Boston Herald Reviews Avalon Gig

Originally posted on May 14, 2005 11:24 AM

Last night's long-sold-out Coldplay concert at Avalon is destined to become part of the city's legendary rock 'n roll events, one of those shows that years from now thousands of people will remember attending even though only a few hundred were actually there.

No band is hotter than the Chris Martin-led quartet these days, and though the group is due to headline the TweeterCenter in August, it included Boston among a handful of club shows in advance of that major tour and the June 7 release of its new disc "X&Y."

Why would a band that could fill a 20,000-seat venue go back to the clubs? "Every new album is like a new relationship for us," Martin told the Herald after the 80-minute concert, "and with each new relationship, you have to meet the parents. These shows, for us, are like meeting the parents."

Nearly half the set featured songs from the new disc, and though the album was a difficult birth – the band spent 18 months in the studio – the new songs mixed well with some of the band's best known tunes, including "Scientist," "God Put a Smile Upon Your Face," and "In My Place."

The set began with the new "Square One," a softly rocking song with the same kind of insistent, quiet propulsion that fueled the band's previous upbeat tunes.

Coldplay has been tabbed by some pundits as the next/new/mini U2, and there were moments in the show that invited the comparison. Though Coldpay's music leans toward lusher melodies and arrangments, both bands let their music breathe and effectively use the space between notes to add drama and release.

Martin has grown into a relaxed and confident frontman, able to get completely lost in his music and take his audience with him.

New songs such as the Bowie-tinged "Low" and the radio-friendly "Speed of Sound" added muscle to the set. But they were counterbalanced with new ballads such as the plaintive "What If," a song that would even make a Patriots linebacker want to give Martin a reassuring hug.

Martin was relatively subdued until themid-set "Yellow" when he took off on a series of Townshendian leaps (without guitar), and he remained animated for the rest of the night.

Even when the band rocks out,a sense of restraint and subtle tugging in songs such as "Clocks" creates an agreeable tension.

The affable Martin, who is married to actress Gwyneth Paltrow, likely won over every woman in the audience when a pair of panties were thrown at him and he huffed, "I'm a married man!"

Source: The Boston Herald

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