Coldplay, Rilo Kiley execute stellar performance

If you missed it, you missed out.

Saturday night at the UMB Bank Pavilion, Coldplay exceeded expectations once again. After seeing them in concert in Cincinnati this summer, I wondered how similar the shows would be.

The opening act, Rilo Kiley was the first pleasant surprise. The indie female-headed band, signed with Saddle Creek Recordings (with the likes of Bright Eyes and Cursive), took the stage with an eclectic sound and clever lyrics. Lead singer Jenny Lewis rocked the crowd with what seemed like a giant guitar compared to her small stature, and she wore a pair of white knee-high boots that made me want to go out and start a band just so I could get away with wearing them as well.

After a 30-minute breather following Rilo Kiley, the dim stage illuminated with a countdown while the first sounds of “Square One” were welcomed by wild screams from the audience. After a taste of the new album, Chris Martin and the band went back to a few fan favorites with “Politik,” “Yellow” and “God Put a Smile on Your Face.”

The band’s new Twisted Logic Tour features awe-inspiring visuals that include the crowd. During the first chorus of “Yellow,” giant yellow balloons filled with yellow confetti were launched from behind the stage into the audience, where they bounced about-some even made their way to the lawn seats.

Select songs from Coldplay’s latest album, X&Y, followed the band’s blast from the past. “Speed of Sound,” “Low” and “White Shadows” pleased the crowd as Martin, having been on tour since February, continued to accompany his flawless vocal performance with what many would agree to be a so-bad-it’-good dance performance.

It is OK with us, Chris. You can somehow pull it off.

After a fully loaded performance of “The Scientist,” with visuals most likely stolen from “Google-Earth,” as the stage-screen zoomed in from an earth-orbiting view to the nucleus of a cell, the show took a drastic turn, veering away from the route it had taken in previous shows.

Martin performed an acoustic version of “‘Til Kingdom Come,” arguably one of Coldplay’s best songs and one that is typically seen as part of the stellar encore for which the tour has been praised. Martin dedicated the song to the late Johnny Cash, whom he named “the greatest singer of all time.”

As the final chords of “‘Til Kingdom Come” were strummed, Martin went directly into a soulful and unexpected version of Cash’s “Ring of Fire.” The audience ate it up, singing along with the classic.

After uproarious applause for the Cash tribute, Martin singled out a girl in the front row. “You. Yes you! ‘Green Eyes’ or ‘Don’t Panic’?” After having seen and heard “Don’t Panic” at the Cincinnati show, my vote went for “Green Eyes,” but she chose “Don’t Panic,” though as soon as the acoustic version began, I realized what a pointless question he had asked her. They were both equally good choices.

The show concluded with “Clocks” and “Talk” and screaming praise from the 20,000 fans. The best was still to come.

The encore, which this Coldplay tour has been known for, began with “Swallowed in the Sea” while the original lyrics were shown in bright lights on the screen and projected onto the audience. The set list continued with “In My Place” and climaxed with the most anticipated “Fix You,” a song that proves that Gwyneth Paltrow is the luckiest woman in the world.

In the final a cappella chorus of “Fix You,” Martin replaced the original lyrics with a personalized thanks to St. Louis and promised that Coldplay would return sometime soon. I have decided to take it upon myself to pass along this message so that anyone who did not attend this show will be sure to make it to the next.

Do not miss out a second time.


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