Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Coldplay "Chills" At The Pond

Last week Coldplay brought their atmospheric, uplifting sound to The Pond and an appreciative, sold out crowd.

In many ways, Coldplay is an anachronism. This is supposed to be the era of Hip Hop, Rap, Bubblegum Pop and hard edged "Rawk" by the likes of headbangers Linkin Park and Korn. So the popularity of Coldplay's melodic, feel good sound is both disarming and surprising.

No screaming, cathartic angst or overly aggressive guitars. Coldplay's riffs are instantly catchy (think U2's The Edge at his happiest moments) yet they retain their appeal upon repeated listenings. While their lyrics are playful and may not inspire deep thought, they do stick in your head.

Coldplay's good natured sound carries over into their stage presence. After playing piano on a couple of songs, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin sang from a raised platform on one side of the stage. Martin explained apologetically to the crown nearest him that it is only fair they get a close up of his front as they will be seeing a lot of his backside when he returns to the keyboard.

Spontaneous and loose onstage, this unassuming quartet openly discussed what to play next. Even though they only hit the big time three years ago, Coldplay has amassed an impressive playlist. Top 40 staples like "Yellow", "Trouble", "Speed of Sound", "Talk" and the ubiquitous, "Clocks" peppered their set.

Martin stopped between songs to ask the crown at The Pond, "Is everybody ok at this juncture?", with a genuine concern. It is clear that he and his bandmates love performing and the opportunity their popularity has given them to do it.

The band assembled at the front of the stage for a quick "Unplugged" set that included a cover of Johnny Cash's "Ring Of Fire". Chris Martin then sprinted to the far end of of The Pond for a couple of Coldplay originals, giving those in the "cheap seats" an unexpected thrill.

Coldplay's lack of pretense and feel good sound carry such wide appeal that their audience spans far beyond twenty-to-thirty somethings. Chances are, even your grandmother would not have felt out of place here.

They may not save the world but given a chance, Coldplay may rekindle your faith in new music.

- DJ Craig

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