Friday, September 09, 2005

In My Place

Coldplay at PNC Bank Arts Center Holmdel, NJ 9/3/05
First off, we missed Rilo Kiley, but the few songs that I heard from the parking lot sounded nice enough. I didn't think that they'd be able to pull off a show in a large ampitheater since I thought their Webster Hall show back in May was underwhelming. Incidentally, you can read a review of that show here.

By the time that we got there, the lawn was already overcrowded (note to self: the next time I come here, I'll get seats; the lawn there sucks). In fact, it was the most crowded I've ever seen the lawn there, though I've only been there a handful of times over the years. I think that they oversold this show or maybe it was just the fact that everyone seemed to rent a lawnchair, thus minimizing the space. Regardless, this meant that we couldn't get a spot that wouldn't ensure that the members of Coldplay looked like microscopic dots as they played, resigning us to look at the screens. To be honest, I was kind of underwhelmed. Either Chris Martin was sick or his voice just wasn't as powerful compared to the rest of the band (especially the awesome drummer) live as opposed to the records. It was more effective on slower, piano-voiced songs like "The Scientist" where the band played quieter, but I have a feeling that the band toned it down a bit on the louder numbers to make way for Martin's voice to glide over it, much like what's on their records. This meant that for such a big show, the impact was stunted. It would've worked much better in a smaller setting in my view and not just because I would've seen the band much better. Many of the songs sounded almost soulless in that they were so close to the studio recordings, especially early on. And let's not even talk about the screens. Instead of showing the band as how they are, there was some crazy live cut-up imagery which was nice and innovative, but ultimately added nothing to the experience. It was almost like watching a high-tech MTV video on the screens instead of the band! In the one bit of spontaneity (though I'm sure it was well-rehearsed), not counting Chris Martin's constant joking, they played an acoustic set featuring a cover of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire". Otherwise, the rest of the set consisted mostly of 2002's great A Rush of Blood to the Head and the newly-released X&Y. Furthermore, the crowd was annoying with many patrons talking throughout the entire bloody concert. Arrggghhh! I was disappointed, but perhaps things could've been different if Coldplay wasn't such a hugely popular band and they could play more intimate shows or if Martin was in better voice.


Post a Comment

<< Home