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Coldplay And Jay-Z AT Barclay Center, New Year's Ever, 2012, Reviewed

So here is how the boys divvied up the evening. Coldplay performed a 75 minute set,  DJ Cassidy took us to the countdown when Jay-Z took over till 115am. Jay-Z joined Coldplay with a very good and sharply delivered  verse on "Lost" and Chris Martin joined Jay-Z for "Run This Town" and "Heart Of A City" for no good reason at all.

The truncated set length helped Coldplay no end. With a whole lotta posturing cut out, the set was tighter, some of the dross gone and the huge mid-set lull that killed em earlier this year is filled  and all of the good stuff left in. Has there ever been a band such slaves to their songs as Coldplay, they never ever take a sad song and make it better?  When they've written a goodie, a "Viva La Vida" or  "The Scientist, Chris Martin and his back up lads can really do something good with it, but when stuck with "Major Minus" or "God Put A Smile On Your Face", all the jumping up and down won't save it. I'll give the boys this much: they kept their eye on the hits. For the first encore, Chris played "Us Against The World" on  a small stage directly below me and his children Apple and Moses joined him, and the kids will need each other as backup with names like those.

Jay-Z hit it hard early with a terrific "On To The Next One" and late with a powerful "Hard Knock Life", inbetween he rested on his hits, sometimes, a disappointing sprint through "Nigga Wha' Nigga Who" as well as "Dirt Off My Shoulders" and, with the asinine request we raise our middle finger, "99 Problems". Along with possibly his worst track, the overwhelmed "…I was gonna be right back" doesn't save the banal pop ballad. Also, yet again, the mix was off. We don't mind heavy bass, we like it when it rumbles, but when it is loud everything bleeds into it. And that's what happened with Jay-Z, a problem he didn't have last October.

Still, he had moments when everything you always think Jay-Z is he suddenly actually is. His flow on "Hovi Baby" lived up to every word he has ever boasted, when his rhymes are flowing he is really untouchable. and a Twister speed rap on "I Just Wanna Love U" had us holding our breath! But too often, and here he reminds me of Chris Martin, his effort feels like posturing.

These two superstars are all about the fans, right? One postures with humility the other with ego, but both of them are doing it for you and both of them think they are hot shit on stage. But Chris is too eager to please and Jigga is a show off, and they are both, to a degree, go through the numbers. Coldplay are the Blue Man Group of rock and roll, they keep on forcing us to participate when we just wanna consume em. Jigga thinks he is Frank SInatra when he is actually Al Martino. Chris will do anything for us, Jigga wants us to do anything for him. And both artists are past their prime.

This is the second NYE Coldplay and Jay-Z have shared and Jigga threatens more in the future. Then he sings "Auld Lang Syne" and we all go home.

Happy 2013. On to the next one…

Grade: B-

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