Sunday, September 20, 2009

What a night! Coldplay with Jay-Z and Girls Aloud as supporting acts. Personally, I couldn't give a crap about Girls Aloud but the hot-blooded male in our group did, so we got to Wembley earlier than I would have preferred.

While walking there, my friend asked me who I was there to see given that I'd seen Coldplay three times already prior to tonight. And, naturally, I responded, "Jay-Z." She thought I'd be in the minority, but I was confident she'd be proven wrong. And, indeed, she was.

But before I start on Jay-Z's performance, I'll just give a recap of Girls Aloud. None of them can sing and their sound system was incredibly bad, which didn't help things.

Back to the good stuff. Jay-Z was definitely on top form. I didn't think I knew any tunes other than 99 Problems prior to tonight, but, as it turned out, I knew way more than just one, such as Hard Knock Life and the song I always hear in any hip hop night, and which some beatboxers can do the bassline to, but which I don't know the title of. I was incredibly thrilled that he ended off with Numb Encore, because, well, I'm a bit of a closet Linkin Park fan. Jay-Z most definitely got the crowd rockin'... or maybe, groovin' or bouncin' seeing as so many of us dropped into urban dancing as if it was second-nature to all of us, something I'm sure isn't expected of anyone going to see Coldplay.

You'd think having a top-notch act such as Jay-Z would mean that Coldplay wouldn't have a chance in hell of outperforming him. After all, some would consider the band to be among the blandest bands on the planet at this point in time. Well, if there was anyone in Wembley who thought that before tonight, I'm sure they've reconsidered their position following the concert. Coldplay totally owned Wembley. I don't think I've ever heard them perform better than tonight. Like U2, most of Coldplay's songs sound best when performed in a stadium, especially tunes such as Viva La Vida. Even Fix You sounded grander than it usually sounds, and that's meant in a good way. I haven't ever listened to Coldplay perform Fix You when I'm not depressed, so tonight was a tad unusual for me in that respect, and it just sounded much better, more like the promise that Chris Martin intended it to be, and less like a slightly hopeful but still depressing tune.

And Yellow. Where do I start? The song that propelled Coldplay to fame and also one of the songs I love to hear live. What with the somewhat cheesy but still incredibly fun beach balls which rained down on the crowd (I got to play with one too! Heh.) and the X-Factor additions to the sing-a-long... good stuff.

Coldplay even performed a cover of Billie Jean on a mini-stage in the middle of the crowd. No disrespect intended to the King of Pop, but Chris imbued his rendition with more paranoia than the original, something I didn't think was possible. And, yes, I thought it was wonderful.

The band ended off the night with Life in Technicolour II, which has one of the most cheerful openings I have ever heard. I loved it, as I did everything else.

Yes, I know. In my eyes, Coldplay can do no wrong. I have seen them twice in Singapore, and twice in London, and it's remarkable how much they've matured. Chris, when the band first started out, was a terrible showman, and did little to interact with the audience. Now, he's running around with unbridled enthusiasm and energy and just going nuts with the crowd. Utterly amazing, and a joy to watch.

What else can I say? I left the concert happy. And, sure, it may be temporary, but I was - and still am - truly and utterly happy. And when life is as unpredictable as it is, one takes the uncommon moments of happiness where one can.

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