Gig review: Coldplay - Glasgow SECC

Whatever your opinion of Coldplay’s occasionally overdriven worthiness, this was an arena spectacular worthy of the name, a show deserving of a stadium or a festival headline slot placed indoors simply because of the season.

When Chris Martin declared “I can’t think of any place better to start our world tour than in Glasgow… in the company of 10,000 beautiful Scots,” any sense of false humility usually associated with such hyperbole was blown away by the ecstatic reaction of the crowd.

That Coldplay have acquired enough familiar and beloved songs to easily fill a set of 100 minutes’ length was merely part of the appeal.

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In every aspect of their staging, the sense was that they were emphatically trying to create a show which would burn itself into the memories of those present.

From the multi-coloured balloons dropped on the audience early in the set, to the tickertape explosions during In My Place, to the electronic wristbands issued at the door which would periodically light up by radio control to create a rainbow sea of waving hands (not the most environmentally friendly set-piece, perhaps), this was a visual spectacle which played on a sense of childish joy.

In such a setting, most of the music was equally memorable, including the reverberating singalongs to Yellow, God Put a Smile Upon Your Face and The Scientist, the gentle acoustic versions of Up in Flames and ‘Til Kingdom Come played at the end of the catwalk and the crunching, euphoric drum pound of Viva La Vida.

“Thank you for giving us the best job in the world,” said Martin, before a finale of Paradise gave way to an encore containing Clocks, Fix You and Every Teardrop is a Waterfall. His gratitude was evident in the sheer energy expended here.

Rating: ****