September 29, 2005
Coldplay / Rilo Kiley - Phillips Arena 9/28/05
I'm glad I got to see both bands. It's been a while since I've listened to the RK albums but I knew quite a few of their songs. I've got the refrain "it's bad news / baby I'm bad news" going through my brain at the moment.
Most people were there for Coldplay. My sister and I had decent seats - we were at the far end, but we had a good view of the stage. Although guys - what's with the black outfits and white sneakers? Chris Martin looks much better with hair. They played all of their big singles. During "Yellow" there were giant balloons that fell from the ceiling, filled with gold glitter. I loved hearing "Clocks" because it's a song that makes you feel like you're flying. (Speaking of which, it wasn't long into the show before someone started smoking reefer.) I love "The Scientist" but it's a song that makes me cry. For an idea of how wrenching that song is, consider that Aimee Mann has covered the song in concert - also a beautiful, heartrending version.
After playing "Til Kingdom Come" they followed up with a Johnny Cash cover - "Ring of Fire." Completely sincere. The band played close together on the stage, with just a small keyboard and their guitars.
There was a special guest - Michael Stipe. Chris Martin played piano while Stipe sang "Nightswimming." Beautiful.
At one point in the show, Martin said that if you had a camera, now would be a good time to take a picture. All of a sudden in the dark the glow of cellphones bloomed. Then the stage lights came on and the screen behind them exploded into colors and graphics but what was missing were the flashes of real cameras, which would have created the cheesy but cool effect Martin was suggesting. But the venue didn't allow cameras - I should have tried to sneak mine in anyway. Oh well.
I'm still a fan of smaller venues, of more intimate settings for shows. But being in an arena makes for great peoplewatching, especially when the whole place is standing and everyone is bathed in glowing light and you're hearing music you love. It's transcendental.
Addendum: Scam City has an excellent set of concert photos. And he's just been contacted by NME about using one of his images of Martin and Michael Stipe. Cool!