Sure it’s true that for some people, it has gotten to the stage where it’s cool to hate Coldplay on account of their shameless attempt to be the biggest rock band in the world – but who cares especially if they produce songs that can be universally appreciated by the masses. As was the turnout, completely packing Sydney Football stadium, from the very young to the elderly, and Coldplay were exactly where they were meant to be.
Shortly after the lights went down, the show began, as fireworks erupted from the stage, the oval was showered with confetti, and the stadium lit up with each audience member’s wristbands, flashing in sync. It was difficult not to get caught up in the lights and sound that was Coldplay, as they played one of their singles from Mylo Xyloto, Hurts Like Heaven. And if this wasn’t enough, they then unleashed the elaborately decorated giant balloons, and lasers during Major Minus. The energy was high throughout the entire evening – the band were clearly enjoying themselves. It was hard to tell whether the audience or the band were happier to be there. their songs brought infectious smiles towards the audience, especially The Scientist and Yellow. A more rock-oriented version of God Put a Smile Upon Your Face was played, which worked very well. There was a good mix of newer and older material, including Warning Sign also from A Rush of Blood to the Head, a nice contrast to how much the band’s sound has changed since their early days. The audience couldn’t wait to join in at every possible opportunity, singing along with Chris Martin to Viva la Vida, and Paradise with not a care in the world.
The encore was played on a smaller stage in the midst of the standing audience as everyone on the floor scrambled to get a good view. Us Against the World and stripped down version Speed of Sound were both played beautifully. Returning to the stage, they played Clocks, a heartfelt Fix You, and finished off with the more upbeat Every Teardrop is a Waterfall, which was accompanied by a final display of pyrotechnics for the trip home, and a night well spent watching (and joining in with) a quartet of true performers.
Hurts Like Heaven
In My Place
Lovers In Japan
God Put a Smile Upon Your Face
Princess of China
Up In Flames
Viva La Vida
Us Against The World
Speed of Sound
Every Teardrop is a Waterfall
It wasn’t until Thom, Jonny, Ed, Colin and Phil finally took to the stage that the fact that I was seeing Radiohead live truly sunk in. They looked comfortable, as they launched into Bloom, the opener from their latest album The King of Limbs. The stage featured twelve LED panels which were repositioned in between songs, to great effect, in addition to the hypnotic visualisations accompanying the music.
Most of their songs were adapted for a more rock-orientated sound from their original recordings, with the help of a second drum kit. Songs like The Gloaming and Myxomytosis sounded drastically different to their album incarnations, retained their original punch.
Sydney was also lucky enough to hear a couple of new songs throughout the night – Staircase and Fullstop which sounded like a continuation of their sound in more recent albums but was well definitely well received by the crowd. It seemed as though each song received a lengthy applause, just in show of appreciation towards the band for making their way over to Australia again.
Radiohead played a string of songs from In Rainbows, including Videotape, Nude, and Lotus Flower, which was probably the first song played so far, which remotely resembled a ‘hit’. The impression that they were much happier playing newer material was immediately dispelled when distinctly familiar intro to Planet Telex was played.
This was followed by Feral which was a surprise highlight for me; especially hearing the vocal utterances live, layered throughout the song, not to mention the build up of bass towards the end of the piece.
After a hugely animated rendition of Bodysnatchers, they came back for the first of three encores, starting with the quieter and more subdued Give up the Ghost with just Thom and Jonny on stage. The band then re-entered as Jonny Greenwood took to the lead, bowing his electric guitar in a haunting performance of Pyramid Song, one of my favourites off Amnesiac. This was in stark contrast to Paranoid Android, which the crowd sang along to almost religiously.
The second encore featured 15 Step, then an epic, drawn out version of Everything In Its Right Place, with the repeating keyboard pattern building up as the band members left one by one, then came back for the final time to play Idioteque, finishing off an unforgettable show that was many years in the making for alot of people.
Morning Mr Magpie
Give Up the Ghost
These Are My Twisted Words
Everything In Its Right Place