Coldplay’s Concert Paradise

Coldplay last played in the New York area in 2009, headlining the final day of the late, lamented All Points West festival, supporting its Viva La Vida album. The show almost didn’t happen due to severe storms and flooding at the venue. The group’s recent New York area appearance at the IZOD Center in New Jersey faced no atmospheric challenges. The triumphant second night of the group’s local area Mylo Xyloto tour stop on August 4th miraculously eclipsed its scintillating 2009 All Points West show.

The roughly one hour and 45 minute show featured 21 songs from the band’s five studio albums. The new Mylo Xyloto material seamlessly worked alongside the Viva La Vida material and select songs from the group’s first three albums.

Coldplay worked hard to deliver a show of uncompromising quality music and complementary staging, complete with a hailstorm of origami-like confetti, gnome–like holograms appearing like apparitions in the arena and spinning, day-glo laser lights. Every ticket holder also received an electronic wristband. The wristbands lit up during certain songs, bathing the darkened arena like a sea of human Christmas light displays. During “Yellow,” what appeared to be over-sized beach balls, filled with even more origami confetti, bounced playfully all around the arena.

A Coldplay concert is, in a word, a joyous experience. The group’s songs are filled with hope and empathy. They bring the same kind of triumphant sense of celebrating life groups like The Who and U2 display in concert. Unlike those groups, Coldplay eschews any anger in its music, or politics in its lyrics.

Coldplay continues to work hard at claiming the spot of biggest group in the world.