As promised, Coldplay decided to celebrate the release of their new album by performing it in full in Jordan, with the first half being performed at Sunrise, and the second at Sunset, in accordance with the album’s motif.
First half (Sunrise):
Second Half (Sunset):
Some things to note:
- Surprisingly for a double album, the whole thing clocks in at less than an hour. This album could easily fit on a single LP (let alone a CD) and it’s kind of eyebrow-raising to see them on two separate discs. I would have expected the songs to be a bit longer, but I’m happy with them the way they are.
- The cinematography is beautiful, although I’m kind of questioning the decision to rely solely on natural light, especially as the opening make it hard to make out what’s going on, band-wise. I can remember watching David Broza’s Masada Sunrise concert (well, the one that got to DVD, anyway), and seeing how they used stage lighting for most of the show, and then turn that off once the biggest light of them all finally starts to come out. It’s an interesting contrast, but I guess having the lighting crew only working for a few minutes is probably just wasteful.
- This performance itself reminds me a bit of Pink Floyd at Pompeii, with them performing in what look like ruins (even though Amman is a city of 4 million people, the performance space looks so old it may as well be ruins), and there’s no live audience (outside of YouTube), although they did perform a proper show in the city the next night, and “Orphans” has a small group of fans singing along with it and I’m not sure who they are.
- For the most part, this is going to be more the Coldplay of “Magic” than the Coldplay of “Clocks”. If you’re fine with that, feel free to continue. There’s still a couple heavier numbers, like “Arabesque,” which features Femi Kuti, Fela’s son, and a damn good musician in his own right (I can remember seeing him live last summer, and the moment that I remembered the most of all was the time he held an E-flat for several minutes during a sax solo.)
- “BrokEn” sounds a lot like “Loves me Like a Rock”, not in substance or chord progression, more in style, with Chris Martin’s voice sounding a lot like Paul Simon, with an accompanying (small) gospel choir just small enough to be the Dixie Hummingbirds, and the player piano is a nice touch.
- In short, it’s a bloody good album, and a damn fine show, if you’re into some downtempo (and more acoustic) Coldplay with some more eclectic influences.
And just for the record, these concerts in Amman, along with another concert at the London Natural History Museum, will be the only ones the band will perform to support Everyday Life. In a recent interview with the BBC, Chris Martin said “We’re taking time to see how our tour can be actively beneficial…All of us have to work out the best way of doing our job… Our next tour will be the best possible version of a tour like that [their last world tour] environmentally. We would be disappointed if it’s not carbon neutral. We’ve done a lot of big tours at this point. How do we turn it around so it’s no so much taking as giving?”
He later added, in an interview with the NME, “We are going to do our very best to tour again, but I’m serious about that idea, absolutely,” he said. “I’ve been banging the drum on that sort of thing, environment sustainability, for a long time – and getting some flack for it along the road – so yes I’m pleased other artists are starting to get on board with it too, but listen, really taking flack is what we do – it’s ok, I’m cool with that.”
And he adds, “If you’ve had the privilege of travelling around the world, you know we’re all from the same place… In a very gentle British way, this record is us saying we don’t feel different from any human on earth.”
And I’ve heard that they’re going to go back to making a new album pretty soon after this, so, hopefully, they’ll work out the issues pretty soon.
Unfortunately, it looks like they’re not going to go to Glastonbury next year; I had honestly thought that it was more or less guaranteed that they’d perform at Glastonbury to promote their album, since they do it every time, however, Viva La Vida and Ghost Stories were not promoted there, so it’s not totally unprecedented. This time, Chris Martin explained why, and here it is: “I did pop up on stage last year and I loved doing so. Then I saw a tweet afterwards which said ‘you can always rely on him to come on in a tracksuit and ruin everything’. So I was like you know what, a), I should work on my trousers, and b), I shouldn’t be online and c), maybe just go and watch Glastonbury for a year or so.”
When asked how it made him feel, Martin replied: “Sometimes these things hurt me because I’m human.”