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Live 2012

Coldplay Live 2012 is the collective name for the official documentation of the Mylo Xyloto Tour, performed, recorded and released by Coldplay. The project consists of a worldwide theatrical and home media film release, Coldplay’s third live album, after Coldplay Live 2003 and LeftRightLeftRightLeft, and a 183-page e-book depicting the tour. The film and album were recorded over many dates over the 2011 Festival Tour and the Mylo Xyloto Tour beginning in October 2011 and ending in September 2012. The film was opened for one night only on 13 November 2012, at select cinemas around the world. The DVD and Blu-ray release of the film and the live album release occurred on 14 November 2012.

Contents

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Release and promotion

The film was first announced by Phil Harvey in April 2012. It was first announced under the title “ColdplayFilm”.[1] The name was also inscribed on the Xylobands used on the Mylo Xyloto Tour between April and September 2012. The film/album was first officially announced on 25 September 2012.[2] On the same day, two websites promoting Live 2012 launched. One promoting the theatrical release of the film, and one promoting the project in general.[3][4] A two minute trailer accompanied the announcement, released online and shown in theaters attached to other films as well.[5] In addition, an exclusive preview of “Us Against the World” was shown on the Live 2012 website, a swell as another select track off the film of user’s choice.[6] A 183-page e-book documenting the tour was also announced.[7]

Live 2012 was first released as an exclusive, one-night-only theatrical release, shown in cinemas across 57 countries around the world.[8] The film opened at 7:00pm at respective timezones (7:30pm at some screenings), on 13 November 2012. The film was shown twice on the night, closing before midnight.[9] A partnership deal between Parlophone and Studio 3 saw the screening of Live 2012 on US premium cable television as well.[10] The film aired exclusively on 14 November 2012 on Epix, the night after the theatrical release and a week before its commercial release in the United States.

Reception

Critical reception

Live 2012 has received large critical acclaim. Adam Silverstein wrote an overwhelmingly positive review for Digital Spy, saying that the film/album was pulled off well amidst mixed reputation, writing “One (thankfully first-class) collab with a popstar and an appearance on The X Factor later, however, and they almost fucked their rep… Chris Martin bawling backing vocals to the Little Mix girls would have been uglier than Javier Bardem toothless in Skyfall, yet that’s all it would have taken.” He also says it showcases well the “ridiculous effort that goes in to each and every concert.” and that the film/album “skilfully showcases just how incredible an adventure it is to observe a world-beating band at the top of their game. And those still to be converted to the Coldplay cause even after watching this? Well, they can fuck off, then.”[11] Drew Taylor of IndieWire wrote a similar very positive review, praising the Mylo Xyloto tour itself as well, and stating that “even a cursory understanding of what it’s like to watch Coldplay live is better than nothing at all. Wristbands not included.”[12] Sarah Milton of The Upcoming wrote a very positive review focusing on the band’s ability to connect with their fans through Live 2012, writing that “This release of their previous and current work defines their unstoppable prowess by taking tracks to a personal level with their fans. This is a skill not many achieve live, but with this album, Coldplay succeeds. It deserves immense recognition, and we can rest assured that Coldplay will keep raising the bar of stadium rock shows for years to come.”[13]

Cameron Adams of the Australian Herald Sun gave the album a positive review, highlighting the film/album’s emulation of the tour, stating “this is the exact show Coldplay are in the midst of charming our country with – wristbands, hits, banter, yoga moves and all!”. He also complimented the tracklist choice, writing that “Their biggest hits (Paradise, Viva La Vida, Fix You) sit nicely with their more subversive ones (Violet Hill, Every Teardrop is a Waterfall)”. It was the album of the week in the Herald Sun.[14]

Jim Pusey wrote a positive review for Contactmusic, praising the film for its visual effects and cinematography. He also compared the film to the band’s previous live video, Live 2003, noticing “a band that’s now less awkward and self-conscious.” He also gave a positive note to the documentary itself, stating that the most interesting parts were the “behind the scenes interludes that punctuate the performances. Each band member has an opportunity to reveal not only their enthusiasm for playing live around the globe, but also their perspective on the different elements that have made up the tour. These short vignettes include details of how the Mylo Xyloto artwork evolved and how they tried to translate that to a live setting with audience members wearing glowing wristbands. This peek behind the curtain is beneficial as it makes the gig footage from 3 different stops on the tour (including their most recent Glastonbury headline set) more engaging.”[15] Kenji Lloyd of HeyUGuys! wrote that the film “goes above and beyond any ordinary concert film, which is just what you’d expect from a band that isn’t any ordinary band. They go the further mile, always looking to take things further, do things better, make the extra effort. As the band plays through the darkening night, we’re treated to the equally impressive artwork and handwritten lyrics that are a part of their live shows, appearing on the screen itself in a fantastic bleeding of creativity.”[16]

Commercial performance

The DVD release of the film debuted at number 2 on Irish Music DVDs Chart in the week of its release.[17]

Track listing

All songs written and performed by Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion, Chris Martin and Brian Eno, except where noted.[18][19]

Live 2012 tracklist, excluding bonus tracks (via: Coldplay.com)CD / Digital download[20] 9787798503234

Limited edition Lithograph

Exclusive, hand-numbered lithograph posters, limited to 5000 worldwide and printed on 350gsm paper, were available when pre-ordering via the Coldplay Music Store [2]. The dimensions of the lithograph measure 594mm x 379mm and features the band playing at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester on 9th and 10th June 2012.[3][4]

Media Reviews

Digital Spy: F**k the haters, f**k the critics and f**k modesty; this was the mantra of the world’s biggest band when making their fifth album Mylo Xyloto, consequently their poppiest to date. One (thankfully first-class) collab with a popstar and an appearance on The X Factor later, however, and they almost f**ked their rep… Chris Martin bawling backing vocals to the Little Mix girls would have been uglier than Javier Bardem toothless in Skyfall, yet that’s all it would have taken.

But, from headlining Glastonbury before their second album was out to closing London 2012 ten years later, Coldplay live have always been about losing inhibitions; for the three million who watched their latest world tour and also for Martin, more like a sweatier, jumpier Pluto the dog than ever during this concert film (which isn’t fun for Rihanna when they get up close and personal to duet halfway through). Taken from their shows in Paris’s Stade de France, Montreal’s Bell Centre and, fittingly, Coldplay’s home-from-home of Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage, this is a special 90 minutes that emphasises just how impressive they are on the live stage and presents some insight into each band member’s frame of mind. At one point, Martin himself confesses of the crowds: “This is the first time I’ve looked people in the eye.” It’s gratifying to see soft rock’s most neurotic so at ease.

We also witness the ridiculous effort that goes in to each and every concert. The confetti butterflies pouring down on fans during ‘Lovers in Japan’, ‘Fix You’s honking fireworks when Will Champion’s drums kick in, the pioneering ‘Xylobands’ that expel the need to hold a lighter up for ‘The Scientist’ and flash like a thousand Red Dwarfs for ‘Charlie Brown’; it all sparks an awesome experience and makes every show feel as new as the last. But how do you make a stadium intimate? Well, by caring about those in the cheap seats. For ‘Us Against the World’, the band race their way to the back of the venue and stumble past psyched fans to huddle on a cramped stage with an acoustic guitar and a piano (we’d love to see the Rolling Stones try this). It’s artfully demonstrated through the eyes of YouTube fan clips and looks stunning, reflecting the song’s warm message of unity superbly.

And even Coldplay can rock with the best of ’em. When Martin smashes his guitar on stage after ‘God Put a Smile upon Your Face’, it’s as defining a moment as Tim Robbins escaping through his prison tunnel in The Shawshank Redemption… ish. The all-out anthem that is ‘Viva la Vida’, meanwhile, gets a proper tribute by featuring its Glasto performance; the whoooooaaaaahs sound epic. here’s nothing like seeing the real thing, of course, but Live 2012 skilfully showcases just how incredible an adventure it is to observe a world-beating band at the top of their game. And those still to be converted to the Coldplay cause even after watching this? Well, they can f**k off, then. 5/5. [5]

HeyUGuys: If ever there was a band destined to tour the stadia of the world, it’s Coldplay. Coldplay Live 2012 is part documentary, part concert film; a fascinating look at the band taking their latest record, Mylo Xyloto, to sold-out venues across the globe. Opening the film as the album does, with Mylo Xyloto bleeding into Hurts Like Heaven, we then switch back to an audience favourite, In My Place, before coming to our first documentary segment, spliced between a handful of the songs in the sixteen-track set list.

There are many things that separate Coldplay from the vast majority of bands making music today (or in any day), and one of those things is very much their exceptional live performances. You get the feeling that they want each and every person in the audience to feel like a part of the night, and the documentary gives an insight into that desire.

Over the years, the band and long-time friend/fifth member/former manager Phil Harvey have been making greater and greater efforts to perfect their concerts – releasing giant balloons into the crowd; shooting out millions of paper butterflies; and most recently giving every single person in the audience an LED wristband upon entering the stadium, all of which light up throughout the night. Far from being a simple gimmick, or a way of making up for something lacking on stage, they are well designed to enhance the whole night, making for an unparalleled experience, and that feeling never drops for a minute through Live 2012.

Lead singer, Chris Martin, talks about the release of the album and this subsequent tour as the throwing off of their shackles, and the resultant energy is brilliantly captured on screen.

Live 2012 goes above and beyond any ordinary concert film, which is just what you’d expect from a band that isn’t any ordinary band. They go the further mile, always looking to take things further, do things better, make the extra effort. As the band plays through the darkening night, we’re treated to the equally impressive artwork and handwritten lyrics that are a part of their live shows, appearing on the screen itself in a fantastic bleeding of creativity.

Coldplay’s live performances are a blurring of the lines between band and audience, stage and crowd. They bring the audience into the experience with an electrifying ambience. Live 2012’s director, Paul Dugdale, has said that he wants the film to make the viewer’s eyes widen and their hearts beat faster, and he has been unquestionably successful. It is a ninety-minute ride that will have your spine tingling, leaving you craving an announcement that Coldplay will be touring in a stadium near you as soon as humanly possible. 4.5/5. [6]

Indie Wire: If there’s a way you can be the world’s biggest pop band and still be underrated, well, Coldplay have figured out how. Their five albums, which always manage to be solidly artistic and hugely accessible, have sold tens of millions of copies, no small feat in the crumbling age of music, and yet their detractors say that they’re boring and dull, two charges that cannot be leveled against “Coldplay Live 2012.” A new concert documentary that charts their tour in support of last year’s Mylo Xyloto album, ‘Live 2012,’ like this year’s other two great concert docs (“Shut Up and Play the Hits” and “Katy Perry: Part of Me”) is a boundlessly energetic, utterly endearing chronicle. Hands in the air, people.

Running a brisk hour-long, this documentary combines footage from the band’s performances at Paris’ Stade de France, Montreal’s Bell Centre, and their headlining gig on the Pyramid Stage at England’s Glastonbury Music Festival. Combining these various gigs is a great idea for a number of reasons, and not only because we get these nifty, Google Maps-on-acid flashes where the camera zooms into some new location through a fog of zippy haze, but because we get to see things like Rihanna show up in Paris to perform a rousing rendition of the beautiful, brilliant “Princess of China,” and watch how the band’s vibe and energy subtly change as their location shifts.

You can also see the evolution of the stage show particulars, especially from the prototypical version at Glastonbury (this performance was actually captured last year, before the tour had really begun). The band’s stage set-up is simply mind blowing, with a runway that extends into the middle of the crowd with a big “X,” pyrotechnics, lasers, giant pulsating screens, and every inch of equipment painted in bright neon splashes (the entire concept behind the album has to do with a dystopian future disrupted by outbursts of vivid color). It’s outré writ large.

In between songs, there are interviews with various band members, which aren’t exactly insightful but do allow you into the creative process a little bit, and add to the aw-shucks, these-guys-are-great vibe. When lead singer and band leader Chris Martin, who’s married to a woman who, in the movies, is married to Tony Stark, bashfully says, “It’s exciting when you’re 15 and you throw a party and people show up,” well, it’s hard not to crack a smile. They all seem to be genuinely thrilled to be doing what they’re doing, and that positivity is palpable in the live show.

At one point, one of the band members (you always hear them, never see them), talks about the wristbands that were passed out when people arrived at the venue. It was, according to them, one of the things that closed the gap between the performers and the audience. Then we see Chris Martin, imploring the crowd to stick their arms in the air. A switch is thrown and all of the wristbands, previously blank, light up in blinking neon colors that strobe to the music. It’s one of those holy shit moments that only a huge-ass band like Coldplay could elicit, an Imagineered marvel, and even the band’s most hardened, cynical critics would be hard pressed to think that it was anything but totally fucking cool.

The songs themselves sound even bigger and more universally rousing than they sound on record. There’s something about hearing an audience sing along to a song like “Hurts Like Heaven” that gives the it an added scope and makes you appreciate the Coldplay machine in action – when they were writing these songs in some cramped English recording studio, you can’t help but think they knew, 30,000 screaming, crying, dancing fans would be singing along to it one day. These songs are massive; built for stadium-sized sing-alongs. And while, honestly, nobody needs to ever hear “Yellow” again, watching them perform it in the context of this documentary, which is nothing if not boundlessly enthusiastic, it comes to life once more. The band remains tirelessly professional, and each one of them are both skilled musicians and electric performers, embracing the shtick with real energy and commitment (nothing’s worse than seeing a pop star phone it in). And yes, “Fix You” still tugs on the old heartstrings.

Director Paul Dugdale gets into the spirit of the Mylo Xyloto Tour by occasionally “drawing” squiggles of bright paint on the screen, which adds to the outrageous, overstuffed nature of the experience. But he also knows when to tone it down and let the on-stage visuals speak for themselves. When “Paradise” starts subtly, with a darkened stage that’s eventually brightened by glow-in-the-dark graffiti, it’s striking enough without any additional flourishes. If anything, the documentary should be longer, should capture more of the live experience, to better replicate the experience of watching the band onstage. But that’s a minor quibble. At the end of “Coldplay Live 2012,” even a cursory understanding of the experience of watching Coldplay live is better than nothing at all. Wristbands not included. B+. [7]

The Oracle on Live 2012

Tweet from Phil Harvey on 16th September 2012, nine days before the official announcement was made

April 29, 2013 – submitted by Renata, Brazil

Q. Hello wise Oracle! For months I’ve been wondering why Lovers in Japan isn’t a part of the Coldplay Live 2012 movie. It was one of my favorite parts of the gig when those hundreds of huge balls came out. It was one of the moments I was hoping to see again on DVD but unfortunately it’s not there… Could you tell me why? Thanks

The Oracle replies:

Lovers in Japan wasn’t a permanent fixture on the MX tour so as it was only played towards the end of the tour, it was decided to leave it off the DVD.

April 15, 2013 – submitted by Elizabeth, United States of America

Q. Hey Oracle,

Today, for the probably the 50th time, I watched Live 2012, which is my favorite movie of all time. In the credits at the end of the movie, under “Montreal Film Crew” “Camera Operators” one of the names listed was “Will Champion” – Is that a coincidence or was Will apart of the filming?! Please let me know!

Your #1 Coldplayer,

Elizabeth

The Oracle replies:

Yes he was! When the guys perform the Stage C segment of the show, Will is recording on a hand-held camera before he joins the rest of the band – that’s why he has a filming credit.

November 27, 2012 – submitted by Brian B, Malaysia

Q. O wise Oracle! At the end of the Coldplay Live 2012 I noticed that the track The Escapist is included in the credits, right after Up With The Birds. What is that supposed to mean? A hidden track?? Thanks.

The Oracle replies:

There are no hidden tracks – though there are a couple of songs in the Extras section. I am pretty sure I heard The Escapist during one of the film’s documentary bits…

November 26, 2012 – submitted by Andres, Mexico

Q. Hi Oracle! I was reading Live 2012’s booklet and I found a rather interesting name under the Special Thanks section, Dave the cat. Who is Dave the cat?

Thanks!

The Oracle replies:

Dave is producer Rik Simpson’s cat. Dave is in fact a female feline who sometimes hangs around the studio. Miaow.

November 21, 2012 – submitted by Tyler, United States of America

Q. Hello Almighty One,

I just purchased the Live 2012 CD/DVD and it is fantastic. While looking through the included art booklet, I noticed something. On the last page, underneath the song symbols, it reads ‘YMCVJMAJRNKGAM’.

What do these letters stand for?

I hope that you and the band have a great Thanksgiving!

The Oracle replies:

The band have published similar before and I know many fans worked it out. Those letters are the initials of the band’s nearest & dearest. From left to right they are the significant other & children of Phil, Jonny, Will, Guy & Chris.

November 20, 2012 – submitted by Nick, United States of America

Q. Dear Oracle,

Do you make an appearance in the new concert film? Someone claimed it was you at 1:47 during HLH, although I doubt the Oracle would ever admit to a public appearance.

Cheers,

Nick

The Oracle replies:

Although I was there at the Paris show (and Madrid) I don’t pop up. I normally stand quite far back or wander round to see it from all angles.
I’m not in any backstage footage either…

November 13, 2012 – submitted by Andres, Portugal

Q. Hi Oracle. I wanna ask you this. in the cinemas, is it going to be shown the gig in Paris, the documentary or both?

The Oracle replies:

It’s so weird to think that because of time differences on this vast planet of ours, people will have just come out of the cinema having already watched it! Wow.

Anyway, to answer your question – there is no documentary. It’s not like Live 2003 where there are two very separate parts. This film is a live concert with the occasional glimpse into the backstage world narrated by each band member.

November 12, 2012 – submitted by Guillaume, Canada

Q. Hi Oracle,

Could you tell me which songs on the live 2012 film will be from the Montreal show ?

Thanks !

The Oracle replies:

As you will see soon, each time the destination changes, text appears on the screen telling you where the footage is from – apart from the backstage stuff. You’ll be able to tell though.

November 8, 2012 – submitted by Jeremy, United States of America

Q. Dear Oracle,

I saw a tracklist for Live 2012 from the official announcement on this very website, and I have to say, it’s rather disappointing. Not that the songs are bad, but where’s The Scientist, Politik, Shiver, and Lost!? Why can’t Violet Hill be available on the DVD. I did pre-order a copy, but I just was curious.

Thanks, Jeremy

The Oracle replies:

The DVD is made up of the majority of the show but not every song performed was included. Violet Hill is on the DVD though – but just not on the CD.

Lost! or Shiver weren’t on the MX Tour set list. Neither was Politik at all actually. Some songs were only played a handful of times and that’s why they were omitted.

The Scientist was in the set & as far as I know is included as a bonus track as is Don’t Let It Break Your Heart.

November 6, 2012 – submitted by Mark, United Kingdom

Q. Hi Oracle

I’ve seen some of the previews of the MX film, and I’m disappointed with the crowd in Paris.

I always think Chris is frustrated with the crowds when he says ‘make some noise’ or ‘is anyone out there?’.

At the two gigs I went to, M.E.N. last December and Ricoh in May, he most definitely knew we were there, and couldn’t possibly make any more noise, even if we tried. So why were some of the British gigs not included.

Thanks

Mark

The Oracle replies:

I have to disagree Mark. I was at the Paris show and I assure you he’s not saying either of those things because the crowd was quiet – they were anything but!

He actually said “is there anybody out there?” at every stadium gig after the first song (Hurts Like Heaven) before going into In My Place. It gets everyone going – not that anyone needs much encouragement.

I understand that everyone will have an opinion on where the DVD was filmed but as I say, I was at the Paris show and think it was a great choice (the majority of it was filmed there by the way, not its entirety).

I was also at the same M.E.N gig you mentioned and it was amazing. As that was December 2011, I think that would have been too soon into the tour for the crux of the DVD.

October 22, 2012 – submitted by Olive, United States of America

Q. Hai Oracle! How is your Mylotober! XD I was just wondering, you know how the Live 2003 Movie came with a Tour Diary… will the new Live 2012 come with a Tour Diary? I just want to confirm. I would greatly appreciate it if you answered this. Many Coldplayers would appreciate it too. But thanks anyway for answering our questions. We really do appreciate it!

Lots of Love from California! (and the rest of the world!)

-Olive

The Oracle replies:

The Live 2012 DVD will not come with a tour diary. There is backstage footage and each of the guys speak during those montages.

October 10, 2012 – submitted by Rachael, United Kingdom

Q. Hi Oracle,

I hope you’re having a good October

My question is if any of the artists that toured with Coldplay will be featured on Live 2012

Thank you so much

Rachael x

The Oracle replies:

As it’s a Coldplay DVD, it will be the band’s show; not the support acts’ performances.

It’s not usual for bands to include any of the openers in their own tour film by the way. There were quite a lot so it’d be a jolly long film!

Rihanna is a featured artist as she performed Princess of China with the band in Paris, so she will appear.

September 26, 2012 – submitted by Paul, Poland

Q. On the new 2012 DVD trailer I think I noticed that a part of the video is form the Warsaw concert (00:57 I think) Does it mean that one of the songs will be from that concert!?

The Oracle replies:

All the details are in the new piece including the director saying: “Live 2012 includes footage from Coldplay’s shows at Paris’s Stade de France, Montreal’s Bell Centre and last year’s triumphant Pyramid Stage headline performance at Glastonbury Festival”. I’d therefore say that no, there won’t be footage from the Warsaw gig in the film. I’m sure the trailer may look like many places but I can’t confirm whether Poland features in it, sorry.

September 26, 2012 – submitted by Brad, United States of America

Q. Hey, Oracle. I pre-ordered the live 2012 Blue-Ray today but I have a question. Will the Blue-Rays and dvds we receive in the US be playable in our region or will they be in the European format?

The Oracle replies:

It does actually say on the order page that the DVDs are NTSC Format Region 0 which means they are region free so you’ll be fine.

September 26, 2012 – submitted by Keera, United States of America

Q. Hi Oracle! I was wondering: What is the difference between the $20.91 live 2012 bundle and the $24.13 one? Thanks!!

The Oracle replies:

Both the CD/DVD and the DVD/CD packages contain the same 95 minute film and 15 track live album but the difference is the DVD/CD version has DVD sized pages and its booklet contains an extra 2 pages. In the UK that’s the £12.99 and £14.99 versions…

September 19, 2012 – submitted by Safa, France

Q. Hi Oracle, I saw on the official Twitter of the band that they will make an announcement next week about the coldplayfilm. Does it mean that it will be released next week or is it only an info they will give us about it ? Thanks

The Oracle replies:

The announcement will simply be giving more information about the film but it’s not finished yet so definitely won’t be released this soon – the band are still on tour. Two more European dates to go… What a Summer it’s been.

June 19, 2012 – submitted by Sophie, United Kingdom

Q. Do you know when the DVD of the Mylo Xyloto Emirates shows will be released?

The Oracle replies:

Er, nobody said there is going to be a DVD from the Emirates shows so I don’t know where you got that from. Let’s nip that rumour in the bud. There is going to be a DVD but it’s not isolated to London. If you see people filming the gigs, don’t forget that you’re seeing the live footage on huge screens and that’s how they do that – with cameras.

Forum Links

  • ColdplayFilm – MX Live DVD [8]
  • Coldplay Live 2012 – movie premiere (please post your local theater/cinema findings) [9]
  • James Tonkin shoots Coldplay Live 2012 documentary with Sony NEX cameras [10]

References