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Coldplay Chicago 2016


Coldplay Chicago 2016

Nathan Armstrong

Photo credits: @NathanArmstrong

There are certain bands that make music everyone loves. It doesn’t matter if the listener is 14 or 80, their music knows no generational bounds. Coldplay is one of those bands. The band played two nights at Soldier Field in Chicago (a stadium with a capacity of almost 62,000), absolutely blowing away all of my expectations.

There were bad storms in Chicago on the first night of the band’s stop in The Windy City, so the openers, Foxes and Alessia Cara, were unable to perform. But lucky for an eager crowd, the sky cleared just in time for Coldplay to jump on stage at 9 pm. Jump would be actually be a major understatement. Wasting no time, the band introduced pyro and confetti during the first two songs. They began the show with their smash hits “A Head Full of Dreams” and “Yellow”.  Then with a clever nod towards the Chicago crowd, they played a snippet of Robert Johnson’s “Sweet Home Chicago” before moving right in to “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall”. 

Each fan I talked to noted the beginning when asked how they enjoyed the show. It’s extremely difficult for a band to captivate a stadium full of 60,000 people, but lead singer Chris Martin was able to create an environment of free spirits almost effortlessly.

Throughout the show, Coldplay performed hits such as “Paradise”, their collab with Rihanna “Princess of China”, “Clocks”, their new single “Hymn for the Weekend”, and a crowd favorite, “Fix You”, a performance that especially amazed me. I have seen countless covers of this hit live, but as Martin laid down on the runway and looked up at the stars to sing it, it was a whole different feeling. I was astounded at how easily the band was able to move from upbeat radio single to piano ballad.

During “Viva La Vida” (which happened to be the third to last song), the skies opened up and it began to absolutely pour down rain. There’s something magical about singing the chorus to that song with 60,000 of your closest friends in the pouring rain and the original creators of the classic playing it in the background. Chicago got a special treat. After the band played “Adventure of a Lifetime”, Martin announced they would have to jump off stage due to inclement weather. He took a crowd vote on singing one more song or coming back to finish the show once the weather had passed. The crowd voted to do one more song, and Coldplay closed the night with lightning, torrential downpour, and a 60,000-person karaoke session of “A Sky Full of Stars”. Those moments are ones that cannot be recreated.

Thank you Coldplay. Thank you Chicago. You’re both incredible. See you soon.

- NA