Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Coldplay – A Head Full of Dreams Tour, Wembley Stadium

For some reason, Coldplay are a band that I have had a tendency to underappreciate in the past. Despite loving so many of their songs, I couldn’t tell you of a time when I reached for an album to listen in full. Maybe I never had. I suppose what I’m saying is that they are a band I’ve massively overlooked for as long as I can remember.

But when a friend asked if I would be interested in taking her spare ticket, I was immediately tempted. It was an expensive ticket - probably more than I’ve ever paid for a concert - but when I really thought about their music and the fact that this was supposedly their last tour, it was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse.

Coldplay’s first support act was Alessia Cara, a young singer-songwriter who you may recognise from her song, Here, which was in the charts last year. At just 19 years old, Cara maintained an impressively tenacious presence, and her faultless vocal performance was coupled with moments that showcased her endearing personality.

I would be lying if I denied that part of the reason I couldn’t turn down this ticket was because Lianne La Havas was playing. Having now seen La Havas perform in a festival tent, in the Royal Albert Hall and in the expanse of Wembley Stadium, I can confirm that there’s no space that can’t be filled with her soulful music. La Havas’s ever graceful composure and captivating vocals transform even a 90,000-seat stadium into an intimate experience.



Coldplay’s set began with the dramatic O mio babbino caro, followed by the opening of A Head Full of Dreams overlaid with a Charlie Chaplin speech, establishing the theatrical elements of the performance that were maintained through the use of screens and complex patterns of lighting.

It’s easy to forget how many beautiful songs the band have released over the years, and as Coldplay launched into hit after hit, their faultless musicianship and soaring vocal melodies were complimented by varied uses of the vast space.




More recently, Coldplay’s live performances have been renowned for the LED wristbands, which create a mirage of light that sweeps and pulses across the crowd, like some kind of living and breathing mystical creature. And the effect is truly entrancing.






What Coldplay might lack in charisma, they certainly make up for in the detail and theatrics of the show, and in the atmospheric nature of their music, which thrives in structures as imposing as Wembley.

I am so glad I had the chance to see Coldplay on what might be their final album tour, and I think it will be a performance that stays with me for a very long time. One thing is for sure: I won’t be overlooking the magic of Coldplay’s music anytime soon.



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