|Coldplay in SA|
October 25, 2011 Athi 0 comments
Let me start by saying, I am SUPER jealous of Preneil, who always gets to go to the best music gigs EVER!! He went to see Coldplay when they were in town a few weeks back, and he couldn’t stop gushing about it! (Yes,I’m bitter) Below is his review from the concert. I could cry!
Date: 05 October 2011
Venue: Soccer City, Soweto.
Attendance: +/- 63 000
On the 05th October 2011, the lives of 63 000 people were changed. It doesn’t matter if you were a veteran, or first-time, live concert spectator. I am a veteran and very few live shows come close to the experience.
When British band Coldplay was announced as one of many International acts to grace our shores this year, the country was buzzing in anticipation and overwhelming excitement. Golden Circle tickets were sold out within two and a half hour of release, leaving many long-standing fans with a bitter taste in their mouths. Myself included. But it didn’t matter once I was there.
Was formed in 1996 by vocalist Chris Martin and produced music that had a somewhat niche market. But since the release of their 2005 “X & Y” album, they have crossed over, attracting a market that allowed them to fill the sensational Soccer City Calabash.
It was certainly a spectacle from the very beginning. Their opening track was they did with Jay-Z “Lost”. They then surprised the crowd by getting straight into one of their classic hits “Yellow”. Absolutely electrifying! It is only once a band elegantly streams through their setlist, do you begin to fully realise their repertoire of chart-topping singles. Every track had the crowd in awe, anticipating their favourite track – in excitement. When that specific favourite exploded over the PA system – euphoria and tears overcame the fan. Once again – myself included. And yes. Tears included.
Not only was every track sensational, but frontman Chris Martin’s dialogue and interaction with the 63 000 people was heartwarming. In the Cape Town leg of the tour, he stated: “Sorry it has taken us twelve years to come to South Africa, but we couldn’t get a visa!” A prime example of the charm, and subtle, humour of the man – referring to the latest controversy with the Dalai Lama’s attempt to visit S. A.
One of my favourite experiences was when he got the crowd to do a Mexican Wave with their lit-up cellphones. The magnitude of awesomeness at seeing the seated crowd, perched high up on the stands, waving their cellphones in a progressive sync, cannot be described in words. It was a moment thing. Soccer City was “heaven-esque”. Luckily the BlackBerry crash took place a week later, and not on that day
Another incredible spectacle was when hundreds of colourful plastic balls were thrown into the crowd. The scene was perfect!
Then the moment that had many in tears occurred!
Chris Martin: “So one of the guys from the band. I think it was Will (the drummer) who said that South Africa is so warm and sunny, as opposed to where we come from (England), and suggested we shoot some footage for our new music video”.
Yes, that just happened. The crowd went mental. They then broke into their latest single “Paradise”. When that was done, they played a backtrack to the song, got into their monkey and elephant costumes, and began shooting a minute of footage for the video. That moment cannot be expressed on paper. South Africa stood up and, once again, showed the world that we are to be taken seriously! What a moment! *tear*
Having the crowd in the palm of their hands for every track, Colplay continued to own the stage. With hits like “Viva La Vida, Yellow, The Scientist, In My Place, Violet Hill, Fix You, Clocks, Shiver, Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall” and much, much more. They also did a cover of B.O.B.’s “Not Lost” and a touching tribute to the late Amy Winehouse, with a rendition of her chart-topper “Rehab”. It was powerful!
This was how to perform on stage. It wasn’t just about the music. It was a production. Laser beams, fireworks, luminous lighting, and big screens. This is what we, as fans, want to see when we pay large amounts of money. Coldplay, and earlier this year, 30 Seconds To Mars and U2, have set a benchmark for artists coming to perform on our stages. We want to see just that! A performance. A production.
One of the most satisfying observations was seeing the diversity of people that attended the show. Black, White, Indian, Coloured, Chinese, etc. It emphasises the fact that music has no boundaries. Music is a universal language. It also showed me that the stigma, of bands such as Coldplay, being referred to as “White music” is taking a new direction.
Tears were shed. Romances were started. Lives were changed. Hearts were won. Souls were saved. The word is out; International artists come to South Africa! Our people will show you a great time! Period!
The band ended their sensational performance with their powerful “Fix You” track, simultaneously lighting the skies with fireworks. What an encore!
Their new album “Mylo Xyloto” has just dropped and includes a collaboration with Rihanna.
The FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) I experienced after reading this is unparalleled! If you are like me, and you didn’t go, join me in consoling myself with their latest video, “Paradise”, shot here in Mzansi! Enjoy!