Somebody asked me yesterday if I was photographing Coldplay, to which I replied “Sadly not, but I am going along to enjoy the “spectacular”, making inverted commas with my fingers. I mean, just how spectacular could a Coldplay concert be? Yeah everyone knows all their songs, which are fantastic songs; some of my very favourites in fact. Although I knew their latest album is quiet upbeat, I was just unable to translate it mixed with the ones I’ve been listening to in the car for the last decade on to a massive stadium stage, just the four of them in front of such an enormous crowd. So I think it’s fair to say I was expecting a pretty chilled, laid back evening with piano and some acoustic ballads and a few punchy beats from the latest album A Head Full Of Dreams.
Fast forward 6 hours and I arrive at Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium and am gifted a funky yellow plastic wrist band complete with LED’s and the tour logo. I notice everyone else wearing the same but in other various bright colours. Already my interest is roused and I begin to wonder if this show might actually be louder than I first thought.
The stadium is close to full. I have no idea of exact numbers but Mt Smart holds just over 40,000 so that’s quiet a lot of Coldplay fans in Auckland!
The golden glow of the house lights fade and in a flash, front man Chris Martin makes a massive running entrance onto the stage to title track Head Full Of Dreams. An ocean of red flashes to the beat as the LED wristbands are activated throughout the entire audience and at some point during this first song there were firework like pyros, and Chris Martin taking a massive run and jump down the crazy long runway as bursts of rainbow coloured confetti explode behind him. I can’t really recall the order in which all those things happened because honestly I was a little surprised and awe struck, and feeling completely naive as to what a Coldplay concert is really like! Also because it turned out my wristband was a duff and I was probably the only person in the crowd not contributing to the cool light show!
Second up is Yellow, and the human ocean turns yellow. Husband at this point notices my dismay at lack of flashing wristband and dutifully hands his over. Happy wife, happy life right? Now I can really enjoy myself with my new flashing wristband that makes me feel like a Power Ranger!
The party hits it up a notch with Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall, the jumping sea of hands now purple reflecting the scene up on the stage, right now I’m pretty sure the rest of the night is gonna be amped!
Chris briefly touches on the recent media reports of the strict prohibitions for his concert, which included no selfie sticks. “I know we’re right bastards ain’t we? Don’t let you bring anything!” Before reassuring that those are the restrictions of the venue. “I don’t mind if you bring your camel with you, I’m just glad you are here” he added as if he were chatting to a small group of friends.
Together with Guy Berryman on bass, Jonny Buckland on lead guitar, and Will Champion on drums, the guys play a tight union that can only come from 20 years in a rehearsal room together. The sound tonight was just brilliant. A perfect balance which is often lacking at so many other concerts I attend, the music and the lyrics married perfectly and they sounded pretty much as they do in studio!
They blast out hit after hit, each one as fresh as the first time they ever performed it without showing a hint of tiredness that must come of doing the same show for the 70th time!
Paradise was particularly beautiful as our ears were treated to our first taste of piano, but ended with the dance version which saw Martin back out on the runway right amongst the crowd, flashing fists pumping and spinning around.
Viva La Vida complete with that big old church bell ringing out was a sure favourite of Auckland's, I now know what it sounds like to hear 40,000 people singing those catchy lyrics, let me tell you its really something!
Chris Martin has an insanely sizable stage presence and a knack of ensuring all eyes remain on him. With his stickered up guitar slung over his shoulder while not in use he would run around the stage and spin around and around up and down the runway, and geez, who ever said White Men Can’t Jump?!!!
Towards the end the boys took to a smaller stage at the far back end of the stadium, just to spread some love throughout the entirety of their fans.
There they gave us a cover of David Bowie's 'Heroes', and acoustic version of my fave 'Green Eyes'.
If I have to pick a highlight it would be the surprise of Neil Finn of Crowded House joining Chris on stage as he “Struggled” to sing Four Seasons In One Day. That was pretty damned awesome and I think just about everyone was totally speechless at that point.
And the confetti!! I just loved the star shaped confetti storm that came down with A Sky Full Of Stars. I have some in my pocket and I shall treasure it forever!
So if you’ve never been to a Coldplay show before, you really should change that coz it was the most emotion filled, energetic and colourful concert I have ever experienced and everyone deserves to have this much fun!
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
Kylie Price has just released her new album Bones. Last week she appeared on theNZ Entertainment Podcast, where she sang a new song I Dont Want To Go off the album while talking shop about her dream gig to play with Ed Sheeran and her Philipino roots.
Last week I caught up withPeter Hook ahead of returning down under for Australasian leg of the Joy Division and New Order Substance tour. We had a great chat about the spirit of punk, what it takes to write a book and why shows like the X-factor are so unhealthy…
Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends, The Black Seeds are set to tour the country in September, following the release of their long awaited 6th studio album Fabric, (out today - Friday September 8th).
Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin.
Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Courtney Marie Andrews has landed in New Zealand, and set to play two concerts this week with Joe Pug - tonight at San Fran in Wellington (Wed July 19) and tomorrow night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland (Thu July 20).
Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin.
Have you ever considered sharing your most personal experiences with the entire world? Well come this Friday 14th July, that’s what Emma Cameron, the rocking front-woman of kiwi band Decades is about to do, when they release their long-awaited full length debut album, The Truth And Other People, so we sat down with the cheerful front woman to discover just what truth this album reveals..
Whilst Sonny Landreth is a well known slide-guitar master, zydeco enthusiast and phenomenal blues legend, what you may not know about him, is that he is one of the nicest gentlemen in the entire universe.
He was always the boy next door type energy, that type of person you just always wanted to be around. From day one, Shay Taylor has always been one to break the mold and live life in such a vibrant and contagious manner, that no matter who he spoke to, they walked away feeling great!
One month on from the release of their third album [Wade Waist Deep], American rock band Thomas Wynn & The Believers are back on the road, breaking beyond the southern rock scene with complex, pulsing rhythms and breathtaking harmonies.
After their 2012 Mercury Prize-nominated debut and 2015’s Top 20 follow-up Born Under Saturn, musical adventurers Django Django are back for 2017, exploring new sounds with their brand new album Marble Skies