Being a fan of Coldplay, this was an evening I certainly didn’t want to miss. By the end of it, I was convinced that even if I wasn’t a fan, I still would’ve loved it. The start of the show was delayed by nearly an hour, which was a real turn off, especially for those who’d shown up on time. Now I don’t know whether to blame the organisation, or Bangalore’s audience, which is normally known to be late. The crowd poured in very slowly for the first hour, either hoping to skip the opening act, or because they were stuck in traffic, and eventually the late audience and the late beginning turned out to be perfectly in sync with each other.
The opening act was a solo artist, Thom Chacon. He is currently promoting his latest album Featherweight Fighter, produced by the legendary Perry Margouleff. Thom played an impressive set, with completely original material. He captivated the audience with nothing but his guitar, his harmonica and his voice. His set was very reminiscent of American-Folk, yet I won’t venture as far as putting him into such a tight box, because his style was nonetheless unique. Between his tracks, he would talk to the audience, and share stories, like a true story-teller. His style reminded me of the legendary story-tellers, Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie. Some of the more memorable numbers included, ‘She Ain’t The One’, ‘The Devil You Know’ and ‘Innocent Man’. But I think the unequivocal winner on his set was ‘Crazy Pills’. I simply loved this song! The lyrics were simple, yet reflected Thom’s depth as a songwriter.
There wasn’t much of a wait after Thom Chacon went off stage. ColdPlayer made a dramatic entrance, with a darkened stage and a powerful introduction by the MC. Then suddenly, the lights, the band, and the sound exploded spectacularly into the night. This entrance got the crowd very excited after the long wait. The band looked every bit like what everyone was expecting. From the way they dressed to the way they sounded to the way they moved around on stage, everything was so authentic! It was an uncanny first couple of minutes where I had to keep telling myself that I wasn’t watching Coldplay themselves. The sound of the band was so rich and full. It was very evident that they had put in a lot of work as a band and crew to form the complete Coldplay experience.
The entire band was dressed in a grungy ‘Viva la Vida’ style, complete with French Revolution coats, and hats and Converse shoes. The vocalist went even further with his hand-bands and plastic rings, emulating Chris Martin. The way he romanced the mike, the way he would sit at the piano, the way he would look away into the distance and sing, everything was such a brilliant imitation.
They played most of the popular ColdPlay tracks and even interspersed it with some of the lesser known tracks, but the Bangalore audience kept up throughout the set! I couldn’t believe my ears when the audience were singing along to every single track for the entire two-hour set! The band looked quite impressed with the audience too. I saw them on many occasions looking at each other, completely stumped by how much the audience knew. I spoke to them later, and it transpired that they had been told to expect maniacal metal fans in Bangalore. It took them completely by surprise when Bangalore was singing Coldplay, word for word.
The band let the crowd do parts of many of the tracks, like ‘In My Place’, ‘Fix You’, ‘Politik’, ‘Yellow’ and ‘Trouble’. The crowd went berserk when asked to sing. They even sang along in tune, and in time! Hats off to everyone there! You were awesome.
The first set was one of very very high energy levels with tracks like ‘Speed of Sound’ and ‘In My Place’. To add to the ColdPlay act, in the middle of ‘Yellow’, a lot of yellow balloons were released into the air. This added to the authenticity of the evening. The crowd was having a blast throwing the big balloons around, sometimes even throwing the balloons onto the stage. The band would promptly throw the balloons back into the crowd. The band was having so much fun, jumping off the drummer’s stage, and running around that they tired themselves out after a while. The drummer and bassist took a break while the vocalist and guitarist kept the crowd swaying to some of the mellow numbers, like, ‘Green Eyes’ and ‘Trouble’. When the entire band got back together on-stage, they went wild with another powerful set.
Replicating the stage antics of Coldplay, they even brought out a bat and ball towards the end of their set and batted some balls to the crowd. Right at the end they even gave away the bat, a hat and a couple of guitar picks. The crowd loved them so much that they repeatedly kept asking for an encore. The by-now-exhausted band took on a couple of encore tracks, and finally ended with ‘Yellow’, sung mostly by the crowd. It was the perfect end to a fantastic evening.