Coldplay – Live in Winnipeg

June 16, 2009

Since this is a music blog and not just a platform for MSMOTDs, I want to talk about the Coldplay show that happened here in Winnipeg last night.  First of all, let’s talk about how fast it sold out.  My friend bought tickets immediately when they went on sale, and managed to get some of the last seats available (top of the nosebleeds, behind the stage) just before it sold out.  15,000 seats, sold in a couple of minutes.  Ridiculous.  But, despite the less-than-ideal seats, it was totally worth the money as the show was AMAZING.

The first opener was Aussie band the Howling Bells.  Pretty fun band with a lot of energy but not much room to move around as they were pushed to the very edge of the stage by all of Coldplay and Snow Patrol’s gear.  They played a short set and had some fun with the crowd, still straggling in at this point, and then at the end of the set, the very cute singer – Juanita Stein – announced that the drummer was lonely but that she knew the prettiest girls lived in Winnipeg. She then made him give out his number on the mic slowly so that any interested girls could write it down, hahaha.  I wonder how often they pull this trick, and how often it works.

Next up was Snow Patrol!  I just made a post about them yesterday, so go check it out to listen to my favourite songs and see some video clips.  They were really great, with Gary Lightbody pumping the crowd up nicely and giving a wonderful performance of their various hits, though sadly, none of the songs I included in yesterday’s MSMOTD.

Finally, two hours after the show started, Coldplay came on stage holding sparklers, and played the first song “Life in Technicolor” behind a silhouette screen, before blasting off with “Voilet Hill“.  Things just got better from there.  Stage hands ran out with dozens of huge yellow balloons for “Yellow”, which bounced around the audience then mysteriously exploded into golden confetti at the end of the song.  They rocked through all of their hits, with Chris Martin running and flailing around the stage like a marionette faun whose strings have been cut.  The drummer was all over too, alternating behind the drum set, timpani and even an impromptu dance-concert they held on one of the arms of the stage with drum machine and synth.

(I didn’t bring my camera, but thankfully Chris D did)

The best moments came midway through when the crowd was all singing along en-masse, and then the band walked all the way to the other end of the arena to a little tiny stage, surrounded by fans, where they played a little acoustic set, with the drummer switching to guitar and vocals, and Chris Martin on harmonica.  They finished that up by setting up a cell-phone wave around the whole building while they sang “I’m A Believer”.  It was pretty magical.  My favourite moment was when, right at the end, they released a billion colourful paper butterflies which floated down through the air as the band cavorted about during “Lovers in Japan”.  They also threw in a lot of obviously calculated references to Winnipeg, including a little song with custom lyrics about how they’re in the former home of the Jets and such.  They must have a guy who writes all of these for each city, but it was appreciated nonetheless, and drove the crowd wild.

It was a really amazing show.  Even without the excellence of the music (every song was a hit…  how many bands can do that?), they put on a wonderful and intimate spectacle.  I’m so glad I went, despite my horrible seats (I felt more like an anthropologist, observing the entertainment rituals of a distant people than part of the show).  Probably the best show I’ve ever seen overall, and I’ve been to some big name spectacle-oriented shows (Davie Bowie, Judas Priest etc).  Very different from, say, a Dream Theater show which is basically them rocking on on stage with some coloured spotlights for 3 hours straight, haha.

Bottom line: If Coldplay is coming to your city, do whatever it takes to go to the show. WHATEVER IT TAKES.

- Mons

2 Responses to “Coldplay – Live in Winnipeg”

  1. Actually, they did play If There’s A Rocket Tie Me To It last night (remember all the red lights and Lightbody singing “The fire, the fire!” :) ?).
    I also thought Juanita’s drumming skills were insane (that is so going on my bucket list!)
    Coldplay: you included all the best parts in your overview and it was cool to see the footage of the balloons and the butterflies from underneath, haha.

  2. I bought my tickets last year.. Going on the 16th of august and I can’t WAIT! Thanks for posting the video.. Now I am even more hyped :)