1. Coldplay has always been a victim of its worldwide mega-stardom and commercial success, one of the last real super bands to be tied down by a record company these days, and sometimes it hinders their artistic creativity. You know these guys are good, they sometimes just don't want to be better.
2. Having gone to a Coldplay show live (I was with a chick mind you!), they used to stick to their rock star formula-schtick, but ever since the experimental and needed change-of-pace Viva La Vida (Or Death and All His Friends) they have decided, "People are going to see us regardless, and they have probably already seen us perform, so lets change it up." And they have on their most recent world tour. Sure, yellow balloons fall from the sky during "Yellow," and the swinging light flies around during "Fix You," but filtered into their newest set is a more intimate experience with the fans.
3. During their last world tour, the encore was a stripped down, acoustic set allowed for a clap-along, jammed out ending with Kingdom Come, and has progressed into a middle-of-the-set walkout into the crowd jam session. One improvised song (in our case, "Billie Jean" from a few days ago," and one mash-up of crowd (and personal) favorite "God Put a Smile on Your Face" and "Talk." It allows the usually by-the-basics band to return to their more acoustic routes, and connect more with the ever-distancing audience in an arena tour.
4. Their "Billie Jean" cover is a great of improvised jamming, strumming, and overall you can tell the band in having a good time paying tribute to the King of Pop. The song lags a a tad bit (as given by parched audience participation) , but the duel guitars of Johnny Buckley and drummer Will Champion provide plenty of Quincey Jones' trademark funk on the track, while Chris Martin rides the falsetto rollercoaster in-and-out of the song. How long will it stay on the arsenal? Probably not long, but a fun change-up to throw at the giant crowds nonetheless.
LOP Track Grade- 7.5
5. The tour-long staple of the mash-up is a great little thing of brilliance however. When a band this large has released so many popular songs, how do you please the fans who come to see the ONE song that touched them more than any other? Mash-ups of course! Usually reserved for a Daft Punk of Justice concert, Champion uses an electronic drum pad to put up the tempo, and bassists Guy Berreyman and Buckley are hooked up wireless-amps to all jam around Martin's piano and produce both songs in back-to-back succession to perfection. It may not be the way the crowd wants to hear both songs, but I guarantee those people at "The George," I'd imagine that would be some silly arena in the middle-of-nowhere in the Dakota's, will be left with a different interpretation of the band's songs on that little perch. Those outfits they've been wearing for 1.5+ years gotta be stank by now though.
LOP Track(s) Grade- 9.0