn't sit right in the set. Great performance though. Chris stopped it to get a huge cheer for Jonny and Will singing together, which they of course got and all loved. Probably the moment of the gig for me. UAtW - So very glad to hear this instead of Daylight Nice performance, but the end of a very strange 'end of ramp' set (it wasn't acoustic) after the previous 'downtime'. Things picked up a lot after that. Overall a strange gig with standout moments but an incoherent setlist that often left the crowd cold. Most of the middle was completely imbalanced and left people scratching their heads.
I'm probably being harsh after having seen them play some the best gigs ever at the festivals this summer, and this is no way matched those. The bracelets were incredible, but the London crowd is a tough one to please, and with the odd set and a lack of any noticeable extra effort from the band there's little special to take from the gig from me. I cannot believe they dropped songs like 42, Strawberry Swing and Lovers in Japan for average stuff like Up in Flames, What If (??!) and the (very empty sounding live imho, though I like the studio version) Major Minus. I'm sure they'll introduce more MX songs (and better live ones) like DLIBYH and PoC (if Rihanna's available) and...can't think of any more. At least if they re-balance the setlist it'll be better. The feeling I came away with tonight is that, at the time, I loved VLV but thought they would go on to be even stronger. Tonight I feel like VLV will forever be their highlight and they can't top it, because even the weakest song from Viva (Lost) was better than most of the songs they played from MX - and they have given up playing most of their best VLV songs. It was a great experience tonight, with fantastic company, met one or two really nice people, and it was of course amazing to see so many songs again (Politik, the new version of GPaS). I realise I should just feel lucky at all that I got a ticket! But at the same time, for the first time ever, I don't feel that bothered about seeing Coldplay again... Sorry for the mostly (very?) negative review, but left very confused tonight that a band this great (all-time great imho - I'm talking the Beatles, Pink Floyd etc) can play just one show in London this year that seemed rather limp..
if it was my first Coldplay gig I would have given it 9/10 and said it was amazing. Having seen them so many times though over the last 9 years I thought it was relatively poor. Not in terms of performance, but in effort and (particularly) setlist (the effort doesn't matter so much if the set is great - they can play these songs in their sleep - and probably do!!). The London crowd is hard. But being on the floor and mixing a lot with people, actually very many people were foreign and quite a few didn't even speak English! (No problem but it means I think many fans come to London from around the world so maybe they should try to make these shows special ones). If they played more than one gig in London in a single year it would also help! Standing tickets were going for ~£200 on the ticket sites because they only played one gig When people pay that much, they expect something special. Still, a pretty great night though as always. One of the best bands of a generation putting on a great show (even if it wasn't spot on). I should quit complaining and get to bed - nieces and a nephew who are coming early tomorrow morning and will demand all my energy. [thanks Tonsu]
Awesome show!!! I'm trying to get some pics and video up on my site... but hotel wifi is dragging... video won't be up until morning... funny thing - there's like 20,000 people in the arena, 1 out of 5 shooting video, and they single me out and tell me to stop... So all I got on video was combo of the 'Hurts Like Heaven' and 'Yellow' opening, and the closing with ETIAW (I figured at the end, worst case, they'd throw me out on the last song LOL). Took tons of pics - was with Oz and we were pretty close to the stage. I'll be seated at Bercy so hope to get 'What If' and 'Don't Panic' on video there... P.S. The light up wristbands are totally different from the Madrid ones... [thanks Jason-DeBord]
I'm SO lucky. my first gig, and i was standing not 10 rows back from the band, jumping and waving my arms with my mate. it was the best night of my life. The lights, the wristbands, the choruses, Chris' broken guitar, the songs, and my mini moshpit with 2 american girls and 2 italians who had flown in FOR ONE NIGHT JUST TO SEE COLDPLAY! I loveddd it and it was surreal when i saw chris and the others walked on stage. Johnny and Will singing. Guy like a fucking gorilla. whoever went was amazingly lucky. two fingers to the unlucky people who missed it! [thanks kiwiboy527]
i go to alott of concerts, ive seen coldplay before once at wembley where they were fantastic but last night was THE MOST INCREDIBLE thing. the music, the wristbands, everything... i was lucky enough to be in a fantastic place right on the barrier at the x meaning i could see the whole of the show with no obstruction and when they came out to play dont panic etc i was right next to that. it was just amazing amazing amazing and i will never forget that night and how my friend and i and everyone around us was literally grinning uncontrollably for the entire hour and a half. FANTASTIC! [thanks lafferty23]
Well where do i beginning. They were brilliant, the wristbands were simply stunning. Great setlist. Highlights were probably Viva La Vida, Us Against the World, Don't Panic.....actually it was all brilliant. I was hoping for xmas lights but it never came and I was alittle disappointed it wasn't longer. However that does not take away from a great concert, the atmosphere was incredible. 5 stars. [thanks cleeson7]
What an absolutely fantastic show, I loved every second of it. It could only have been improved by playing Christmas Lights as a second encore. I'm so glad they played UATW, I would've been really disappointed if they hadn't. I've got a new love for Major Minus now, and I loved the image of the face that flashed on the screens for about 1/2 a second on the lead-in to the chorus. Amazing to see Don't Panic, totally unexpected. What If? was surprisingly good too. My particular highlights were Hurts Like Heaven, Charlie Brown, UatW, Viva, Scientist, GPASUYF and ETIAW. There wasn't a bad song in there, though. So glad they didn't play Daylight, that one really grates on me. Bit of a strange ordering, but still awesome! The crowd were a bit flat where I was, no-one got up til Viva even though me and my mate were up. Ah well. All in all, thanks Coldplay! [thanks Mister MX]
That was my 3rd and probably best Coldplay gig. Saw them with Jay-Z at Wembley and then saw them at the iTunes festival in Camden this summer. The crowd last night was the best by far and that's what makes it for me. The wrist bands are an amazing idea and will take some beating! Can't wait to see what will come next. Paradise is a proper stadium anthem as is Charlie Brown. Don't Panic was a fantastic suprise I never thought I'd see that song live - same with What If (even if everyone else decided that was the time to get the beers in...). Overall a quality night and I can't wait for the Emirates in June! [thanks Inside_a_Bubble]
- Coldplay strip away cynicism with their epic choruses and flashy spectacle (The Arts Desk)
It’s easy enough to diss Coldplay: they make music that’s hugely successful (boo!) and not terribly challenging; they’re middle class – a heinous crime in a form of entertainment that’s steeped in notions of “authenticity” (hence the enduring love affair between music critics and the oafish Oasis – hey, they take lots of drugs and they used to steal car radios!); and as people they just seem a bit nice, to the point of dullness. I’ve done the dissing thing myself often enough: there’s that way of saying, “Coldplay” that sounds both slightly sneery and slightly shamefaced, in the same way that an aficionado of organic slow food might pronounce “Nando’s”.
So, here goes: actually, tonight, at the O2 Arena, I had a blast. It wasn’t the most earth-shattering gig I’ve seen, and the music was mostly pretty one-dimensional, but when there are 18,000 people singing along to one of Coldplay’s big soaring choruses and there’s all manner of spectacular stuff going on, the effect is, well, tingly. Much has been made by some critics of the way Coldplay seem to deliberately engineer their songs specifically so that they can be sung along to, so that they will shimmer around the walls of arenas such as the O2 (and, next summer, the nation’s football stadiums). Is this a bad thing? It’s like saying that James Brown deliberately engineered his music so that people would dance the mashed potato to it. But for me the clincher was the wristband thing. Let me explain. Audience members were issued with a special wristband before the show; then, when the band hit the stage to the blaring theme from Back to the Future and struck up the first chords of “Hurts Like Heaven” from this year’s Mylo Xyloto album, someone backstage pushed a remote-control button and suddenly each one of those 18,000 wristbands was flashing in all kinds of colours. Remember the days when people flourished fag-lighters during rock anthems? It was like that, except a million times better. I’ve never seen anything like it.
Once the excitement of that first burst of energy had worn off, the first half an hour was not that great; “Yellow”, delivered surprisingly early in the set, was lovely, but the pace slipped somewhat after that. But then came the run-in, the home straight, the big choruses and the singalong stuff: “Clocks”, “Viva La Vida”, “Fix You”, “Charlie Brown”: in the face of such an onslaught, resistance was futile. And there’s no sign that they’re running out of choruses: one of the night’s finest, “Paradise”, from the new album, was still being sung by the crowd as they funnelled into the tube station after the show. Also, presumably in the full knowledge that Coldplay are not the most exciting band to look at – Chris Martin was bouncy and charismatic, but the other three were just that; the other three – this show’s creators have invested heavily in visuals. For virtually every song, there was something new to look at: giant balloons descended from the rafters, plumes of confetti shot into the air, lasers twitched, the band played on a satellite stage, the lighting rig swayed and shifted, video screens flickered. And then there were those those wristbands. When they lit up and the audience waved their hands in the air, the O2 became a constellation of glowing, twinkling humanity. All cynicism was stripped away. 
- Coldplay, 02 Arena, London (2/5) (Independent)
The Kraftwerk allusions, the Brian Eno productions, the “experimental” new directions: the propaganda which comes with each new Coldplay album would make you think they were a major rock band. But as they break in their fifth, Mylo Xyloto, at the O2 Arena in front of 20,000 excited, adoring fans, it becomes obvious this is a category error. Chris Martin writes songs which Take That would kill for. The self-revelation and transformation of listeners some still expect of rock music never happens. Coldplay are the lightest entertainment. They are honest workers, though, and try so athletically hard. As “Hurts Like Heaven” opens the show, wristbands handed out with tickets glow in green, white and red, making the crowd look like Christmas lights. Two songs later, giant balloons drop from the roof, kicked open by singer Chris Martin to reveal confetti crosses. Two songs after that, they wheel out the confetti-cannons. Special effects are reinforced by physical ones. Martin makes regular running leaps down a gangway, looking posed for action photos in mid-air. But amidst this huffing and puffing, no excitement is actually coming off the stage. When Jonny Buckland and Martin circle each other on springy feet, they are equally ungainly and uncharismatic. Buckland’s lead guitar borrows U2’s sound, but does nothing with it.
Beneath the show’s eager to please bluster, what strikes me with increasing force is the repetition and weakness of Martin’s songs. From the solipsism of their first inescapable hit, “Yellow”, where the stars themselves “shine for you”, there is no lyric of mature realisation. Every song is other-directed, constructed for mass, mild elevation. Not a word suggests a real emotion of Martin’s as if, locked in a celebrity bubble early, he can’t locate them, and stopped learning long ago. “I will wait for you,” he sings on “In My Place”, straight from a Hollywood movie. “Nobody said it was easy,” he adds on “The Scientist”. Nobody except Coldplay. “Paradise” has their most inanely catchy chorus yet (“para-para-dise...”), and is a study of a woman who as a young girl believed in heaven, and, naturally, regains her dreams. But in Coldplay songs we’re always in heaven, where no suffering lasts. All they lack is the grit that makes artistic pearls. The crowd leave happy, because Coldplay have helped lower our expectations of pop. It’s got to be better than this. 
The Oracle on 09 December 2011: O2 Arena, London, UK
December 12, 2011 - submitted by Harri, United Kingdom
Q. What was the name of the band who supported Coldplay on Friday 9th at the O2?