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3-Mar-2009: Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, Australia - Tickets, Meetups, Reviews/Photos

woooooah

New Coldplayer
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A crowd of about 13,000 was squashed into the venue, but Martin endeavoured to make the show as intimate as possible. The Scientist, for instance, was performed on a mini-stage, up in the nosebleeds.
You would think a professional reviewer would get things like that right.

Anyway.. it was simply an amazing show, best all-round gig experience that I've been to.
 

crestingwaves

a ladder to the sun...
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Woops! I totally forgot to mention that after the concert we went up to the sound desk and asked for a setlist and showed them our posters.
We got the setlist and turns out that Green Eyes was originally going to be the cover of "I'm a Believer" again. So that was cool.
Also, Speed of Sound had in brackets (or possibly To(sic) Kingdom Come).

...just a few bits of extra information ;)
 

Ab

девочка
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Awesome pix, Ian!
Seriously, what camera was this guy using?! :shocked2:
Woops! I totally forgot to mention that after the concert we went up to the sound desk and asked for a setlist and showed them our posters.
We got the setlist and turns out that Green Eyes was originally going to be the cover of "I'm a Believer" again. So that was cool.
Also, Speed of Sound had in brackets (or possibly To(sic) Kingdom Come).

...just a few bits of extra information ;)
Hmm, 'Til Kingdom Come?
Not the change I'm looking for in the setlist but it might work!
Thanx! :D
 

svenky

Livin' life in Technicolor
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[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2crjvQRMPE"]YouTube - Coldplay, upclose, Viva La Vida tour (Live), melbourne, Rod Laver Arena, March 3rd 2009[/ame]
 

busybeeburns

mr coldplaying himself
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Coldplay, Mercury Rev, Decoder Ring @ Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne (03/03/09)



It is certainly ironic that a Coldplay gig should carry a ‘once in a lifetime’ feel to it. Yet, looking across a capacity Rod Laver Arena during what may quite possibly be the best live show on earth, you do start to wonder for just how many people has a Coldplay show been one of the best nights of their life? How many have felt like they’ve shared an intimate moment with Chris Martin as his big blue’s did, by chance, stare back into theirs? A Coldplay gig does not feature or two highlights, but a series of truly special moments created by both the band and its audience. The thought that they are able to replicate that all around the world for months on end is staggering. I will, however, endeavour to describe merely one of those many spectacular nights.

Sydney-based Decoder Ring were first up in what on paper was an excellent opportunity to showcase themselves to a larger audience. The only problem was that a 7.15pm start to a very brief set meant they were predominately missed by the post-work crowd. Still, those with floor tickets who had staked out their positions at the foot of stage (and there were a few of them) certainly seemed to appreciate their heavily instrumental and somewhat experimental sounds. A forthcoming album due later this year should hopefully tip them over into playing some bigger gigs of their own, as they are producing some of the more interesting locally-made material.

Despite several line-up changes, Mercury Rev, with over 20-years experience, were an impressive and fitting support. Brought in late to the tour at the behest of Chris Martin, they do perhaps lack the profile here in Australia that they have built elsewhere. However it was clear that, compositionally, the night’s headliners owed a certain amount to their support act. Frontman Jonathan Donahue marched around the stage enthusiastically impersonating a conductor come drummer boy despite a fairly lifeless response from what was at this stage still a half-capacity audience. A heavy wall of drums, synth and guitar built up around Snowflake In A Hot World before Holes and Opus 40, taken from the band’s critically acclaimed 1998 album Deserter’s Songs, provided a nice reference to Donahue’s work with The Flaming Lips. As each song blended into the other through a combination of distorted guitar and keys, it was initially hard to tell just how well Mercury Rev were being received. Perhaps it was to their credit that they didn’t stop for applause yet, following what admittedly wasn’t the greatest cover of Talking Heads’ Once In A Lifetime, the previously subdued crowd let then know that they were very much appreciated.

Looking resplendent in their self-designed 19th century French soldier garb, Martin, Jonny Buckland, Guy Berryman and Will Champion received a Beatles-esque ovation when they strolled onto the stage, each waving sparklers amid the temporary darkness. Silhouetted against a thin curtain that hung before the stage, the band fittingly opened on their Viva la Vida tour with the albums first track, Life In Technicolour. The largely instrumental track built up emotions in the crowd but the atmosphere was heightened when Violet Hill provided the first crowd sing-a-long of the evening. Martin had already begun working the crowd, bouncing back and forth from either side of the stage; closing the song with the reworked lyrics: “if you’re in Melbourne, won’t you let me know”. Needless to say, it elicited an enormous response. Assuming his position at a small piano which had been quickly wheeled out, Martin then, to further hysteria, began the opening notes to Clocks. Stunning laser lights shot over the heads of the band while a now jacket-less Champion harmonised behind Martin’s unusually strained vocals. He recovered though and was soon literally sprinting across the stage, sweeping the crowd up with the chorus of In My Place.

“We’re called Coldplay and we’re one of England’s premier soft-rock bands” declared Martin before making the crowd work for the song I’m sure many Coldplay fans dream about experiencing live, Yellow. Most reading this will be familiar with the fact that at this point in a Coldplay set, it is customary for dozens of glitter-filled yellow balloons to be dropped and thrown out into the crowd. Although most at the Rod Laver Arena seemed to know it was coming, it was still an undeniably beautiful moment. Those standing at the foot of the stage looked up adoringly at Martin as he skipped around; his ability to sing and run was, at times, truly mesmerising. ‘Even if you’re 55 and don’t know why you’re here- try and sing along’ said Martin. It was largely redundant. Everyone had already joined in.

Once the balloons were cleared, we were back on the Viva la Vida flight-path with Buckland’s powerful riff carrying Cemeteries of London. It was certainly appreciated, but perhaps not to the same extent as the previous trio of songs. At this point, it’s worth mentioning the quality of both the sound and lighting; something you come to expect from a gig of this nature but nonetheless serves to greatly enhance the performance. Chinese Sleep Chant, with it’s soaring, uplifting guitar and brilliant light show really benefited from these aspects of the venue. Had it been written several years earlier, 42 may have provoked another sing-a-long but was instead passively enjoyed rather than actively participated in. Martin, panting and swaying on his piano stool, did his best impression of someone who was exhausted yet then proceeded to hold the final note of the song for an impressive 10 seconds. Fix You, in contrast to 42, has clearly had enough time to marinate and was one of the night’s many inspiring moments. Buckland again lifted both the crowd and indeed Martin into a state of euphoria, the latter visibly feeling every note of the song before collapsing in a heap at its conclusion. A slow clap and a little jig from a now vertical frontman accompanied Strawberry Swing before all four members made for one of the side stage ramps, which now housed a synth drum pad machine and another piano, for up-tempo remixes of God Put A Smile On Your Face and Talk. Both were interesting reworkings and warmly applauded yet it seemed the audience may have been more interested in straight replications. The Hardest Part didn’t thrill but while Martin briefly exposed his classical leanings with the piano solo on Postcards From Far Away, there was a growing sense that something big was coming. It materialised in the form of the somewhat grating iPod mega-hit Viva la Vida; a song whose anthemic qualities suggest that the band had such venues in mind during its composition. Given its radio success over the past few months, it was no surprise that it produced the loudest response from an exhilarated Rod Laver audience.

Following an impressive rendition of Lost the entire band, without a word, hopped down off stage and climbed up several flights of stairs to perform an acoustic version of the otherwise bloated Speed of Sound and the truly beautiful Green Eyes, one of Coldplay’s best an in some ways, most underrated tracks. Through his typically self deprecating humour, Chris Martin told how 13-years ago he ‘pulled the short straw’ and was appointed lead singer, before handing the reigns to drummer Will Champion who showed us what might have been as he more than adequately strummed an acoustic guitar while singing Death Will Never Conquer.

There was a brief intermission as the band made its way back to stage but normal service quickly resumed through the powerful drums on Politik, a pleasing addition to the set-list. The lyrics to Lovers of Japan were flawlessly synced with a sequence of cleverly edited images projected on a screen behind the stage while thousands upon thousands of multi-coloured paper butterflies were released onto the crowd. Reign of Love and the immense climax to Death And All His Friends provided a stirring finale to the main set. Though they bowed together and walked across the stage thanking the crowd in a manner which suggested they were done, Coldplay did return to rapturous applause dressed in the brightly colourful jackets they recently paraded at the Grammys. A slightly underwhelming performance of The Scientist and Life In Technicolour ii followed but by this point, we had already been treated to an incredible evening’s entertainment.

For Coldplay themselves, it may have only been night one of stop two-of-four on a 100+ date world tour. For the thousands who were present though, it was a truly memorable evening. Where some of their songs become too cluttered and lack potency on record, the unifying experience of their live show serves to elevate them to really mean something to those present. As for Chris Martin; well, despite what Bono has to say, he is without doubt one of the most charismatic, talented and entertaining musicians alive. Before you next dismiss Coldplay as being ‘boring’, do please see them live. It may be one of the best gigs you ever go to.

http://www.fasterlouder.com.au/reviews/events/17334/Coldplay_Mercury_Rev_Decoder_Ring__Rod_Laver_Arena_Melbourne_030309
 

Mimixxx

If we could float away...
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'Best live show on earth' :dance:

GREAT review :D
 

Recycled Revenge

Unknown Old Painter
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Just had to pipe in here that it was a freakin great show, I was a bit miffed the other nights got Glass of Water, though they do play Chinese Sleep Chant flawlessly, you'd almost think it was a recording. The crowd was a little "too cool for school", I thought it was just Adelaide that had dud crowds but it appears Melbourne suffers the same. Though Rod Laver is a fucking great venue for a stadium show, it just works. I had row A seats too which was a boon.

My only gripe (apart from the earth shattering suckage that was Mercury Rev) was that I knew to much about the show/setlist to be truely awed by it. I knew nothing about the Twisted Logic show and that was a huge buzz to experience. Still I wish I could've stayed in Melbourne for all 3 shows but my budget barely got me there in the first place, so I'm just happy to have made it to one show. All said and done, it's fairly safe to say Coldplay are still the greatest live act I've ever seen.

Oh did anyone catch the roadie doing a breakdance routine during Jay-Z and then a ballet routine during Blue Danube at the side of the stage (Jonnie's side) of the stage? Frickin hillarious.
 

crestingwaves

a ladder to the sun...
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Haha! No, but I saw everyone on that side of the seated crowd start clapping at that point at something - I thought they had seen the band or something..but obviously it was just a roadie! Cool though.
I completely agree. I'm from Adelaide as well, and I thought the crowd had an attitude problem. I was going wild and no one else around me was. And my budget is mangled now due to flights and accommodation (and ticket and merchandise) - but definately well worth every cent and more! Viva la Coldplay!
 

woooooah

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The lyrics to Lovers of Japan were flawlessly synced with a sequence of cleverly edited images projected on a screen behind the stage while thousands upon thousands of multi-coloured paper butterflies were released onto the crowd. Reign of Love and the immense climax to Death And All His Friends provided a stirring finale to the main set.
Did they play Reign of Love? I can't seem to remember...
 

crestingwaves

a ladder to the sun...
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no, no reign of love.
The two vlvordaahf songs that were absent were 'yes' and 'reign of love'.
 

tauiwi

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Have to agree with the crowd. At the 2nd melb show, there were SO many people not getting into it, and as my friend described, had the fox fm disease... they only knew the songs belted out on the radio recently. Especially when Glass of Water was played. I think I was the only one REALLY excited to hear it gauging from the reactions around me!

And good stuff making the trip from Adelaide, ppl!
 

Ab

девочка
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Oh did anyone catch the roadie doing a breakdance routine during Jay-Z and then a ballet routine during Blue Danube at the side of the stage (Jonnie's side) of the stage? Frickin hillarious.
Crazy roadies! :laugh3:
Hope someone took a video of that! :wacko:
 

crackers

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Crackers. I saw some guy behind me get yelled out by the security guard on GA about a camera. Was that you? About 8m from the front?
Nah, I was way up the back but bang in the middle. My camera got rejected by security at the gate, so I had to pay for it to go in the cloakroom. Bit cheezed off but luckily i took a second camera, so it wasn't too bad.
 

Recycled Revenge

Unknown Old Painter
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Personally I think they could drop Strawberry Swing and replace it with Yes!
Strawberry Swing just doesn't seem to work very well live, there's too much going on in that song to be handled by just 4 people, it sounds like it has a big hole in the middle. Either that or they could bring Matt and Bash out to play additional bits and bobs in it, that'd be pretty awesome.
 

givelovesolong

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tauiwi -- I completely agree. The first two nights I was immensly disappointed with the crowd involvement -- barely any singing (except when Chris asked for it), no phones during the Viva remix, and barely any standing. Seriously disappointing. Where I was located, I really did feel like the only person who was actually singing everything.

"Strawberry Swing" sounds way too incredible to drop. When that song starts, I swear you get goosebumps -- such an amazing sound.
 
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crestingwaves

a ladder to the sun...
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I have a great idea. How about they keep Strawberry String and just add Yes to the setlist?
 
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