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Coldplay At Izod Center, Friday, August 4th, 2012 Reviewed

Of the three remaining big time white boy Arena rockers, Chris Martin's Coldplay are the worst. They are like the cuckoo birds of bands, letting other people raise their chicks. Coldplay would be much richer if they didn't spend half their life settling plagiarism lawsuits.

This is not much of a show from the get go where Martin's shout of "Is there anybody alive out there?" an steal from the Boss's 2009 Magic tour. The Boss had one great reason to shout the come on, it's a line from "Radio Nowhere" and though simultaneously sanctimonious and pointless, at least he dropped it by the end of the tour.

Why does Martin think it is cool to come to Bruce's home state and use the same line to get the audience warmed up?  Why does Martin appropriate Jay-Z's abysmal "I see You" riff to no specific end. Indeed, why does Martin pipe the entire "99 Problems" at first blast before the band hits the stage? we know (we don't care but we know) he is buddies with Jigga, what is his point? 

A shaky start to the evening but the very first song proper, "Hurts Like Heaven" is pretty terrific. We had been given wristbands when we entered and they lit up simultaneously at the start of the show. The Izod Center was entirely sold out (even behind the stage) and four large circular close circuit TVs hung from the rafters. "Hurts Like Heaven" is a pretty good song and Chris, with an acoustic guitar slung on his back, dashes around the stage and along the T shaped jut out till he is in the middle of the audience. It was the start of the show, and somewhat new, and the audience went bonkers and I liked it myself.

But one song does not a concert make and before too long I reached the inevitable conclusion that Martin was not  much playing the guitar. It was a prop. And when early on he claimed that this was going to be the best concert they ever performed and would we be the best fans ever, it sounded like he was propositioning us for a one night stand.

Which he kind of was. And yes, Coldplay managed to muster some energy somewhere in the middle of a years long tour, they went through the motions with the best of them. And if you were a fan who, as Helen Bach noted, had gone to Pizza Uno for a pizza and a beer and who thought of this as big night out, perhaps you bought in. 

But you got shortchanged. You got tickets for "The Avengers" and ended up at "Daredevil". It looks like a big time rock and roll concert, it smells like a big time rock and roll concert, but it isn't one. It looks like four boys playing the same good time rock and roll they ever did, but they use background music and computer generated pre-recorded everything. Never more so than on "Princess Of China" when Martin harmonized with a digital Rihanna. 

This lead to a three song attack at the tip on the T by all four band members in a sorta Coldplay Is A Group moment. Better is an ordinary though it builds "Viva Vida" with Chris a  twirling manic mid-stage before collapsing and writhing on the ground while the audience serenaded him. The set proper ended with "Paradise" and I hit the road.

Coldplay have maybe a half dozen good songs and a stage show made up of everybody else leftovers. They were a mid-Tour drag. Being the worst of the big three is worse than I though.

Grade: C

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