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ISSUE 116 VOL 15 PUBLISHED 3/21/2003

Coldplay heats up Target Center in recent concert

By Molly Bayrd
Arts Editor

Friday, March 21, 2003

Anyone who has ever attended a concert at the Target Center in Minneapolis can attest to the venue’s often mediocre acoustics and generally impersonal environment. Such was not the case on March 13, though, when Coldplay hit the stage for the last concert of their recent American tour.

With the Centers’ large expanse divided in half, Coldplay fans experienced an intimate and subdued concert; one that was free from distracting pyrotechnics or muffled acoustics, and had the time of their lives following frontman Chris Martin’s comedic cues to sing along with him.

The band kicked off the evening with a resounding bang, playing the upbeat and pulsing “Politik,” the first track on their latest album “A Rush of Blood to the Head.” The dynamic opener more than compensated for a forgettable opening act, The Music, and was all the incentive the audience needed to get out of their seats and get into the moment. “Good evening,” Martin said, “and so far, so good.”

Though the British quartet played for a mere hour and 15 minutes, they left none of their usual crowd-pleasers unplayed. “Trouble,” “Yellow” and “In My Place” were those that drew the greatest response from the crowd, although the band was not afraid to indulge the fans with a sense of humor. During “Yellow,” the few spotlights that lit the stage were turned out toward he crowd and projected huge yellow circles across the fans’ adoring faces. Clearly, the band anticipated a radio-hit-dictated response.

Martin assured fans that “Trouble” would be the only “really serious song” of the night, and countered the melancholy, apologetic song with a crack about his receding hairline.

The most notable tunes of the evening, however, were those songs that had not received considerable air time. “Spies” and “Everything’s Not Lost,” from the band’s first album, “Parachutes,” were beautifully sung and emphatically embraced by the audience. Martin’s vocals were impeccable, and his transitions from the piano to the microphone were comically infused with his notoriously unorthodox dance moves. Flailing his arms and jumping ecstatically, he plainly conveyed his unflappable enthusiasm for the stage and for his music.

As far as the die hard fans were concerned, the evening ended all too soon. The band briefly exited the stage after playing their soulfully sweet ballad “The Scientist,” but returned for a short encore with the powerfully rhythmic single, “Clocks.” Lastly, bathed in a bluish-green pool of light, the band played the hidden track “Life is for Living,” off of “Parachutes,” and gracefully bid the audience farewell.

Martin, the sole spokesperson for the band, thanked the fans for their dedication and professed his elation at having “the best job in the world.” He then pointed to the Internet address listed across the four monitors on the band’s basic stage-setup and mentioned that “ is a really good website to go to.” Not the most eloquent exit, perhaps, but certainly a memorable one.

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