Coldplay brought their Head Full of Dreams Tour to Minneapolis’ U.S. Bank Stadium for a colorful evening of music, larger than life special effects and a heartfelt message of connectedness and positivity. The world-famous four-piece is known for their massive stadium show – complete with light-up xylobands that blink in sync in to the music, pyrotechnics, confetti, balloons, lasers, light shows and just about every visual effect imaginable. If anyone was doubting if cold play still has it after nearly two decades as a band – they do.
Minneapolis may have been stop 95 on the massive, eight-leg, 123-show, two-year concert tour for Coldplay, but the energy and delivery from Chris Martin and Coldplay was as powerful and poignant as ever. Between the pure theatrics of Coldplay, their shoutouts to Minnesota and the Vikings and Prince, heartfelt commentary on world events – it really was just want you want at mega stadium show.
As O Mio Babbino Caro by 20th century soprano opera singer Maria Callas played and smoked filled the stage a countdown to Coldplay began. The lights dimmed and smoke began to fill the stage, video played on the began on the massive screens situated on both sides of the stage. The video were filmed of vans at previous Coldplay concerts on the tour. From Brazil to Quebec, each clip featured a Coldplay fans in a different language welcoming fans to the show. It was just the first of many small, but intentional moments of the show that brought a genuine feeling of connectedness to the evening. The final clip of the montage was four kids from Nebraska who drove all the way to Minneapolis to see Coldplay, “We want to introduce you to the best band in the world – Coldplay!”
Just then, Chris Martin and Coldplay took the stage for a huge version of “A Head Full of Dreams.” As the xylobands lit up and filled the stadium there was an infectious energy in the crowd not often felt at stadium shows. A Head Full of Dreams was the first song of Coldplay’s nearly two-hour long set. After a mega-huge opening, already putting the fireworks and confetti to good use, Coldplay wasted no time diving into their smattering of smash hits. Martin’s mellow-rasp took center stage for Yellow, The Scientist. Situated between the slower, piano driven ballads was the club-ready dance hit Every Teardrop is a Waterfall. The complexity of Coldplay as a band was on full display as Martin seamlessly made the transition from dancing down the catwalk to the Tiesto remix of their song, to sitting down at the piano for their quieter songs.
It was hit after hit as the night went on. Chris Martin’s energy and passion for his music and his fans dripped off his every move, his every word. For a guy who is on show number 95 of 123 just this tour cycle, there was no shortage of gratitude and warmth for the fans at U.S. Bank. Watching Martin point out of every corner of the stadium, welcoming them to the show, there was undeniable chemistry between Martin and the crowd – him feeding off their energy and vice versa. Sometimes there is a disconnect at these huge stadium shows, but not the case at Coldplay. Hell, it might of well had been First Avenue with the intimate feel in the air.
Midway through the set Martin took a moment to thank the fans for coming out, “I know it’s a real, excuse my language, fucking pain in the ass to come out to shows this big so we thank every single one of you. We really wish we could meet every one of you, seriously. We’ve been here to the Twin Cities a few times but I don’t think we’ve ever had this many friends in one room so thank you!” And Martin was right – with 45,000 packed into the U.S. Bank Stadium it was a bit of an adventure trying to get anywhere – fighting your way through the crowd for bathrooms and $9 beers but hey – that’s not Coldplay’s fault, the crowd dynamics or a concert probably vary from show to show and are quite different from football games.
“So two bad things happened this week – I hurt my leg and we almost had a nuclear war,” Martin joked between songs. There was no shortage of commentary on global events from Martin (or his opener AlunaGeorge), but Martin handled it tastefully, which apparently isn’t always an easy task for artists. “99% of Americans, 99% of Venezuelans, and 99% of Koreans just want to get along and move on with it, you know?” Martin astutely noted ahead of Everglow. It’s hard for an artist to comment on political events without sound soapboxy or ranty so the way Martin addressed recent events was admirable. There seemed to be one point Martin was driving home throughout the set – we’re all human and frankly the human experience is more similar than we realize. Whether you’re at a Coldplay show in Brazil or Montreal, you’re just there to enjoy the pure theatrics of Coldplay.
Set List: O mio babbino caro (Puccini) / A Head Full of Dreams / Yellow / Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall / The Scientist (with a snippet of Prince’s Raspberry Beret at the end) / God Put a Smile Upon Your Face / Paradise (with Tiësto Remix outro) B-Stage: Always in My Head / Magic / Everglow A-Stage: Clocks / Midnight / Charlie Brown / Hymn for the Weekend / Fix You / Viva la Vida / Adventure of a Lifetime / C-Stage Kaleidoscope(extended) / In My Place (acoustic) /Don’t Panic (acoustic; Will on lead vocals) / Us Against the World (audience request) / A-Stage: Something Just Like This (The Chainsmokers & Coldplay cover) / A Sky Full of Stars / Up&Up
Opener AlunaGeorge has come along way since playing First Avenue sized venues – a venue that would fit dozens of time inside U.S. Bank Stadium. But AlunaGeorge, like Coldplay, somehow magically brought a small, intimate feel to a mega stadium. “As you know there are three bands on this tour. And we all are just genuinely cheering for each other. It’s amazing when you see people you believe in succeeding,” AlunaGeorge said through a thick British accent of her tour mates. AlunaGeorge, again like Coldplay, was able to effortlessly switch between slower ballady songs like on Your Drums, Your Love and I Remember and pure dance hits like I’m in Control (a song about making consent sexy in AlunaGeorge’s words) and You Know You Like It. AlunaGeorge had no shortage of love for Minneapolis either “I was walking around yesterday and people just kept saying hi to me! The friendliness was amazing, so thank you for having me!”
A newcomer to the US music scene and first performer of the evening, Izzy Bizu has been one of Great Britain’s breakthrough artists of 2016 as finalist of the Brits Critics Choice and the voice of the 2016 Euros. Even though her set took place while most fans still were finding their seats, her memorizing voice and her mellow pop sound capture those seated and was a pleasant companion to those still on their journey.