attendance: 13,550 (sold out)
Upbeat openers the Howling Bells from New Zealand had some nice moments with their infectious indie-pop, including playing "Blessed Night," a catchy song that I did not realize was theirs, that I have heard when I randomly play music on one of my computers at the office. I'd lke to see headline a smaller venue, as the cavernous MTS Centre seemed too large for them to really connect with the audience, who were largely unfamiliar with their material.
Glasgow, Scottland's Snow Patrol sold out Winnipeg's Burton Cummings Theatre (capacity 1646) in April of 2007, without being a widely recognized band. Clearly, they have a larger following than I expected, based on the audience response to their romantic indie-pop songs, which are not too far removed from what Coldplay offer up. They really caught my attention with their urgent, anthemic, U2-esque sound. I can only see these guys getting bigger. Lead singer Gary Lightbody (1976) performed with confidence, sang beautifully, and won over new fans. The band are touring in support of their 2008 album, A Hundred Million Suns.
It was pretty obvious that Coldplay were going to incorporate some backing music to flesh out the exotic sound of some of their material, such as the opening number "Life In Technicolor," from last year's Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends. Released in May, 2008, Coldplay's fourth studio album was the number one selling album in the US (over 2 million) and internationally (7.8 million) and it debuted at number one in 36 countries. It's also the most paid-for downloaded album of all time, with over 700,000 downloads to date and counting (statistics courtesy of Wikipedia.)
Early in the show, the burst into Yellow, one of their first hits from their debut album, Parachutes (2000, 4 million sold.) As the first few notes rang out, members of the road crew walked into the floor area, bearing large yellow balloons, some much larger than beach balls. The fans proceeded to knock them around the floor and stage, but nothing made it into most of the stands. Occasionally, a balloon would burst, spraying yellow confetti. By the time the next song rolled around, only a couple of the yellow orbs were left. The 2005 album X&Y sold over 8 million copies, but was seen as their weakest effort. Still, it was heart-warming to hear so many sing along to the ballad "Fix Me," the only track performed from this recording.