November 2011 Coldplay confirmed a summer 2012 stadium tour. This tour opened with a trip to the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, then to the Emirates Stadium in London for 2 nights (a 3rd was later added due to an overwhelming response), then to the Stadium Of Light in Sunderland and then finally ending with 2 nights at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester. I didn’t try for a ticket mainly due to the fact I was set to see Chris and Jonny’s Little Noise Session in Hackney. Also the following month I was extremely lucky to win a pair of tickets to the money could not buy Dingwalls show. Days after that I started to watch footage on the internet and I was craving to attend a full on Coldplay show. At this time tickets had long been sold out but a wise friend told me they always release tickets nearer the time. He was absolutely right a limited amount of tickets were released in the middle of May. Once I had heard this I purchased one straight away. This was to be my first actual Coldplay concert and I was looking forward to seeing Coldplay, Marina, Ash and getting one of those Mylo Xyloto wrist bands.
I arrived at the Emirates at 9am thinking that there will be a couple of Coldplay fans queuing at my gate. But I was wrong and I was the first there which was surprising. From going round the stadium there were only 8 people waiting outside their gates. Honestly I had thought that there would have been some camping. Still when 12pm arrived there were around 6 people sitting by the barrier at gate S. My friend arrived just before 12 and it is always good to have someone with you as it makes the time queuing pass quicker. The turnstiles eventually opened a few minutes after 5pm and once they did everyone darted through and ran to the barrier. It was then a long wait until the first support of the night took to the stage.
Ash are an alternative rock band that formed in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland in 1992. This 3 piece band consist of lead vocalist Tim Wheeler, Mark Hamilton on bass and Rick McMurray on drums. I have been a fan since they released Free All Angels in 2001 and I was lucky enough to see that album performed in its entirety with Charlotte Hatherley last year. The 3 piece band took to the stage around 6.45pm and opened up with Girl From Mars which was taken from the album 1977. Wheeler wrote this song when he was only 16. This rocking song had a rampant pace and opened up with the chorus. Also the guitar playing throughout this song was rather impressive. “How you doing? We’re called Ash and it’s amazing to be here. It’s such a buzz. We’re going to start with a couple of Summer songs to try keep away the rain” Tim Wheeler said to the crowd before Oh Yeah. The two verses were delivered gently while the chorus was extremely powerful. It was slightly ironic that it started to rain throughout this track as it mentioned about warm June evenings. Once over it was onto Kung Fu. Plenty of energy flowed from this pacey song. There was a lot of clapping from the crowd throughout this number. “This one’s called Arcadia” Wheeler then said before playing the said song. Arcadia was the newest song to be played during the set. It was actually a part of the A-Z series in 2009. This was the first time I had heard this song live and I was impressed how fantastic it sounded. Its lyrics were brilliant and Tim Wheeler delivered them faultlessly. “How’s everyone doing? It’s a mega Bank Holiday and it’s Friday night. We’ve got Coldplay on later on. It’s going to be amazing. The other amazing thing for me is this is the closest gig you could of got to my old house” Wheeler said before dedicating Free All Angels track Shining Light to Pat and Jean. Even though this song was delivered powerfully, I found it to be both swooning and mellowing. Its lyrics were really beautiful. The penultimate song was Twilight Of The Innocents which was taken from the 5th and final Ash studio album. This was an album track and was originally going to be called In Hell when the demo was made. At first it started of gentle and then thumping drumbeat came in. I rather enjoyed this mesmerising number. Nearing the end this song gained more oomph. “Well thank you so much. We are Ash and this is our very last song. So enjoy Marina and the Diamonds and Coldplay. Have a great night. We’ll see you again” Tim said before ending on Burn Baby Burn. This song was rather energetic and was delivered at a furious pace. Here is a fact for you this song originally written for Nu Clear Sounds but did not make the cut. Plus it was titled as Slow Suicide but changed to Burn Baby Burn at the last minute to avoid radio censorship.
Girl From Mars
Twilight Of The Innocents
Burn Baby Burn
I have been a fan of Marina Diamandis since 2009 and I was rather relishing seeing her play live again. Unfortunately the Lonely Hearts Club tour was postponed until late June. This was a great shame because I had a ticket to the intimate Tabernacle show. Looking at it, that date is one hot ticket and this being the fact Marina’s sophomore album Electra Heart reached the top spot the week of release. The set which was performed was a mixture of material from both Electra Heart and The Family Jewels.
Things started off with mid tempo ballad Starring Role. Diamandis took to the stage wearing a white dress. This song was delivered with plenty energy, lyrically Starring Role is superb. “Are we ready?” Marina said before getting stuck into Mowgli’s Road which features on the debut album. This song oozed both charisma and energy. Mowgli’s Road was delivered to pure perfection. At the same time it was very quirky. “London, I am thrilled to be here tonight. I’m Marina and the Diamonds. It’s nice to see some London boys and girls” Diamandis mentioned to the crowd before going into Bubblegum Bitch. This song was full of electro pop goodness. Its lyrics were highly contagious. In my eyes it has what it takes to be future single material. It was then onto the crowd pleasing I Am Not A Robot. This was a gentle paced song which at first started with keys then the drums came in then the song itself gained a lot of powerful I really adored the verses to this song which have been slowed down. I miss the days when Marina blitzed through these verses. “This is called Homewrecker” Diamandis said when introducing the next song. Homewrecker was offered as a free download back in February and it connected with me straight away. This again was another slice of electro pop goodness. Synths were present during this song. While the verses may be spoken it was highly infectious plus there was a fist thumping chorus. I pick up on shades of Pet Shop Boys. The vocals were simply amazing and has to be one of my favourite new Marina songs. “It’s a huge honour tonight. I moved to London 8 years ago and this is one of the 1st songs I ever played at The Bullet Bar in Camden which was about 100 people. So thank you to Coldplay tonight for having me on tour” Diamandis said before Obsessions. This being her debut release on Neon Gold. This keyboard driven song was extremely quirky and gentle at the same time. You felt obliged to sing along to this beautiful number. Obsessions conveyed the message that everyone does have individual things that they are obsessed with. “People at the top, how we doing? That’s pretty good. How about over here? Down below? It’s raining but we don’t care. We’re not made of sugar. I’m so happy to be here. We’ve been all over Europe this week and it’s so nice to come back to the city that gave me my dream” Marina said to the crowd when coming down the catwalk that had been set up especially for Coldplay. Hypocrates was next and this song was beautiful and had lyrics which fitted perfectly. “Are we ready to dance a bit? I think we need to move a bit. This song’s called Radioactive. We’ve got a beach ball at least” Diamandis then said. What followed was a remixed version of Radioactive which sounded amazing. “Well I’ve f**ked my dress up. Classic. Alright, sing along if you know the words” Marina said before launching into the infectious Hollywood. This song had lyrics which were packed with a punch. “Thank you so much London this is going to be our last song. I’m Marina and the Diamonds. Are we excited for Coldplay? You’re going to have the best night of your life” Diamandis said before ending with the lead single to Electra Heart and this being Primadonna. This song is a lot different compared to material from The Family Jewels. It actually starts with the gentle chorus and then followed by the thumping verses.
I Am Not A Robot
The set by Coldplay opened up with the epic Back To The Future theme tune. Everyone was going crazy at this point in anticipation of what they were about to witness. The incredible set opened up with Mylo Xyloto/ Hurts Like Heaven. Basically Mylo Xyloto was the prelude to Hurts Like Heaven. This has to be one of my favourite songs from current album. There was a furious pace to this track and the lyrics were really infectious. Bundles of energy flowed from this song and the whole audience erupted with cheers. It was then onto In My Place which appeared on the sophomore album A Rush Of Blood To The Head. I found this song to have a mellowing melody with infectious lyrics which were delivered to perfection. Confetti canons showered the crowd during this song.
“Good evening and welcome. You sound fan f*cking fantastic. Well good evening everybody. Thank you so much for giving us your Friday night and thank you for going through the crap you have to go through to come to a concert. The traffic and the waiting and the rain and the food prices and the f*cking underground prices. Or whatever you have gone through to be here. We appreciate it and we are grateful and in return we are going to give you every f*cking ounce of energy we’ve got. So please give us everything you have, we’ll give everything we have. Have a great time and everyone in London will be like what the hell was happening there? It sounded like the best place on earth” Chris Martin said before Major Minus. He played this song on acoustic guitar. Even though this featured on Mylo Xyloto it also appeared as the B side to Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall. “Let me see your beautiful hands” Martin said halfway into this track. I rather liked this powerful song plus its lyrics as well. It was then onto Lovers In Japan. This sleek song had a upbeat melody. During the song there were a lot of beach balls that looked like mini planets which were propelled into the crowd. Nearing the end of the song the sky was showered with multi coloured confetti. The Scientist was next and this was a lovely mellowing piano driven ballad. Everyone sang along to this song. How could you not sing along? The lyrics were so delicate and gelled to the melody perfectly. “Thank you so much. You sound incredible. We’re just getting going” Chris said once The Scientist was over. Yellow followed on straight after. Yellow kicked started their career. “I’m singing this for my kids you might want to sing this to whoever you love too” Martin then said to the jam packed crowd. This mellowing song had a powerful epic punch. Plenty of people were singing along to this wonderful tune. It was then onto the upbeat Violet Hill. I rather liked the lyrics to this song. Violet Hill had some really impressive guitar playing. “I don’t hear you out there. We’re just getting going. We haven’t even played any of the good songs yet. Is everybody having a good time so far? Like 20 seconds of quiet stuff then we’ll go crazy” Martin said before the gentle ending of Violet Hill. The start of God Put A Smile Upon Your Face started out very mellowing then later you had an infusion of the guitars and drums making this extremely heavy. They breezed through this song at ease and it sounded really rocky.
Where do we go, nobody knows
I’ve got to say I’m on my way down
God give me style and give me grace
Give me 60,000 Londoners in the same place
God put a smile upon my face (x2)
Now let me see your hands in the whole place
It was then to the B stage for the brand new single and this being Princess of China . This was an upbeat song which gets you moving. Rihanna also appeared on the massive screen on the main stage. “Stop, stop, stop. Rihanna was late. Lets do that again. From the top” Martin said before starting up Princess Of China again. I loved Rihanna’s mellowing part of this wonderful tune. Chris Martin’s vocal performance for Up in Flames was outstanding. I found this tune to be hypnotic and ever so gorgeous. Once over the stadium erupted into plenty of applause. The gentle and delicate Warning Sign was the last song on the B side. Martin played the piano for this one. Warning Sign was rather beautiful and it was tinged with a tiny bit of emotion “When the truth is that I miss you”. This was a mellowing tune which sounded incredible. Once over it was then back to the main stage for A Hopeful Transmission/ Don’t Let It Break Your Heart. A Hopeful Transmission was the prelude to Don’t Let It Break Your Heart. I rather enjoyed this energetic infectious tune. The fans favourite Viva La Vida was immediately after and the crowd participation was simply breathtaking. Definitely a crowd pleasing tune. They completely blitz through this number. It was very energetic plus everyone sang along to this infectious song. Its lyrics were extraordinary. “Everybody put your hands up in the air” Chris said as the 60,000 Xylobands lit up for Charlie Brown. This song was packed with a punch and people were jumping up and down with their fist up in the air. Just seeing loads of bands flashing on and off was rather surreal. Yes I have seen it on TV but witnessing it yourself is a moment you wont forget. Still Charlie Brown was a contagious song and yet again it was a pleasing song. Paradise which was the 2nd single lifted off of the current album was up next. The lyrics to this song upbeat and catchy as well. Plenty of people were sang along. On the left side of the catwalk there was someone dressed up as an Elephant (the video for the song shows an Elephant escaping from a Zoo and making a journey home to Africa). “Thank you so much for coming. Thank you so much for giving us this incredible job. And giving us such a great time on a Friday” Martin said before everyone sang along Paradise’s final chorus. “Hey, you can’t come to Arsenal’s stadium without playing both ends. So we’ve come to the back for a few songs if that’s OK. This is where you guys at the back get to see there not that handsome after all” Chris then said before urging everyone to give each band member a great big English welcome. The song that followed was Us Against the World. This was a chilled out mellowing ballad which sounded absolutely faultless. The final song on the tiny C stage was an acoustic stripped back take on X & Y tune Speed Of Sound. This was a sweet song that sounded rather smooth. I loved the infectious chorus of this tune. It was then back to the main stage for what was to be the encore. The song being Clocks. The opening to this tune does sound similar to Speed Of Sound. This was a crowd favourite and Clocks had lasers and even the wristbands were lighting up. Once over it was then onto a chunk of Singing In The Rain which the crowd chanted along to. This then led to Fix You. It another song that everyone sang along to. Fix You was a soothing beautiful ballad with luscious lyrics. “They’re going to have a hard time beating you tomorrow night. Let me tell you” Chris said when everyone sang along to the closing of Fix You. It was then immediately onto another double header and this being M.M.I.X./ Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall. This song was very upbeat and I really liked the cheesy lyrics “I turn the music up, I got my records on/I shut the world outside until the lights come on”.
Mylo Xyloto/ Hurts Like Heaven
In My Place
Lovers In Japan
God Put A Smile Upon Your Face
Princess of China
Up in Flames
A Hopeful Transmission/ Don’t Let It Break Your Heart
Viva La Vida
Us Against the World
Speed Of Sound
Singing In The Rain/ Fix You
M.M.I.X./ Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall
OVERALL: Words cannot describe how fantastic this evening was. Yes it may of rained but it didn’t dampen spirits. What everyone witnessed was an epic show which left me speechless. The graffiti stage layout was incredible and Chris Martin worked both sides/ catwalk. This was my first full on Coldplay concert and I can see why they can instantaneously sell out tours. The thing I most liked about this concert is the fact when it is over you leave with a massive smile on your face. Queuing from 9am just to be on the front barrier was well worth it. Also I must mention that the support acts were fantastic. Plus it was the only date both Marina and Ash appeared at.
Would I see Coldplay live again? With a new album, I certainly would.