Coldplay have kept fans waiting four years for another stadium tour. This week they played four dates at Wembley stadium to a combined 300,000 fans. For them, the wait was completely worth it.
I was lucky enough to be at the very front of Wembley for the second night. It was like the band hadn’t been away.
The day started well following England’s 2-1 victory over Wales in Euro 2016, so the mood in the crowd was upbeat. Support act Alessia Cara was impressive as the stadium began to fill up. It’s a shame that more people didn’t see her, and instead saw the very average Leanne La Havas instead.
By the time Coldplay arrived, the 75,000 fans packed into England’s national stadium were buzzing with excitement. Coldplay are notorious for putting on a great show, but the A Head Full of Dreams Tour was even bigger and better than anything they have managed before.
Chris Martin and co. started with the energetic title track to the tour, A Head Full of Dreams, before heading straight into classic favourite Yellow. Wristbands lit up on every hand, fireworks, and multi-coloured confetti cannons amazed the crowd. They were in no doubt that the following two hours were going to be a spectacle.
Martin thanked the crowd for their efforts in coming, before performing Every Teardrop is a Waterfall, Birds, and Paradise. For the latter, Martin, Jonny Buckland, Guy Berryman and Will Champion proceeded into a remix-style track of the song with lasers and lights everywhere.
Stereotypical Coldplay ballads were also present. The Scientist, Magic, and Everglow offered a calming interlude to the energy given by the band from the start. These were performed at the end of a long runway which connected the band to fans further from the stage.
After this slower section, the band really started to roll out their hits. Charlie Brown had everyone jumping while their wristbands lit up, Hymn for the Weekend saw all 75,000 singing along as Martin jumped around, before Fix You amazed even the band themselves as all four band members were beaming from ear to ear. By this time, everyone in the stadium was on their feet, matching Chris Martin’s endless energy and enthusiasm. This continued with singalong favourite Viva la Vida and recent single Adventure of a Lifetime.
It was hard not to enjoy a setlist that leapt from one fan favourite to another. Still, Martin managed to keep the crowd on their toes. He encouraged everyone to crouch during Adventure of a Lifetime, before racing off down the long runway and getting every single person jumping for the song’s chorus. It was around this time that fans began to look up to see Wembley’s famous arch illuminated in the colours of the A Head Full of Dreams album.
Coldplay are a band that are endlessly gracious and appreciative of their fans and their surroundings. They are also in touch with current events. During Every Teardrop is a Waterfall, Martin paid a classy tribute to the recent Orlando shootings. For the line ‘they might hurt me bad, but still I’ll raise the flag’, he held a Gay Pride flag aloft before letting it cover his head.
Martin also dedicated an acoustic performance of Green Eyes to the Orlando victims as well as to murdered MP Jo Cox. Earlier, a clip of Muhammad Ali was played on the screens, while the band also played a rousing feelgood version of David Bowie’s Heroes. These were nice touches and well appreciated by the Wembley crowd.
The band’s message is one of love and acceptance. It might be cheesy, but those themes are present throughout their songs and demeanour. It was fitting, then, that they completed their set with Amazing Day, A Sky Full of Stars (below), and Up&Up. These were the perfect finale to a feelgood night.
Chris Martin said that they approached their latest album A Head Full of Dreams as if it was their last. He said the band didn’t want to leave anything out of the record. They certainly approached this tour in the same way – all four friends were having the time of their lives.
Coldplay naturally belong in big arenas, and the production element of a Coldplay show is incredible. However, the band still manage to make 75,000 people feel like they’re in a venue holding 750. Love them or hate them, nobody can argue that Coldplay are unrivalled when it comes to putting on a show.