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


Feb 4, 2008

Part 1

Saturday the 22nd of November, 2008. The news I had been waiting for all year since the arrival of the album Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends had arrived on coldplay.com.

My favourite band, Coldplay, announced their tour for Australia that morning. It included three dates for my lovely city of Melbourne: March the 3rd, 4th and 5th.

I was ecstatic. My best friend and I had promised each other we would both go to our favourite bands' concerts, mine being Coldplay, hers being Green Day. Unfortunately, I got a call a few days later... she wasn't going to be able to make it!

What was I going to do? I asked around. In the end I was forced to drag my non-Coldplay fan sister along to use up the second ticket. My dad would pay for the tickets, drop us off at Rod Laver Arena (the venue) and pick us up once the show was over. I wasn't allowed to go by myself at 15. I wasn't too pleased, but happy to be going anyway.

The tickets went on sale at 9am on the 4th of December. I had my fingers crossed hoping that the powers that be were with me that day and we got the tickets. A phone call from my dad a while later confirmed - score! We had gotten a pair of General Admission tickets. The tickets arrived, and on Christmas Day I was finally allowed to see them. I ripped open the envelope expecting my Christmas card and opened it, only to have a ticket fall on my lap. A smile spread across my face as I read it. Coldplay, 5th of March, Rod Laver Arena... a fan's giddiness and glee occupied me for many days. The day of the concert couldn't come fast enough.

But it did, and soon the 5th of March was upon me. It was concert time. Off we went! My sister and I were dropped off at the arena at around the time the gates were opened. We were able to walk straight in. We walked around, looking for our gate. After getting our tickets swapped for the General Admission wristbands, we waited for the doors to open.

Eventually, they did, and we raced our way through the doors and down the stairs without aggravating security, whom were trying to get people to remain calm and walk. After finding our spot, I looked around and noticed something surprising. We were fourth row! I didn't expect that at all!

After a period of time with more waiting, the first support act came on - Decoder Ring. I thought they were quite good, my sister thought they were weird. The second support act, Mercury Rev, didn't go down quite well with the audience. Their set was soon over and roadies set up the stage as music played. I overheard a girl near me chatting avidly about things that one could only be avidly chatting about if they frequently visited the fansite I was a part of, Coldplaying.com. I wondered if she was the other user that had been going that night, but was too shy to pick up a line and chat.

I suddenly stood a lot straighter when I heard a particular song - JayZ's 99 Problems. I knew, from American concerts I had read about on Coldplaying, that 99 Problems and The Blue Danube were the last two songs played before the band came on. My excitement rose as everyone danced and clapped along to the last piece. Then, as it ended, the lights went down and a mighty roar came from the crowd around me. It was time. The sound of the start of the first song, Life in Technicolor, began.

I could see four sparklers through the slightly opaque curtain in front of me and the shapes of the four men holding them. They started wandering to their places, and one in particular stepped forward. The silhouetted singer Chris Martin raised his sparkler to a loud cheer from the audience and many camera flashes. I and many of the crowd did not expect to see the band this close, but we were. Everyone danced along to the opener and a cheer followed. The concert had begun.

"It was a long and dark december, from the rooftops I remember there was snow, white snow." The second-most successful single from the album, Violet Hill, played. Australians love rock and this song is no exception with a great singalong, the crowd knowing every word. Next up was one of my most loved songs by the boys (my affectionate term for them), Clocks. The lights were incredible! Blue and green lasers with the rest lighted red. Nothing else compared to it.

Clocks turned into In My Place, a song famous on the Coldplaying community's fangirls for the "Ramp of Love" - the left ramp from the stage which Jonny Buckland, the band's guitarist walks down, and Chris bounds down after him. None the less this occurs towards the end of the song.

Then, it's Coldplay's most well-known song that shot them to stardom - Yellow. The stage lights take on the song title's color and the crowd goes wild. Giant yellow balloons are dropped seemingly from nowhere and fall onto the mass of people, light showing that there's confetti inside. The balloons are bounced around in the audience and onto the stage, making for a magnificent sight. One cheeky fellow near me had pulled out a pen and was attempting to pop as many as he could. I caught some yellow confetti and stuffed it in the handbag I had with me, for a memento of this wonderful singalong and highlight of the evening.

A less well-known song was next, Cemeteries of London, one of my favourites from the new album. The lights turn a rich dark blue, green lasers fly and orbs displaying colorful images drop from the ceiling. Everyone claps along to the beat. The song played after Cemeteries was new to everyone else, but I knew it, and looking to my left, that girl I thought was from Coldplaying knew it too - Glass of Water, from their EP released just four months prior to the gig, Prospekt's March. I know every word and sing and dance along to another of my more beloved tracks. "Live your whole life living... in the past. Going nowhere fast!"

Glass of Water ends and the lighting darkens, except from a spotlight on Chris playing the piano and images of him playing on the screen behind him. The song 42 begins. The second part of the song begins, and piano becomes guitars and rock. The crowd dance along with orange and white lights, the song clearly going down a treat. Lyrics are sung about the supernatural and Chris returns to his piano to finish the last part of the song.

The organ sounding chords of Fix You begin and everyone cheers. Fix You is a special song for many, interpreted in many ways - some for the deceased, some for relatives, others for friends and others for lovers, and it's met with great reception. This is probably the only live performance I've gotten teary at. After the last chorus, Chris swings the microphone to the audience to sing the last lines. He starts to join in, but instead smiles and encourages the audience, afterwards indicating everyone's singing was ace.

Strawberry Swing is the next song. It's groovy and has people clapping and dancing along to themes of an idyllic sunny day spent with someone special. The lights turn a purplish-pink and the lights slowly swing to lower one side and then the other. When finished, Chris notes that the song was written in Melbourne and the crowd cheers.

The boys move down the right-sided ramp onto a lit-up stage nearby. God Put A Smile Upon Your Face, a track from the band's acclaimed second album A Rush Of Blood To The Head, is played here, but not in its normal format - it's an 80's techno version that has people clapping along to the bass drum. The song skillfully flows into a techno version of Talk, although I would have honestly perferred it played as it is on the album as I adore the full piece to pieces. I'm just glad it gets played though so I can sing along to some of my favourite Martin lyrics. "I've been trying hard to reach you but I don't know what to do, and I want to talk to you..." An underrated song with a riff from the genius Kraftwerk.

Following these two songs, bassist Guy Berryman, drummer Will Champion and Jonny seem to disappear from the little stage. Chris announced he enjoyed his birthday here in Melbourne,and shifts around in embarassment when his audience sings Happy Birthday to him, much to everyone's amusement. He explained that English people get quite embarassed at those sort of things, but I blame it on him just being Chris.

He then played a short piano piece titled Postcards From Far Away. I noticed it wasn't just him playing - turned around - Jonny was playing along on his guitar too, his work complimenting Chris'. Chris moved back to the main stage and then began the biggest singalong of the night.

Viva La Vida was Coldplay's hit single of 2008. Everyone knew this song. It was performed at the Grammys and it was performed here. It never fails to get a huge crowd reacting it seems and March the 5th was certainly no exception. Many were on their feet and bouncing along to a song speaking of a king fallen from grace. An excellent performance, the crowd refused at the end to give up their singing of one of the song's most pivotal points: 'whoaa-ohh, whoaa-oh'. Lost! was played next. People sang along and others were suprised by the booming beat of the song. Chris bounded about from one side of the stage to the next, down one ramp and up another, making sure none were forgotten.

After this, the boys seemed to disappear. After a moment of confusion, looking around and chants of 'Coldplay!', they reappeared on a stage near the back of the arena - commonly referred to as the nosebleed section. Picking up their acoustic instruments, they played their 2005 hit song Speed of Sound, a cover of The Monkee's I'm A Believer and a song sung by drummer Will called Death Will Never Conquer (all three met with good reception). Chris then urged everyone to take out their cell phones for a remix of Viva La Vida.

Everyone did. The view was stunning - hundreds and thousands of lights moving and bouncing around inside the dark arena. I unfortunately couldn't find mine in the deep mysterious depths of my handbag, but if you can't join in, enjoy the scenery. It's a highlight.

Thumping chords were played and the strong rhythm of the encore and the song Politik began. Politik, the opening track of A Rush Of Blood To The Head, is my favourite song played live and a great opportunity for some moshing. After Politik was Lovers In Japan. Romantic images filled the back screen and confetti butterflies streamed out onto everyone. I tried to grab some, knowing that they would be a memorable souvenir to have. At first they were crepe-paper butterflies and then they were neon-colored. Everyone was in awe of so many of them falling through the air and onto their heads. It was a simpler set up for what was seemingly the last song, Death And All His Friends, and the band bowed and left the stage.

But not for long! The people's faithful chants had earned them an encore, beginning with The Scientist, a rather haunting song, slow and enchanting. The lights darkened for Life in Technicolor ii, and another chant of the famed 'whoahh, whoahh'. The back screen lit up with a painting of the word 'viva' and The Escapist played, my favourite off the newest album. The boys took their final bow, everyone clapping and cheering. I was sad that it was their last song but all good things must come to an end. They left the stage and it was done.

Many things happened because of that night. I learned to get more drinks in me and not eat salty food beforehand to avoid dehydration (I fell quite sick from it afterwards). My suspicions that the other girl was a fellow Coldplaying member was correct and confirmed online - next time I'll have a chat. My sister became a fan and loved the gig, go Coldplay! My dad asked me if it was worth getting sick afterwards. I responded, grinning:

"Yeah, definitely."

But I was still excited. It wasn't over... not just yet!


Queen of the Dessert
Sep 26, 2009
omg videos! i had 2 videos from when i went but my singing was so horrible (and you couldn't even hear them) i deleted them, so thanks!


Feb 4, 2008
Well, it's not as nutty as the American threads at least!