Coldplay sure likes Toronto.
Though their affections were made pretty apparent by the fact that the band chose to record their upcoming live concert film in the city, lead singer Chris Martin made sure to reiterate the fact during the show, "We auditioned audiences around the world, and we're afraid you came in number one." He said while apologizing for the cameras that spotted the ACC during the show.
Even opening act Richard Ashcroft had a Jones for the city saying that he nearly "kissed the tarmac" when he arrived after a lengthy customs check when trying to get into the States a few days before. Though the crowd didn't initially warm to Ashcroft's affections they rose to their feet when the former lead singer of The Verve filled the stadium with the band's epic single "Bittersweet Symphony".
But the enthusiastic crowd that filled the ACC on Wednesday night didn't waver with their fondness for the headliners, wholeheartedly flying to their feet as soon as Will Champion, Guy Berryman, Jon Bukland and Chris Martin, graced the stage with the opening bars of "Square One".
After pounding their way through "Politik", both band and crowd were at full tilt as a bevy of giant yellow balloons sailed down onto the audience for the scream inducing "Yellow". The crowd roared back every word of the band's breakthrough single feeding off of the nimble, energetic frontman, who declared as the song ended that he knew it was going to be a good night.
The show continued with the band going through a selection of tunes from their newest release X &Y including "White Shadows", "What If", "Talk", and "Speed of Sound" and adding in a mixture of singles from their first two albums Parachutes and A Rush of Blood to the Head that included "The Scientist", "Clocks", "God Put a Smile Upon Your Face" and a special version "Don't Panic" featuring guitarist Jon Buckland replacing Martin on lead vocals for a verse, which could barely be heard over the fans enthusiastic screams.
But Buckland's step into the spotlight was a rare moment as Martin garnered most of the limelight as he ran to every corner of the stage, working up a sweat while drawing each and every member of the crowd into the show. Martin worked himself into such a sweat that he had to pause for an on stage wardrobe change, "It's the kind of thing you have to do because otherwise your grandmother will call you up when your DVD comes out and say Chris I loved your film but really you sweat like a bastard".
After the wardrobe adjustment the band slowed down the pace taking their instruments upstage and belting out "Till Kingdom Come" a song that the band wrote for the late Johnny Cash. Cash passed away before he was able to record the song that now appears as a hidden track on X&Y. The band didn't skip a beat as they rounded off the Johnny Cash theme with a cover of "Ring of Fire".
The band's hour and a half set was capped off with a subdued but heartfelt encore of "Swallowed in the Sea", and "In My Place". Martin and the crowd sung the concert out with the Toronto rendition of "Fix You" complete with an ode to the song's video as Martin swung a hanging orb of light around his head and flinged it into the crowd during the song's climax.
After seeing Coldplay on stage it's not hard to see why the band receives the accolades that it does for both songwriting and performance. But in spite of the grand show put on by each and every member of the band it was the performance of the audience that made the night, with their vigour feeding what happened on stage. And for the sake of everyone that couldn't be in the ACC that night or the following night for the band's second show in Toronto, let's hope the film captures both performances well.
Writer: Michelle Garcia