Rita Ora and Robyn both seem strange choices for support acts, but Jayz’s Roc Nation’s new darling Rita Ora’s set is punchy and energetic. It’s obvious the 21 year old London-born blonde can sing despite the heavy backing track. She does rock up her number one singles ‘Hot Right Now’ and ‘RIP’ to make the non-dance orientated fans in the audience more interested.
Robyn’s set isn’t quite as enjoyable. The Swedish blonde shrieks over a heavy bass that makes the metal frame of the stadium rattle uncomfortably. The lyrics get lost in the drums and Robyn’s psychotic dancing makes the general set awkward. ‘Call your girlfriend’ is the only song that comes across as anything other than a pixie shrieking. I was just waiting for Jedward to appear and join in the dancing routine.
Coldplay are a different story…
Setting the tone for the evening opening with ‘Hurts Like Heaven’ together with added pyrotechnics and confetti, the visual onslaught doesn’t stop as neon balls dance across the crowd, and the radio operated wristbands given to the audience start to light up in time to the music. The wristsbands, which they debuted at the Brit awards, are a simple concept but connect the audience and lifts the atmosphere out of the everyday, and into ‘lifetime experience’.
After the first fifteen minutes it’s hard to know how they will keep this atmosphere alive for the next two hours. Don’t worry, they can.
Coldplay are one of those ‘event’ bands that can play a rousing rock anthem that will get the crowd singing and confetti flying, and then change the mood with stripped back acoustic beauty. ‘In my Place’ and ‘Yellow’ are songs you think could become lost inside a big stadium, but Coldplay make them sound intimate and moving, and to me, more moving so than on record.
For me though stompers like ‘Violet Hill’ and ‘Viva La Vida’ are the ones that leave the lasting memory and the band give it their all, especially Chris Martin. No matter how much he runs, jumps and sweats, his vocals are spot on, and is visually moved from the audience love beamed back to the band from the adoring crowd.
The one blip is Rihanna’s cameo on the backdrop video for ‘Princess of China’, is slightly disjointed and the backing track doesn’t work with the rawness of the rest of the show, but asking for perfection is a bit much.
For the encore they set up stage in the centre of the floor, among the crowd to sing ‘Us Against The World’ and ‘Speed of Sound’. As a nod to the heavy rain that tries (but fails), to dampen the evening, they also drop a verse of ‘Singing In The Rain’ into the mix.
Ending the show with the emotional ‘Fix You’, but leaving us on a happier note with ‘Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall’, collapsed to the ground by the last note Chris Martin is physically and emotionally drained. Coldplay live is not just an experience for the ears but a spectacle for the eyes, a bath of music and colour. It seems fitting to have these British musical monsters playing throughout Jubilee weekend.
Pic – Copyright Coldplay