Coldplay - Hollywood Bowl - 5/1/12
Andrew Youssef

Coldplay - Hollywood Bowl - 5/1/12


May 1, 2012
Hollywood Bowl

Coldplay's first of three nights at the Hollywood Bowl kicked off in a most impressive fashion. Eighteen thousand rabid Coldplay fans soaked up every note as the band held the audience in the palm of their hand from the beginning notes of "Mylo Xyloto" till the very end.

Lasers, confetti, fireworks and illuminated neon wristbands were some of the extras that enriched the overall concert experience, but Coldplay's songs and musicianship were still the centerpiece. The descending guitar riff of "Hurts Like Heaven" immediately provoked the audience out of their seats as a sea of illuminated wristbands rapidly blinked alternating colors.
Coldplay - Hollywood Bowl - 5/1/12
Andrew Youssef
Chris Martin sprinted down the catwalk and leapt into the air as a spray of confetti launched into the front rows of the audience as "In My Place" triggered one of the first of many crowd sing-alongs of the evening. Grabbing his acoustic guitar, Martin dealt out the percussive riff of "Major Minus" as Jonny Buckland was surgically navigating the fretboard of his Fender guitar.

The shoegaze guitars of "Lovers in Japan" meshed with a bouncing piano riff make it one of my favorites from Viva La Vida Or Death And His Friends and was performed flawlessly. Couples clutched each other during the piano-driven "The Scientist." Martin was excited and let his enthusiasm spill over into the performance as he asked the for the lights to illuminate the massive audience during "Yellow."

Frequently altering the lyrics to make each show city-specific, Martin incorporated the line of "took my love to the Hollywood Bowl" during "Violet Hill." An alternate electric guitar riff for "God Put A Smile Upon Your Face" melted into Will Champion's muscular drumming that ended with Martin tossing his guitar high into the air.

Buckland used an E-bow for the creamy sustained guitar notes of "Princess of China" as Rihanna appeared on video screens, thankfully not in hologram form. The pace slowed momentarily for the ballads of "Up In Flames" and "Warning Sign" but quickly returned to a sprint with "Don't Let It Break Your Heart" and a massive performance of "Viva La Vida."

Coldplay later rushed out past the promenade to play in the middle of the Hollywood Bowl during "Us Against The World" to connect with their fans. The double piano shot of "Clocks" and "Fix You" perfectly led into the uplifting closer of "Every Teardrop is A Waterfall" as fireworks sprayed above the Bowl. Don't miss your chance to see them at the Hollywood Bowl on Wednesday and Friday or this Saturday at the KROQ Weenie Roast.

In the opening band department, Metronomy utilized synthesizers and catchy tunes that engaged a fair amount of audience members. The Pierces left a memorable impression with their juicy vocal harmonies and wispy tunes.

Critical Bias: I have a Coldplay track jacket.

The Crowd: 18,000 and Robert Downey Jr.

Overheard in the Crowd: "This is amazing!" by multiple people.

Random Notebook Dump: Cuba Gooding Jr. took pictures with the paparazzi when he walked into the show. What a genuinely nice guy!

Setlist below. 
"Mylo Xyloto"
"Hurts Like Heaven"
"In My Place"
"Major Minus"
"Lovers In Japan"
"The Scientist"
"Violet Hill"
"God Put A Smile Upon Your Face"
"Princess of China"
"Up In Flames"
"Warning Sign"
"Don't Let It Break Your Heart"
"Viva La Vida"
"Charlie Brown"
"Us Against The World"
"Fix You"
"Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall" 


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