Onward the Prospekt’s March.

Event: Coldplay live in concert
Date: March 23, 2009 (Monday)
Venue: Singapore Indoor Stadium, Singapore

Two things. One: Singapore has this eeriely perfect vibe going on, it gives me the creeps. Two: I have been having an upset tummy since last Friday so if I wrote out of line for this entry, blame the tummy.

On to more serious business. I did not receive any news that there was going to be a supporting act for Coldplay that night, and I was quite surprised to see Mercury Rev, an American psychedelic rock band probably as old as I am, warming up the stage with Jonathan Donahue’s strangely outrageous body antiques and their famous tracks like The Dark is Rising, Goddess on a Hiway and Holes. Not to be biased, but Mercury Rev did sound quite good live compared to their studio tracks. Alas, the sold out crowd of more than 10,000 was restless because they paid good money to see Coldplay. And when Donahue announced it was their last song, the crowd roared with applause, not because they loved the band that much, but because the minutes towards Coldplay were running out.

For the half hour leading up to their appearance, the crowd was teased with songs from all over, shooting nothing straight at the British rock band. There was even a thin black cloth let down on stage covering the entire set. And I was totally caught off guard when Blue Danube started trembling the inside of the stadium. I thought Live Nation had gone bonkers for playing a classical waltz piece, but enjoyed watching the crowd going at the clapping and conducting all the same. Then, as the last fortissimo notes blasted off the air and the lights suddenly went off and the crowd went crazy. I changed my mind; that was a fucking brilliant idea for an introduction.

Being in the industry for about 10 years and with four albums under their sleeves, Coldplay knows how to get the crowd going. They played all of their upbeat songs, leaving the more solemn ones from Parachutes in their grim hometown. They also made sure they hit all the popular tracks so the crowd of more than 10,000 could sing – or scream, more like it – along with them. There were Violet Hill, Clocks, In My Place, The Scientist, Fix You and of course, the song that started them all in the first place – Yellow.

I liked it also that they had spent time with the gimmicks on stage. Before that, all of the concerts I have been to, the backdrops were either bare or merely accompanied by timed LED screens. Coldplay took the time out to even change the backdrops: from the Viva La Vida album cover to the logo, even had a montage of them playing live there and then, and one of Japan during Lovers in Japan.

There were balls of projectors hung from the ceiling, screening mini shots of the big screen on stage. There were even giant yellow balloons let off from the ceiling and the crowd during Yellow, whereby half of it was made out of fans in their mid-30s and mid-40s, suddenly turned into little kids, hands reach up to the sky groping for the balloons. Those of us on the sides could only watch and pout as we could not have a bounce at the balls. Meh.

And I liked it when the confetti rained down on us – or more so, once again, at those in the centre – during Lovers in Japan. It was as if Japan was brought right into the stadium that night, and the confetti was like sakuras falling on us when the spring breeze blew past the garden of Eden. It was a beautiful sight.

I liked it that there was a bunch of crowd interaction going on. There were two runways on each side of the stage, where Chris Martin would often bounce – seriously – himself down to the sides, giving out high fives and waving hello’s.

The entire band squeezed themselves into a corner on the right runway, as they launched into a minoric medley of God Put a Smile Upon Your Face/Talk before Martin took over with his piano solo medley of The Hardest Part and Postcard from Far Away on his trustee sidekick of a piano. Then, before they went on a break, they high fived their way up to the left wing and stood amongst the crowd performing an acoustic version of Speed of Sound and a couple of cover tracks.

And I loved, loved, loved the Mexican phone wave during the break. Before the band ran off for a short break, Chris led us into a little activity, where very much like the Mexican wave, we would use the light on our cell phone screens to do the wave. I tell you, when they dimmed the lights and everyone was doing their part for the wave, it was pretty.

When Coldplay burst into the opening chords of Viva La Vida, it was as if the hefty lawsuit on plagiarism never happened at all. The fans did not care as they sang along to the bridge of wo-oh-oh-oh-ohhh… and very much still even after the concert and the crowd had spilled out of the stadium. And Coldplay certainly did not care; performing the song in front of a very satisfied 10,000+ crowd was like giving Joe Satriani a big fucking middle finger.

Chris Martin may be a crowd-pleaser for his fast  songs, but when he kicked up his tail coat and took charge of his piano for the slower songs, he was a heart wrecker. When he started the eerie opening of Fix You, the crowd went on another bout of screams while I stilled myself and listened to his words: “When you try your best but you don’t succeed / When you get what you want but not what you need / When you feel so tired that you can’t sleep / Stuck in reverse…”

Lovers around me looked at each other with a loving look before embracing and swaying to the song, and friends wrapped arms around one another as they sang along to the chorus of “Lights with guide you home / And ignite your bones / And I will try to fix you” . I was like a solo entity at that moment with goosebumps spreading on  my skin. When the band joined in for a powerful second half, I felt tears dwelling in my eyes as they crooned in unison: “Tears stream down your face / I promise you I will learn from my mistakes…” The organ that derived from a solitary church and the soothing words like a sinner’s peek into the Bible. I have always been one to put my life in the hands of a rock & roll band, and that night, Chris Martin had my entire life – body, heart and soul – in his hands.

The concert may have gone on for a mere two hours, but it felt like forever. Remember in my Jason Mraz concert review I said he was one who was conceived on stage, well, Coldplay is the one giving birth to Mraz. They made the stage. So what their gimmicks were already seen in some other parts of the world. So what their ending song was not that perfect – the confettious Lovers in Japan would have made a perfect finale compared to Life in Technicolor II, which should have just been done at their opening. So what Coldplay is facing plagiarism charges for Viva La Vida.

I am sorry Ben Gibbard. This is Death Cab‘s performance on top spot of my life. This is Coldplay giving a good kick on their behinds and taking over their spot there.

I asked my friend once how was her recent Coldplay concert in Australia and she said: “Do you even have to ask? They were like Gods!” And believe you me, they were.  They were.

PS: And yes, it sucks you could not be there. *laughs in your face*


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6 Responses to “Onward the Prospekt’s March.”

  1. mista amin Says:


    “PS: And yes, it sucks you could not be there. *laughs in your face*”

    YEAH…IT SUXX!!!! 😦

    p/s:i dont mind dying for their tour’s shirt!!!!

  2. Reta Says:

    You’re right about DCFC being second! People ask, ‘why’ each time I make lone trips down to catch a glimpse of them. It’s tiresome having to explain when they’re losing out on the experience itself.

  3. Hot hot heat at the Sunburst feat. « Small Time Traveller Says:

    […] and I just wanted to go home, pack my bags and get ready for my trip to Singapore the next day for Coldplay. *Laughs back at your […]

  4. Celeste Says:

    mista amin: sorry amin, but the t-shirts were kind of sold out when i was there. maybe next time yea? perhaps they might stop by three years later. heh.

    reta: all for the love of music, eh? perhaps we can go down together for our next concert escape. but not so soon though, two concerts in one month has gotten the best of me. ooh.

  5. mista amin Says:

    3 years???whewwww…its a long way to go.
    but wait,
    if my plan works out just fine, i’ll be backpacking to UK within these 3years.
    might catch up with most of my favorite bands in glastobury. heeeee 😛

    wish me luck!!!

  6. Florence hits the XX spot. « Small Time Traveller Says:

    […] that goes on in Singapore. Not counting MTV World Stage, the last full fledge concert for me was Coldplay’s back in March. That is almost a year ago. Even when I heard the throngs of bands making […]

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