7 August 2012 - United Center, Chicago, IL, USA
- Mylo Xyloto
- Hurts Like Heaven
- In My Place
- Major Minus
- Lovers In Japan
- The Scientist
- Violet Hill
- God Put A Smile Upon Your Face
- Princess Of China
- Up In Flames
- Amsterdam (partial)
- Warning Sign
- Don't Let It Break Your Heart
- Viva La Vida
- Charlie Brown
- Us Against The World
- Speed Of Sound
- Fix You
- Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall
Photos from this show can be found at Coldplaying.com in the Gallery thread for Chicago. http://www.coldplaying.com/forum/gallery/showgallery.php/cat/1975
Videos from this show can be found in the first post of the Coldplaying forum live thread for this show at http://www.coldplaying.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90979
All post-show discussion for this show at the forum thread http://www.coldplaying.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90979
All fan reviews have been submitted to us by the members of Coldplaying.com, unless stated otherwise.
HOLY NAPPIES!!!! YOU GUYS!!! I just went down to the United Center (early, because I'm a creep). I was the ONLY fan there, and when I arrived, I saw all of the tour buses and black SUV's and stuff, so I hung out around Gate 1, not wanting to get too close, and Chris Martin literally RAN PAST ME! I guess he was jogging maybe? I dunno. But, anyway, when he came back around, I waved at him, and he came up, said hi, and HUGGED ME mid run! Then he ran back off to wherever he was going, haha. I left and went back to my hotel after that, but I'm sure the whole band is still there sound checking! Do you guys want to come up later, maybe around 4 and viva chant to see if they'll all come out and say hi to us? [thanks purplemonkeyz232]
UNBELIEVABLE SHOW! My friends and I made an Amsterdam sign and were right in Chris' line of sight.. I'm sure you all saw what happened. [thanks Viva Viper]
literally one of the best shows i've been to. and being my 12th show i don't say that lightly. will try to write review tomorrow. soooo tired. may not write one till thursday though. AMSTERDAM was epic even if it was for like a minute. thank you for making those signs! [thanks gotcheese2768]
Got to see Mike, Kelly and Lori. We all went in together but Lori had seats on the side across from us. Chris was really fired up from the start. We saw his kids come out to see the confetti and balloons. And then it happened. AMSTERDAM! Just a small bit but the seed is growing. I think they'll really add it back on the next tour...when ever that is. I'll post my In My Place when it up loads. Hotel connection kinda slow. Also shot some funny video of drunk guys in seating behind stage doing "interpretative dance" during one of the songs. Little old lady on the row behind us, must have been late 60's or early 70's was fist pumping during Viva and made her way over to catch a better view of Chris as he ran back to the stage from the C stage. Gotta love a Coldplay show. We went and hung out at the secure exit to see if they would stop but I think they were having a party tonight so no one stopped. Ms. Jackie came out and told me everyone was gone. [thanks Texasluvsjonny]
I’ve been waiting for these days to arrive since October of 2011 when the tickets came out on general sale; I still remember running back and forth from one to another to get floor seats, but to no avail. After the behind-the-stage tickets were released, I tried as quickly as I could to grab them, even if it meant going solo. I was able to grab tickets at club level, and upon getting to the venue and standing where my seats were, there was a sigh of relief in my mind that I wasn’t so far away than I thought.
I spent most of the pre-show time trying to catch some Coldplayers, OxFam-ers, roadies, for pictures, talks, and maybe even a possible upgrade. Jumping around, exploring most levels of the arena, it was difficult to find a roadie. At around 6:50 PM, I found some Coldplayers at the OxFam station and took some sick pictures with lots of food . After talking a bit and sharing info, one of the volunteers told me that the roadies were mostly backstage at that point, and in reality, I gave up hope on the upgrades. Before settling down, I grabbed an overpriced hotdog and bought $110 worth of merch consisting of a hoodie ($50), shirt ($40), and program ($20); it didn’t matter to me what price each thing was, as long as it’s Coldplay, I’ll even donate a kidney (does that count OxFam? lol).
At 7 PM sharp, I was already at my seat in anticipation, when Charli XCX came out with her mini-band, performing 5-7 songs that I gladly appreciated, and oddly reminiscent of Gwen Stefani fused with David Guetta; very electro-euro-pop. Shortly after Charli XCX’s set, Marina & the Diamonds came on, her band wearing prom-like attire, and her walking onstage in a ghostly manner, wearing a white puffy dress like a mix of a princess and ghost. Marina…’s set lasted a while longer than Charli…’s, and she didn’t fail to impress, shouting (screaming) her gratitude to Coldplay for taking her with them, with the help of the audience.
After her set the lights went back on, and the place already the smell of frothy beer masking the arena, and another waiting period ensued… After about 10-15 minutes, Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” acted as a “warning sign” to the audience signifying the band’s upcoming performance. The Back To The Future theme played and all “Heaven” broke loose in the arena (no pun intended) as Mylo Xyloto/Hurts Like Heaven started roaring from the booming United Center quality speakers. Personally, I lost all my inhibitions and went ape-shit-excited, and even cried a bit from the beauty of the song and the beauty of the Xyloband light show! The next few songs, I acted the same way: photographing, recording, laughing, crying, singing, “whoo-ing”, screaming, etc. Even in the slow tempo songs I connected with, the only way I can describe my movements throughout the show is “wild” “insane” and “Woodstock-like”. I wasn’t ashamed of being the only true Coldplayer in my section (knowing every lyric, knowing every “call-back moment”, dancing like I took lessons from Chris), and it only made the night 200% more fun. A highlight of the set was when Chris noticed three girls on the floor holding up small signs saying “AMS” “TER” “DAM”, which prompted him to take a risk and play as much of the unplanned song, only stopping before finishing the first verse then apologizing to the crowd for the rustiness of the song, and then promising to play it the next time they come around (a major upside, they’re coming back again!). The band resumed their set, seeming unfazed even through the countless nights they’ve spend performing lately, and after many lightshows and songs, spontaneous Chicago refs, their main set concluded with the always pleasing, “Paradise”.
They disappeared for a few minutes, only to turn up in Section 104-105 (which I’m now excited to sit there tomorrow [8th] for my second show) for their encore C-Stage portion. After their phenomenal entrance and performance on the mini-stage, they once again disappear back to the main stage to finish their last 3 customary encore songs: “Clocks”, “Fix You”, and “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall”. I’ll admit I was bawling when “Fix You” came on and kept going until the end of “ETIAW” (that song just moves me... it’s unexplainable), and the night was pretty much over at that point… After 2 hours I had back pain, hunger, leg pain, and shot voice just because of Coldplay… those are clear symptoms that you’ve enjoyed their presence, music, and charisma in an abstract artistic way.
Wandering the arena after the show, I tried to look for Gate 1 in order to get a glimpse at the departing band members, and maybe even get luckier? I wasn’t able to find it, because I found out it was the “back door” of the United Center, and started wandering the street around the venue. Not sure where I was going, I was fortunate enough to stumble upon some other Coldplayers (most on this site) that were hoping to see/meet/etc. some of the band, and feeling adventurous, I joined the cause. We waited about an hour, until some of us started to leave because of time, tiredness, and fading hope. Waiting there at the gate entrance got us a “meeting” with Jason Regler (the inventor of the Xyloband) and a tall-friendly face (possibly a roadie?) that offered us a glimmer of hope, and cookies. I played along with the offer and our remaining group got to eat some homemade Coldplayerific chocolate chip cookies. I regret rudely snapping a flash photo in the tall man’s face after showing us unnecessary hospitality. Our group slowly shrank as the minutes went on, and I finally got a cab back to the train station on my way home. The whole night was a life changing experience and God really did Put A Smile Upon my Face, and all over me actually. All I can think about now is, “I can’t fucking wait for tomorrow!!!” Excuse my French! [thanks phantoneku]
I can’t believe I actually saw Coldplay. it’s still like a dream come true. they are my absolute favorite band. and that was my first concert! and boy it’s gonna be hard to top that. from chris martin, guy berryman, jonny buckland, will champion, to confetti, lights, balloons, light up wristbands, to the sweet melodic sound of their music, I couldn’t have asked for anything better. our seats were absolutely superb AND they even came and played next to our section, literally 20 feet away from us during their encore. they played soooo many good songs. let’s see. mylo xyloto, hurts like heaven, yellow, the scientist, charlie brown, princess of china, speed of sound, violet hill, in my place, god put a smile upon your face, clocks!!!, fix you, warning sign, amsterdam, paradise, up in flames, viva la vida, major minus, us against the world, lovers in japan, don’t let it break your heart, every teardrop is a waterfall, and I think that’s it. but seriously. like all of the best ones. I was basically sobbing during clocks. it’s my absolute favorite song and it always will be. I was smiling so big during the entire concert. I still can’t get it out of my mind. I wanna go back sooo bad. I HAVE to see them again. it’s a must. man do I love them. this was seriously the best night of my life so far. I never wanna forget. ever. ever. ever. [via http://allthingsrainbows.tumblr.com]
Just saw Coldplay. It is more than just the music. It’s a show. A simply amazing show. I was literally speechless. I teared up multiple times. The music has a lot of memories tied to it for me and during certain times the way my boyfriend squeezed my hand or looked at me made me so emotional. Still am emotional, but in a good way. It was so much fun. The music is amazing. The show was amazing. Ah. I really can’t even describe it. Definitely one of the best concerts I’ve been to. So so incredible. [via http://dayely.tumblr.com]
Well, I've turned another person into a Coldplay fan! First was my dad at Alpine Valley, and now my boyfriend!! We didn't think we were even going because we couldn't get tickets. Then craigslist came along and some guy was selling his section 333 seats. Nosebleeds, 2nd row from the top. I had heard about the roadies and their awesomeness from here, and we bumped into Mick, the Lighting Crew Chief and a really fantastic guy. We chatted a bit about touring and how he got into lighting (by not studying very much in school, he said). He then asked if we knew what the roadies do, and I admitted to hearing about it. Being honest seemed to work (he probably knew that we knew anyway...) and he said he'd ask us a few questions and then maybe change his mind. He did ask if we'd seen any of the questions online and we said no, because I just read about the roadie thing the day before. So I'll keep that going and not repeat the questions! Like any superfan, I answered them all easily. He told us not to scream or yell, and then said to look at our tickets... Section 1. Row 1. I teared up a bit and hugged him and stood in shock for a few seconds... The walk from the 300 level to the floor is so awesome. All this craziness and the concert hadn't even started... and that was mind blowing as well!!! [thanks gonaners16]
Given the amount of lovely detail provided by fans over time, I’ll just write what stood out to me during the show in Chicago on August 7. The crowd was buzzing before Jay Z’s voice came over the loud speaker singing 99 Problems as that switched to The Back to the Future theme came one and everyone cheered. When they came out, there were waves of screaming and cheering that actually had a physical feel to it. Chris was jumping out of his skin before he began singing, springing up and down on the balls of his feet. The band began with Hurts Like Heaven and it was spectacular. Chris kissed Johnny at one point and wrapped an arm around Gus at another point. The confetti and wrist lights are just overwhelmingly beautiful. A number of times Chris told us to raise our hands to highlight the feature. Just stunning.
At one point, when the stage was mostly dark, two kids were quickly ushered onto stage to look at the audience and gather confetti. They were wearing those super-sized headphone ear protectors that the Martin family children wear. They were of the same size as Apple and Moses, but I can’t say who they were. Chris also changed shirts when it was mostly dark and the girls screamed. I helped. Chris was apologetic that they were here on a Tuesday and worked that into a song as well as some Sweet Home Chicago references.
When they piano came out of the floor on the B stage they all headed back that way and while the light were down it was obvious Will was giving Chris a pep talk as the others stood around him. Will put his hand around Chris’s neck and appeared to be soothing him. Apparently there were two young people who held up signs asking for the band to play Amsterdam. As soon as Chris sat down on the piano bench, he mentioned the sign and that the song was probably older than the kids who asked for it, but, sadly they hadn’t played it in so long they no longer knew how to play it. He said he felt very guilty for not playing it, he said, but if they tried the two kids would be happy but the 15,000 others wouldn’t be. After a moment he said he’d try, but said he was going to quit when he forgot the rest and he didn’t want anyone to give him a hard time. The other guys seemed not to know what to do and Chris said they should just take a break and that they’d be getting money for nothing.
He played and then sang the first two lines and then laughed and said, “What come’s next?” He reminded everyone what he’d said stopping and promised he would do Amsterdam next year. When they made their way to the C stage I noticed they were putting up yellow police-type tape along the aisle three rows in front of me and realized they would be walking there. I ran down to the first row (leaving my purse behind, dur) and asked the girl at the end of row if I could stand near her so that security wouldn’t make me go back and she agreed. Thank you, wherever you are.
After the set, I looked up the aisle and saw Will with Guy and Johnny walking quickly. Will went by before I came to my senses so I patted Guy on the shoulder and got a very awkward high five from Johnny. Chris was few feet behind them, so I got ready and when he walked by I out my hand just below his shoulder on his chest. Very happy me! They finished up the show and walked all over the stage waving and bowing. Chris was doing this tip-of-his-hat gesture which he did at the opening as well. After I went outside with my son, I looked at the palm of my and saw orange paint from Chris’s shirt on the palm of my hand, le sigh. I'll see if I can figure out photos, but I'm not so good at this stuff. [thanks jamieg]
This was my second time seeing in a week and I still can't get my mind to comprehend what I witnessed. I took my mom this time (went to the Det. show with two friends). Now she is a fan and it was sooo fun watching her reactions to the xylobands and everything that came with it. I was in section 4 on the floor and to my right I could just watch Dan Green and all the guys do their magic which was awesome. Not much more to add than what others have said. I am personally glad they ended up playing A Warning Sign over Amsterdam. Before DLIBYH started chris did say daddy loves you and I could quite get if it was Mo Mo and apple but after seeing someone post they saw them it now all makes sense. When Clocks came around I got really sad because I knew it was almost over and I wonder when I will get to see them again. This has been such a fun tour and I hope they don't get away for too long. They bring a happiness to me that I know all you can relate to... also wanted to add being in the confetti for IMP is AWESOME! didn't expect that to be so cool..Was able to meet Jason..I have a pic but do not know how to upload here lol I don't have a link...The crew was at the Hard Rock Hotel..Don't know about the band though..really tried to meet them lol...Jason very nice guy..asked me and my mom twice if we enjoyed the wristbands..couldn't put into words what they meant I said. He really enjoys this job!!! [thanks viva4life]
Welp. There is not much to be said that hasn't already been said. I will add that I was one of the lucky ones to get upgraded (front row on Jonny's side) but I have no proof. I found out yesterday when I went to upload my pictures that my sd card for my camera was corrupted and saved NONE of my pictures. It was one of the greatest nights of my life (AND I got so many good crotch pictures!) and I have nothing to show for it. I was not in the panorama picture because I had to go the bathroom before the boys went on and I cannot find my ticket. I'm praying it shows up.
The show itself literally took my breath away. Seeing the bracelets light up was mind blowing and the boys were on top form. I got Jonny's attention quite a few times and the reward for my efforts was a large heartfelt smile Highlights were Warning Sign (finally!!!) and the snippet of Amsterdam. I was the only one in the front row throwing around the likes of 'Holy shit!' and 'Oh my God.' Basically, freaking out. With all that depressing shit aside, I had a lovely time meeting all you Coldplayers after the show. It was so nice seeing Mike, Lori, Angie, and Kelli again, and lovely meeting all those new faces (I'm sorry I cannot remember your names. I horrible at that kind of thing). [thanks the.hardest.part]
Chicago Tribune: On Coldplay’s latest album, “Mylo Xyloto,” the British quartet traces the story of a desperate couple running from the unnamed bad guys. “From underneath the rubble,” Chris Martin intones, “sing a rebel song.”
But that’s just a bunch of malarkey. There’s not a lot of rebelliousness in Martin and his affable bandmates. Exactly the opposite. Inclusion is the big theme at their concerts, and so it was Tuesday in the first of two shows at the United Center. Guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman, drummer Will Champion and Martin didn’t save their best moves for last. Within minutes, confetti rained down, dozens of beach-ball-sized globes floated and bounced, and six multi-pronged lasers lit up the balconies. Fans who were handed wrist bands at the door found the contraptions glowed in the dark at strategic moments, essentially turning the audience into its own light show.
Martin dropped enough “Chicago” and “Chi-town” references into his songs to suggest that every song had been written with us and only us in mind. A band this aggressively ingratiating can be a bit much, but Coldplay compensates with a scrupulously scripted, fast-paced show chock full of excellent singles: “Yellow,” “Clocks,” “Fix You,” “Viva La Vida,” “Paradise.”
The band’s eagerness to please kept the preachiness and the between-songs patter to a merciful minimum. Instead the foursome turned the interjection “Whoah!” into a 10-syllable celebration, with sing-alongs the rule. The balloons and confetti camouflaged some of the slow spots or underlined the crescendos. The always eager Martin at times resembled an Olympic gymnast performing a particularly awkward floor exercise, sprinting and leap-frogging up and down a runway through the audience. The stage moves were choreographed to look heroic from the third balcony: Martin kneeling and leaning back with microphone thrust toward Buckland as the guitarist played a solo during “In My Place,” Martin dueting with the video image of Rihanna on “Princess of China,” the band setting up in the middle of the audience to play “Us Against the World.”
It was professional arena rock executed with lots of recorded backing instrumentation and few moments of genuine spontaneity – the show has been replicated at nearly every tour stop so far. Martin tried to play “Amsterdam,” a song requested by several fans, but could only manage a few lines before breaking it off and returning to the band’s regularly scheduled programming. “I don’t want to (tick) anyone off,” Martin said by way of apology, while essentially summarizing the band’s career ambitions. Over five albums, Coldplay has flirted with art-rock and world music, but their primary ambition is a crowd-pleasing universality. They want what Rihanna has – to rule the pop world. And they’re going to do it by playing nice. 
Fender: Coldplay Near End of U.S. Tour
Coldplay continued its North American tour in support of the platinum-selling album Mylo Xyloto with the first of a two-night stint at Chicago’s United Center on Tuesday, and the band wasted no time in letting the audience know they were in for an evening of sensory overload. A nearly two-hour set kicked off with “Mylo Xyloto” and “Hurts Like Heaven,” as the wristbands handed out upon entrance suddenly sprang to life, pulsating with light and illuminating the audience in iridescent colors of pinks, oranges, blues and greens.
Cannons shot off matching confetti during the next song, “In My Place,” as frontman Chris Martin spun and skipped down a middle runway. Guitarist Jonny Buckland joined him there later in the song with Martin kneeling and leaning back to the ground, and thrusting his microphone towards Buckland’s graffiti-painted Stratocaster during his solo. The set antics weren’t quite done, though. Laser lights cut through the audience throughout the night, with dozens of over-sized beach-ball globes dropping from the ceiling during “Lovers in Japan” accompanied by even more confetti.
Coldplay finally slowed things down with Martin taking a seat at the piano for hit ballad “The Scientist” off 2002’s A Rush of Blood to the Head. The crowd helped finish the song, easily drowning out a wide-eyed Martin with its volume.
Although the setlist heavily favored Mylo Xyloto, the UK rockers pulled out a few songs from Rush, including “God Put a Smile Upon Your Face.” The band gathered around drummer Will Champion for an extended drumroll that launched the energetic rocker, followed by Martin and Buckland taking to the runway to trade licks on their Tele and Strat, respectively. The Coldplay frontman punctuated the song in dramatic fashion by tossing his guitar high into the air and intentionally failing to catch it. (Note: It didn’t appear damaged.)
For the most part Martin kept the banter to a minimum, but midway through the set, three kids holding a sign for “Amsterdam” broke him out of his scheduled routine. The entire band had relocated to the end of the stage’s runway for what was to be an intimate three-song run of “Princess of China” and “Up In Flames” and 2002’s “Warning Sign.” But prior to kicking into “Warning Sign,” Martin hesitated and publically recognized the song request that was practically staring him smack in the face.
Although the band hadn’t played “Amsterdam” live since 2008, Martin admitted that he “didn’t want to tick anyone off.” “Ok, here’s the deal,” he finally offered. “I’ll keep going as long as I can remember but when I stop don’t give me a hard time.” Then after playing a few bars, he ribbed his bandmates, “Take a break, take a break, take a break. You get money for nothing!”
Martin played no more than a minute before throwing in the towel, but the audience was still delighted by the spontaneous effort. The singer wasn’t settling for any errors a few songs later after the band returned to the main stage and blasted the arena with the anthemic hit “Paradise” as the set closer. “I’m sorry, fucked that up,” he said during the opening instrumentation. “Let’s go again,” he directed his band, and then attacked the keyboard with venom.
The hit-single reverberated through the sold-out arena as the audience chanted the refrain, “Para-para-paradise, Oh oh oh oh oh oh-oh-oh” in one of the many memorable portions of the evening. Coldplay wasted no time returning for an encore, although Martin did pop up unexpectedly on a miniature stage located in the middle of an audience section. “This is a song about the US and the UK combining for an Olympics sport and taking over the world,” he explained. “It’s a utopian sort of thing. This song dreams of that day. “That’s actually a load of bullshit,” he said with a laugh. “I made it all up.”
Martin started off “Us Against the World” solo on acoustic, but one-by-one the rest of the band joined him, starting with Champion on keys, then Buckland and finally bassist Guy Berryman. Staying at the small stage, Coldplay continued with “Speed of Sound” before dashing back to the main stage for the night’s grand finale. Laser lights again accentuated the stage and the audience as the Brit quartet dazzled with mainstay “Clocks” and tear-jerker “Fix You.” As Buckland’s poignant guitar notes built up into the organ-filled crescendo, Martin took off sprinting down the runway, leap-frogging up and down every few steps with wild abandonment as if he was competing in his own Olympics.
Despite all the acrobatics and the second to last stop of this summer’s North American tour, Martin and company still had enough gas after the emotional “Fix You” to finish out the night with Mylo Xyloto’s upbeat electro-pop lead single “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall.” 
Timeout Chicago: Consider it Lollapalooza Day Four. As the United Center filled with a democratic, x chromosome–heavy crowd on Tuesday evening, I noticed many Lollapalooza armbands still dangling from the wrists of fans. But it was bracelets of a different sort that rocketed this joyous, candy-colored concert into the annals of the arena greats.
Coldplay distributed thick neon nylon bracelets of a mysterious purpose to each of the 19,000 (that's the number Chris Martin threw out there) or so ticketholders as we entered. I got a yellow one; my girlfriend, pink. The "xylobands," as they were branded and trademarked, came in blue, green, white and red varieties as well. By now, it won't spoil anything to say these xylobands are loaded with LEDs, radio-controlled and synchronized, and they erupt with light when the British quartet bursts onstage with "Hurts Like Heaven." The stadium becomes a glittering rainbow starfield, and it is undeniably spectacular. The entire show is a similar panoply of confetti (in Lucky Charms–esque shapes: teardrops, bids, butterflies, clovers, hearts and bells) and lasers and ultraviolet and florescent paint and big bouncing, batted balls.
Oh, right, there's music, too, equally bright and ebullient. I mentioned the crowd was democratic. If you made a Venn diagram with circles representing the audiences of Ravinia Festival, Radiohead, Jay-Z and the How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular, than Coldplay's crowd would be the diamond overlap in the center. I saw dudes in Odd Future Wolf Gang and Thrice T-shirts. I saw pregnant women, retirees and preteens. It's easy to understand why Coldplay's music appeals to all of us on some level. Two wanna-be pop stars opened the show, yet the PA system played ambient krautrock and Jay-Z before the headliners jumped out of the tunnels. Chris Martin and crew want to be all of this and more. Live, the foursome pull it off far more brilliantly than on record. Will Champion beefs up the tunes with borderline-angry drumming. Jonny Buckland's guitar gets to shriek a little more. And Martin fills the rest of the space with his booming tenor.
The set drew largely from Mylo Xyloto—nine of its eleven full songs—and swung for the fences with crowd-stoking smashes like "Clocks," "In My Place," "The Scientist" and "God Put a Smile Upon Your Face." (A Rush of Blood to the Head is rather great in hindsight, isn't it?) Martin is a born showman and infectiously optimistic. Three girls in the fifth row hold up three sheets of loose leaf paper with AMS-TER-DAM scrawled in highlighters. Martin spots the message and confesses he won't sleep well unless he at least meets their demand and attempts to play the closing ballad of Rush. He apologizes for not remembering the tune at all and tells the other three with a laugh, "Money for nothing. You don't have to do fuck all on this one." He gives it a go on his fake, graffiti-splattered piano that rises from the stage with hydraulics. He can hardly get through the first verse. I see him blush. The girls lose their shit regardless.
Of course, the immediate comparison to make is to U2. Twenty years ago, I saw the Irish giants at a similar point in their career, on the Zoo Station and Zoo TV tours. While the rock & roll there was more progressive and aggressive, and the stage show more jaw-dropping, and the openers far more stimulating (Kate Bush–meets–Katy Perry warbler Marina & The Diamonds is no Pixies and Public Enemy), Coldplay surprisingly edges out their mentors by connecting with its audience. There's the post-Internet tech stuff, sure, but the group also goes out of its way to touch the people. While U2 continues to shrink and distance itself under gigantic prop monstrosities, Coldplay leaves the dazzling for clever, small-scale tricks. The Mylo Xyloto performance is quasi-in-the-round. Martin scampers all over the place. There are mini-sets in the stands. Those in section 103, have your cameras read in the encore. Everyone else, prepare to become human fireworks.