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Review of Coldplay at the Avalon

May 14, 2005 11:18 AM

Friday the 13th was not unlucky for the 2,000 fans who smiled their way into Avalon last night to see Coldplay. Avalon owner Patrick Lyons said he had more ticket requests to this than for any other show in his history there – and that includes past dates by a few folks named Prince, Eric Clapton, and Bob Dylan.

Coldplay is H-O-T.

The British band has sold 16 million albums and won four Grammys in the last five years. And recently, its new single, "Speed of Sound," entered Billboard's Hot 100 at No. 8 – the first time a British group accomplished that since the Beatles entered the Top Ten with ''Hey Jude" back in another lifetime (1968).

Coldplay's response was a modest, aw-shucks attitude from the stage last night: "It's quite extraordinary that we've been away [a couple of years], but people still come out to see us," said singer Chris Martin. The pressures must nevertheless be enormous – the band's record label was frustrated when the new album, "X&Y," was pushed back to a June 7 release because the band took so much time in the studio – and it must be hard to read article after article that labels you the next U2.

The Avalon show, however, was a congenial affair, almost like a casual night at a local bar. Martin and his mates were relaxed throughout – and they seamlessly stitched new material around such fan-friendly hits as "Yellow" and "Clocks." The band still owes a large debt to U2 – especially with guitarist Jonny Buckland's trebly shimmers evoking the sound of U2's The Edge – and with Martin singing hypersensitive lyrics that might even make Bono blush.

But the show also revealed Coldplay's increased confidence. Martin was charismatic whether he was playing guitar or keyboards – and the new songs were mostly gems, such as the piano-riffing "Square One," the surging "Speed of Sound," and the soft-toned piano ballad "Fix You" (about trying to help a someone out of a crisis). Other new standouts were the tender "What If" (with Martin fretting, "What if you should decide that you don't want me there by your side?"), and the acoustic "Till Kingdom Come," a love-pleading, folk-country tune originally written for Johnny Cash.

An advance listen of the new album suggests there may be too many downtempo songs ("Speed of Sound" jumps out as one of the few rockers), but that's a concern for another day. For now, Coldplay just seems happy to be back onstage – and the bond it attained with last night's crowd was undeniably magical. (Look for Coldplay to next play the Tweeter Center on Aug. 6, with tickets expected to go on sale June 4.)

Source: Bostom Globe

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Coldplay to Play Extended SNL Set

May 14, 2005 11:13 AM

Coldplay will play an extended set when they appear on NBC-TV's "Saturday Night Live" on May 21.

"SNL" musical guests typically play two songs, but Coldplay will play five selections from their upcoming album, "X&Y," due in stores June 7. Lindsay Lohan will host the show.

Source: liveDaily

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Coldplay in Toronto

May 09, 2005 7:16 PM

Coldplay's Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland were greeted by a screaming mob of fans Monday, the first day of a three-day promotional blitz in the city to talk up the band's new album, X&Y.

"I can't think of anything except how many people are standing behind me," said a beaming Martin when he was asked about making the new record during a stop at MuchMusic.

"It was hard. Judging by the (screaming) it was worth it."

While X&Y won't hit stores until June 7, the British band is busy hyping the CD across North America by making surprise visits to radio stations and putting on a few select concerts in small clubs.

Aside from MuchMusic, Martin and Buckland visited The Edge 102.1, a local rock radio station, where they performed acoustic versions of two new songs in front of a frenzied audience.

Martin showed off his falsetto, previewing A Message and Till Kingdom Come, a song originally written for the late Johnny Cash which will appear as a hidden track on X&Y.

"It's a tribute to him," Martin told the crowd. "A lot of our parents are real country and western heads."

They also performed The Scientist from Rush Of Blood To The Head and Don't Panic from the band's first album Parachutes.

The outfit landed in Toronto on Sunday and will stay through Wednesday night, when they perform at the Kool Haus. The show sold out in less than a minute. Scalpers are commanding a whopping $300 for a ticket.

Rebecca Lain of Burlington, Ont., was one of about 250 fans outside MuchMusic hoping for a glimpse of Martin.

"They're really good. I just really love them," gushed the 18-year-old, holding a disposable camera above her head hoping for a shot of Martin or Buckland. "He's really hot."

She said she's been trying to snag one of the 2,300 concert tickets, but "$300 is just too much money."

Martin didn't reveal much about the new CD, saying only that the band threw out a bunch of songs during the recording process.

"That's what always happens with us," he said. "We do something, we think it's brilliant, and then we play it for someone else and they remind us that it probably isn't brilliant. So we take it back in and we work on it."

The first single from the album, Speed of Sound, is quickly climbing rock radio charts. It broke ITunes records by topping the downloading service's worldwide chart on its first day of release.

Source: National Post

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X&Y Biggest Release of 2005?

May 06, 2005 4:43 PM

"We didn't sit down and say, 'Let's write a stadium album,'" says Coldplay drummer Will Champion of his band's ambitious third CD, X&Y, due June 7th. "But we did gravitate toward that."

And even before Coldplay staged the new songs at this past weekend's Coachella Festival, their big-rock move was paying off: The single "Speed of Sound" hit Number One on iTunes' charts in fifteen countries a day after its April 19th release. Dave Alder, chief marketing officer for Virgin Megastores, says he expects X&Y to match or exceed the triple-platinum sales of 2002's A Rush of Blood to the Head: "This is the first event release of 2005, and probably the most anticipated release of the year."

Andrew Slater, president of Coldplay's label, Capitol Records, says the disc -- packed with dynamic drumming, fat stacks of layered keyboards, and singalong choruses -- "showcases the group at the peak of their powers."

But climbing to that peak took some work. "We went through so many different emotions and ideas," says singer Chris Martin. "We went down so many different paths." In fact, the foursome spent a year on initial recording sessions for X&Y -- only to ditch almost every note after they listened to the results. Recalls Champion, "We all went to a bar in Liverpool and said, 'We need to sort this out, because it's not right.' It sounded like four people playing different things and then chucking it into a computer to edit it and fix it."

So the band members retreated to a dingy rehearsal room in North London and reconnected. When they began recording again, they did so as a unit, playing live in the studio. "We learned how to be a band again, really," says Champion. "We got back that spark that we felt when we first joined a band together." They also absorbed new musical influences, biting the melody of Kraftwerk's "Computer Love" for the ethereal tune "Talk" (the German synth-rock pioneers granted permission after Martin wrote them a letter) and emulating New Order on the synth-splashed "Low."

The band is planning its most extensive world tour yet, which will hit arenas and amphitheaters in forty cities beginning in late summer. Says Champion, "We're basically hoping to make the best live show ever."

Source: RollingStone.com

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San Francisco Mayor a Coldplay Fan

May 06, 2005 6:30 AM

Mayor Gavin Newsom boosted his hipness factor after spending about 15 minutes chatting with members of Coldplay on local radio.

Newsom, 36, called in to KLLC-FM to express his admiration for the band, quiz its members about recent performances and welcome them to the San Francisco Bay area.

In return, singer and frontman Chris Martin and drummer Will Champion invited Newsom to the band's show at the Fillmore 1,100 tickets sold out in mere seconds Sunday.

During the Wednesday call-in, Newsom, Martin, Champion and two disc jockeys chatted about the elections in the United Kingdom; Martin's daughter, Apple, with his wife, Gwyneth Paltrow; and Newsom's luxury resort in Napa, where Champion stayed earlier in the week.

After Newsom hung up, the band members said he sounded like a well-intentioned, genuine guy that San Francisco was lucky to have as mayor.

As for Wednesday night's sold-out show, Newsom didn't make it, spokesman Peter Ragone said Thursday. He attended a gala at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art instead.

Source: ABC News

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