September 23, 2005
Dallas, TX
8 PM

Concert Review by
Paul Ridenour

I have been waiting for Coldplay to come to Dallas since 2003 and it was well worth the wait.  Coldplay right now is probably the most popular band in the world.  Their latest CD debuted at #1 in 25 countries.

Coldplay has recorded three excellent CDs – Parachutes, A Rush Of Blood To The Head, and X&Y.  Friend Michael Smith is one of those purist types and prefers Coldplay’s first CD Parachutes.  I was introduced to Coldplay's music by friend Gary Malone.  I listened to their first two CDs and Parachutes was my favorite at first.  The best CD I believe is their latest X&Y.

I have seen a lot of concerts at Smirnoff especially when it was called Starplex but I have never seen a crowd this large.  The doors opened at 6 PM.  Smirnoff told me that the opening band would begin at 7:30 and Coldplay would start at 09:15 and play until 10:50.  My wife and I arrived at the parking lot minutes before 8 PM and had a very difficult time finding a parking space.  By the time we got to our seats at 08:15, the opening band was finished.  Smirnoff is too small a venue for Coldplay and I believe the next time they come to town they will be in the American Airlines Center.

The opening band was Rilo Kiley and although I did not get to hear much of her music, she sounded like Sheryl Crow.

After Rilo Kiley, some great instrumental dance music with heavy drums was being played.  Around 9:15, the crowd was ready for Coldplay to come out.  I have been criticized for saying that Coldplay has that Beatles sound in some of their songs.  I was accused of “comparing them to the Beatles” and that somehow is “sacrilegious.”  Before Coldplay walked out on the stage, the sound engineer played “Tomorrow Never Knows” by the Beatles.  The lights went down and here they came.  They started with an instrumental with a recording of a political speech by an African-American.  I hate politics at concerts and Coldplay is known for some of their political opinions.  But that was the extent of the politics.  Then they broke into “Square One” from their new CD.

Lead singer Chris Martin has not let Gwyneth Paltrow and his child slow him down because he was full of energy.  He played the electric guitar, acoustic, and of course the piano.  He was jumping around all over the stage.

Coldplay did an excellent job of playing songs from all three CDs.

Chris Martin would always say “Dallas, USA” instead of “Dallas, Texas.”

His father was there from England.  He told the story that when he was a boy, his dad and he would “drive around in a Peugeot, that’s French, I know you guys hate the French” and listen to Johnny Cash.  He went onto say that his dad said that Johnny Cash is cool but Chris said no way and that Phil Collins is cool.  Twenty years later, Chris said he learned that “Phil Collins is cool but Johnny Cash is the coolest singer ever.”  Chris wrote a song for Johnny Cash and his dad.  The song was “Till Kingdom Comes” and it was part of an acoustic set.  Coldplay then sang Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire.”  The crowd loved it!  Chris sounded a lot like Johnny.  The last song in the acoustic set was “Don’t Panic” from Parachutes.

Coldplay had a large video screen behind them and there were plenty of concert lights.

During the song “White Shadows” the screen behind them was concert footage shot with negative exposure.  During “The Scientist” the video started in space and zoomed in on the earth, then on a person, and finally on a cell.   “Talk” had a video of a bear walking back and forth in a small area and then the big screen split into four parts showing concert footage.  Lyrics to their songs were shown on all concert walls during “Swallowed In The Sea.”

During one of the songs, the video screen said to “get your cameras ready.”  When it said to take a picture now, the crowd was displayed on the screen.  Cameras are illegal at Smirnoff as with most concerts but there were numerous people with large 35mm cameras and small digital cameras.  I only had my cell phone camera and those are almost worthless but I got some pictures which is better than nothing.  I need to purchase one of those credit card sized digital cameras.

We were sitting in section 202, row LL, seats 15 and 16.  The seats were in the middle back and during one of the songs, Chris Martin came out into the audience and stood there and sang.  He was about two rows and 10 chairs away from us.  Friends Gary Malone and Jana Justice were behind us on row RR.  Gary’s two kids Patrick Malone and Audrey Malone were unfortunately sitting on the grass way behind the covered seats.  Chris dedicated "Everything's Not Lost" to the crowd on the grass.

The drummer is very good and he has the best background vocals.

Coldplay was scheduled to play at Houston the next night but that was canceled due to Hurricane Rita.  They said something like they may play a little longer since they were off the next night.  On one of the songs, he changed the words to "please stop this hurricane."

At 10:50, when the concert was supposed to be over, they started the encore which included three songs.

At the close of the concert, while Coldplay was waving goodbye and bowing, the sound engineer played “Goodnight” by the Beatles from the White Album.

I would have liked for them to play "X&Y."

One of the things I really like about Coldplay is their lyrics.  The new Paul McCartney CD is pretty good but the lyrics just do not stand out or do anything for me.  Coldplay has some really interesting lines.  Here are some lyrics that come to mind:

Maybe you'll get what you wanted
Maybe you'll stumble upon it
Everything you ever wanted
In a permanent state

The future's for discovering
The space in which we're traveling
From the top of the first page
To the end of the last day

And birds go flying at the speed of sound
To show you how it all began
Birds came flying from the underground
If you could see it then you'd understand 

Are you lost or incomplete?
Do you feel like a puzzle, you can't find your missing piece?
Tell me how do you feel?
Well I feel like they're talking in a language I don't speak
And they’re talking it to me

O no I see
A spider web and it's me in the middle
So I twist and turn
But here am I in my little bubble

Come out upon my seas, curse missed opportunities
Am I a part of the cure, or am I part of the disease

Set list and pictures:

Set List                                                          CD

Square One                                                   X&Y
Politik                                                             A Rush of Blood to the Head
Yellow                                                             Parachutes
God Put A Smile Upon Your Face              A Rush of Blood to the Head
Speed of Sound                                            X&Y
Low                                                                 X&Y
Trouble                                                           Parachutes
Everything’s Not Lost                                    Parachutes
White Shadows                                             X&Y
The Scientist                                                  A Rush of Blood to the Head
‘Til Kingdom Comes                                     X&Y (the bonus tract)
Ring of Fire (a Johnny Cash song)
Don’t Panic (acoustic)                                  Parachutes
Clocks                                                            A Rush of Blood to the Head
Talk                                                                 X&Y 


Swallowed In The Sea                                  X&Y
In My Place                                                    A Rush of Blood to the Head
Fix You                                                           X&Y 

Pictures from a cell phone

Chris Martin in the audience