COLDPLAY FIRED up the sold out venue with their first song of the night, Square One, but it wasn’t Chris Martin’s first appearance on stage that evening.
A little over an hour earlier, he came out to personally introduce the evening’s super cool warm-up act – Goldfrapp. What’s more, he did it in his best Portuguese, no doubt learned during his band’s frequent visits to the Portuguese capital.
In fact, Coldplay also appeared on stage at Pavilhão Atlântico at the beginning of the month, during the MTV European music awards, an occasion which saw them pick up awards for Best Song of 2005 (Speed of Sound) and Best British Group.
This magnanimous gesture, quite uncommon among major artists nowadays, along with the explosive first track, set the mood for the rest of the evening – a top band, their hits, a great atmosphere and an adoring crowd that knew all the songs by heart.
Politik and Yellow (complete with a cascade of giant yellow balloons) followed, as part of the 16 song set, which ended with the latest single, Talk, and three encores – all from the three albums which combine to form the musical history of this top British band.
Accused in the past of being “too cold when performing”, Chris Martin chose to answer the critics and pledged to make Coldplay the biggest band in the world. And has he done that? The answer lay in the screams of the crowd and the total commitment that the band showed at Lisbon’s favourite venue last Thursday night.
By the time the first notes of The Scientist rang out from Chris Martin’s piano, the fans were already hypnotised by the group’s performance, sufficiently to forgive the frontman for a mistake (not that we even noticed) that made him restart the song among excuses and a few swear words. Later, a problem with the keyboard that was about to be played by drummer Will Champion could have caused some embarrassment, but Chris Martin had the audience laughing. “If it doesn’t work, you’d better just dance”, he quipped.
The band played a succession of hits, against a backdrop of flashing lights and a panoramic plasma screen beaming out messages and pictures or the concert’s live feed. But there was also time for a tribute to the late Johnny Cash with the very un-Coldplay-like Ring of Fire, a performance that preceded Green eyes, a song written by Chris Martin for his wife, actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who is currently expecting their second child.
What can only be described as a brilliant night, finished with Fix you, a song with the message that everyone can make mistakes because that’s how you learn. Not that it bore any relevance to their own performance, since it was the very best we have seen from them, however, it was a fitting end to the night for the fans: Lights will guide you home/ And ignite your bones/ And I will try to fix you.
The Twisted Logic tour is taking the band across Europe until the end of the year with dates scheduled in the UK at Christmastime and the US in the New Year. Luís Cunha