Thursday, October 23, 2008

Live Review-Coldplay @ Hammerstein Ballroom

In a up close and personal, exclusive invitation only concert, one of the biggest bands in the world played to one of their smallest audiences in years. 500 lucky fans, industry executives, and friends of Coldplay including Jay-Z and Beyonce had a chance to see the London four piece in a intimate setting. Being one of the lucky ones to get in, it was rather amazing to see Coldplay perform to such a small crowd gathered at Hammerstein Ballroom, a venue that can hold close to 4,000. The concert was a taping for a Nissan / Yahoo live series that will be broadcast on the web December 1. Opening with "Life in Technicolor," then going into a semi-acoustic version of "Violet Hill;" I could hear the feedback coming off speakers, the hands of Chris Martin, Guy Berryman and Johnny Buckland sliding up and down the fret boards of their guitars, Chris' fingers pounding his piano. While feeling the air coming from Will Champion's drums, I knew I was in for something special. Playing for an hour, featuring a heavy Viva La Vida or Death and all His Friends set, they managed to sneak in fan favorites like "Clocks," and "Yellow." The biggest moment of the night was during "Viva La Vida," when the small crowd just went absolutely nuts, it is one of those songs that people need to experience live at least once before they die. In between songs Martin would lend his smug commentary from everything to life on the road, the upcoming US Election and his admiration for touring mate Duffy. It was during these little moments in between songs that I realized after seeing them five times (including last night), in every size venue possible, this is the most I have ever herd Chris Martin speak to his audience. Fame has seem to really grab a hold of the singer, his ego and confidence on stage has soared beyond measure. However, he has his band mates to keep him grounded as they really provide the soundtrack to an amazing event, night after night. Last night also proved that size does not matter for Coldplay. You can stick them in Madison Square Garden or Hammerstein Ballroom in front of 500 people and they will give one of the greatest live performances you will ever see and only leaving you wanting more.

Coldplay setlist 10/22/08 Hammerstein Ballroom:
Life In Technicolor
Violet Hill
Chinese Sleep Chant
Strawberry Swing
Viva La Vida
Lovers In Japan
Death And All His Friends