Downtown Toronto is out of sorts tonight, with a 1,000 strong crowd huddled together in the rain, waiting in anticipation for Coldplay. The band are playing a free outdoor show in the parking lot of Much Music (the Canadian equilvant of MTV). As is the way with gigs like this, the rain doesn’t seem to matter, and the moment that Coldplay take to the stage the sky clears. They kick off precedings on an high with new track ‘Hurts Live Heaven’. Witnessing the performance against the backdrop of Toronto’s CN Tower, their lighting and a slew of fireworks makes for an arresting sight, but then again this is Coldplay and they don’t do things by half.
On the verge of releasing their fifth studio album Mylo Xyloto, Coldplay are arguably one of the biggest bands in the world right now, and tonight sees them live up to their stadium status despite the intimate surroundings. Playing a careful mix of old and new, we’re treated to six songs from the new album, scattered amongst classics such as ‘Clocks’ and ‘Yellow’. Of the new material showcased, ‘Charlie Brown’ is an immediate standout, with its glorious riff, it’s a song that’s got classic Coldplay written all over it. Interaction with the audience is kept to a minimum, but with a small bit of banter between songs, Chris Martin is humble and charming, even managing a reference to Canada’s very own, Bieber. It’s not all jokes though, there’s a poignant moment during the opening chords to ‘Fix You’, where Martin instead sings a few verses of ‘Rehab’ by the deceased Amy Winehouse.
An unexpected highlight was their reworked version of ‘God Put a Smile on Your Face’. Starting off with a stripped down intro of guitar and vocals, the drums then took center stage and what followed turned out to be the the most rousing moment of the night . Chris Martin is the public face, but drummer Will Champion is the band’s unsung hero. Coldplay are old pros at this stage, but they never once go through the motions. Their live show is truly an experience. Closing out the night with ‘Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall’, the confetti and fireworks are out in force again, illuminating the city’s skyline to bring the night to a close, a bitter-sweet farewell to summer.