Track back to November 2012, and Coldplay live was a spectacular, touring the country including Etihad Stadium in Melbourne with thousands of fans, lights, lasers, effects and wrist bands that lit up in sync to tunes (which I still have).
Fast forward to present day June 2014, and you’ve got something very different. Just one special show in Sydney for a handful of fans in comparison at the Enmore Theatre.
The Kin were the chosen support and with instantly contagious and expansive sounds complete with the percussive talents of Shakerleg, they were mesmerising to watch live. So much so that EPs and tickets for the band’s Melbourne show on the weekend were purchased between sets.
But the night was about Coldplay and the opening track of Ghost Stories, ‘Always In My Head’, was a fitting start. Deceptively subdued and monochrome, without the usual fanfare and even cosy on stage together compared to the vast span of arena and stadium staging. It barely took a note to have everyone on their feet in the seated area, and there we stayed all night.
Taking nothing for granted, an introduction of ‘We’re called Coldplay’ accompanied with acknowledging the best fans on Earth kicked everything into gear. Here were the lights and rays of neon laser beams with Charlie Brown, and Chris Martin could have easily not sung a word during Paradise with the intimate crowd taking care of vocals more than adequately.
The compliments in the intimate setting kept coming though, being told we sounded wonderful and even singing something along the lines of “Give me 1500 Australians in the same place”, a bespoke lyric change in God Put a Smile Upon Your Face.
Til Kingdom Come was charming, and surprisingly funny. Upon hearing a strange animal-like sound from the crowd, everything on stage stopped for a few jokes and an invitation to share any animal like noise at the end of the song. Cheers and giggles promptly became to silence as the song resumed, the closest to a pin drop being audible amongst a mass of people, even hearing the harmonies from Will Champion uninterrupted.
A more Ghost Stories followed with the beats of ‘Ink’ and mellow ‘True Love’, with the mood lifting for Viva La Vida. Unofficial crowd rehearsals before the main act clearly paid off with encouragement to keep singing even once the song finished.
You can’t hide a timpani being wheeled on stage, which only meant one thing….more partying with Every Teardrop is A Waterfall.
Ending on a high, a first encore revisited Ghost stories including the feel-good A Sky Full of Stars. Anyone would be hard pressed to top confetti cannons, the machines that make the masses cheer like kids. But it was topped, with star shaped confetti. Yes, it was a novelty…and there’s nothing wrong with the simple joy that brings.
The live stream of the show was over, but there was more for those of us present with Kylie Minogue joining the band in all her pint sized existence. Chris Martin was no Nick Cave, but performing a darker and more sombre cover of ‘Where The Wild Roses Grow’ with Kylie was quite alluring. All the mellowness was of course discarded with ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’…Coldplay made it sound awesome.
But the end was reserved only for Coldplay, with the uplifting and spirited Fix You, bringing everyone in the room together as one for just a few final minutes.