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Viva la Vida con Coldplay

By Amy Mikel in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 24, 2008 5:45PM

2008_07_Coldplay.jpgWith their fourth studio album firmly entrenched on the charts, Coldplay easily filled the United Center with fans for their two-night concert stand this week, a far cry from their last relatively intimate appearance at The Metro. The enthusiasm we saw from the Chicago stop on their worldwide Viva la Vida tour is arguably a testament to Coldplay’s longevity: ponder all you want about the quality of the music, but a whole lot of people still like the band.

The 90-minute set mainly drew music from their newest album, but Chris Martin and co. still managed to fit in all of the band’s former singles, like “Fix You,” “The Scientist,” “Speed of Sound,” and of course, “Clocks” and “Yellow.” Although we think their recent material is drifting away from their music’s main draw – the catchy hooks and the guilty pleasure of singing along to Martin’s nonsensical lyrics – Coldplay has reached the point as a band where they have built a solid musical catalog, combining old music with new to deliver an enjoyable, feel-good performance.

The Tuesday and Wednesday night shows were also used to record bits for Coldplay’s upcoming “Lost!” video -- and maybe a concert film? -- with Martin claiming that the Chicago shows had been specifically chosen for filming, making everyone in the audience feel very spay-shal. It was certainly a pleasurable concert, so Coldplay seems to be sticking with what works: write and perform music for the fans, and they will be happy.

[Ed. note: Admittedly I think Coldplay can be a tad overly earnest, but I happened to see last night's show too and have to admit the band knows how to put on a rock and/or roll spectacle that can send chills down even this grizzled old vet's spine. It's hard to deny the power of a stadium full of people singing "Yellow" with unabashed glee. Also, I certainly didn't mind hearing the interesting and powerfully propulsive "Lost!" twice while the band got a good take.]