May 1, 2012
Coldplay's first of three nights at the Hollywood Bowl kicked off in a most impressive fashion. Eighteen thousand rabid Coldplay fans soaked up every note as the band held the audience in the palm of their hand from the beginning notes of "Mylo Xyloto" till the very end.
Lasers, confetti, fireworks and illuminated neon wristbands were some of the extras that enriched the overall concert experience, but Coldplay's songs and musicianship were still the centerpiece. The descending guitar riff of "Hurts Like Heaven" immediately provoked the audience out of their seats as a sea of illuminated wristbands rapidly blinked alternating colors.
Chris Martin sprinted down the catwalk and leapt into the air as a spray of confetti launched into the front rows of the audience as "In My Place" triggered one of the first of many crowd sing-alongs of the evening. Grabbing his acoustic guitar, Martin dealt out the percussive riff of "Major Minus" as Jonny Buckland was surgically navigating the fretboard of his Fender guitar.
The shoegaze guitars of "Lovers in Japan" meshed with a bouncing piano riff make it one of my favorites from Viva La Vida Or Death And His Friends and was performed flawlessly. Couples clutched each other during the piano-driven "The Scientist." Martin was excited and let his enthusiasm spill over into the performance as he asked the for the lights to illuminate the massive audience during "Yellow."
Frequently altering the lyrics to make each show city-specific, Martin incorporated the line of "took my love to the Hollywood Bowl" during "Violet Hill." An alternate electric guitar riff for "God Put A Smile Upon Your Face" melted into Will Champion's muscular drumming that ended with Martin tossing his guitar high into the air.