After watching them blow up the Space Needle here in Seattle, I spent a quiet New Years Eve at home.
Channel surfing through the various network offerings ringing in the New Year — which included a surprisingly hot Kathy Griffin stripping down to her bra and panties in Times Square, with an aghast Anderson Cooper looking on over on CNN; and the Ryan Seacrest/Dick Clark crapfest on ABC — I finally settled on the Coldplay Austin City Limits concert on PBS.
Now, before you go shrieking in horror at the mention of Coldplay, let's get something straight.
I like Coldplay.
The fact that this brings me considerable grief — both from my friends, and among some of my cohorts at Blogcritics — is really of little circumstance. The fact is, I think Coldplay are a very decent band, that gets nowhere the respect they deserve. That said, I also completely understand the criticism.
"Chick band?" Check.
Chris Martin's whiny falsetto alone virtually guarantees this charge. In fact, one of the funniest things I have ever heard in my life, was listening to a three hour Tom Leykis radio show driving home from work one night, that was devoted to the sole subject of why any real man would never be caught dead at a Coldplay concert. Even though I had no choice but to agree with Leykis, I also couldn't help but admit that I'm one of those ball-less guys who actually likes them.
Of course, on the other hand, I can think of few other bands out there plying their trade today, that draw as many beautiful single women to their concerts since the eighties heyday of Journey.
Food for thought, gentlemen?
But let's get to the crux of the matter, which of course is the music. Tonight's New Years Eve Austin City Limits concert on PBS was a perfect example of why Coldplay actually is a pretty great band — especially in a live setting.
First off, they've recorded some really great songs.
And in A Rush Of Blood To The Head, they also have one certifiably great album. The gorgeous ballad "The Scientist," and especially "Clocks," — which features the single catchiest piano-based riff of the past ten years — solidifies Rush Of Blood's position as one of the best rock albums of the past decade on it's own. And yes, rock it does.
Honestly, there isn't a clunker in the bunch. Track for track, it's a great album. Viva La Vida was also a damn decent record, especially that album's standout track, "Lost."