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U2 Joshua Tree Tour 2019
· Bono's Madrid setlist, 28/11/22
· Bono's Paris setlist, 25/11/22
· Bono's Berlin setlist, 23/11/22
· Bono's Dublin setlist, 21/11/22
· Bono's Manchester setlist, 19/11/22
· Bono's Glasgow setlist, 17/11/22
· Bono's London setlist, 16/11/22
· Bono's Los Angeles setlist, 13/11/22
· Bono's San Francisco setlist, 12/11/22
· Bono's Nashville setlist, 09/11/22


Coldplay hints at Bono-fied greatness

Posted on Thursday, September 12 @ 09:44:29 CEST by Macphisto

(The Orange County Register) -- Is Coldplay on its way to being the next U2?

That's the question - not too long ago an unimaginable one - that many have been asking since the arrival last month of the English band's sophomore album, "A Rush of Blood to the Head."

It provides reason to wonder. The new release is a leap beyond the relative hesitance of the quite good million-selling debut, "Parachutes," and unfurls an occasionally ominous but always anthemic grandeur few acts have dared since "The Joshua Tree," replete with chiming, cascading guitar lines and inspirational, sing-along choruses. Bolster the argument for highfalutin status with the group's unassuming commitment to at least one political cause - fair trade - not to mention kudos from Bono himself, and you've got the seeds of a long-running, socially relevant global sensation.

For better proof, though, consider Coldplay's riveting breakout performance Tuesday night at a sold-out Greek Theatre, its biggest Stateside show yet. ("The closest thing we have to a homecoming in America," noted front man Chris Martin.)

Simply put, it was a stunner, one of the best concerts of the year.

Previous performances, mostly rushed through at radio festivals, suggested this was little more than a green band lucky to have struck gold with the irresistible "Yellow." Certainly they came with worthwhile, slightly cribbed tunes, and via Martin they brought a startling, angelic voice, if also an awkwardness. But they had no presence, no power.

The Coldplay that showed up Tuesday night, however, was of a far greater caliber, one that lived up to the ensuing hype. From the opening, hypnotic pounding of "Politik" (with its commands to "give me real, don't give me fake" and "open up your eyes") and the explosive energy accorded a seasoned "Shiver," it was obvious the group had honed and heightened its flair for drama, for eliciting an emotional outpouring from its audience.

Much like the early incarnation of U2, in fact. And the more time you spend watching Coldplay, the more logical the comparison becomes. Martin is the same sort of spitfire romantic Bono once was, if not nearly as earnest. Guitarist Jon Buckland oozes the stoic-cool charisma of the Edge without trying. Bassist Guy Berryman lingers in the shadows expressionless, just like Adam Clayton. And drummer Will Champion is a steady, athletic timekeeper, similar to Larry Mullen Jr.

But if such similarities weren't immediately apparent, the band helped them along during "The One I Love" by unveiling a backdrop of four giant screens, each one focused on an individual talent, shown larger-than-life in black-and-white - just as U2 did during its Elevation Tour.

Granted, so far Coldplay falls short of U2's standard in many ways - for starters, Martin's subject matter, when not focused on his own frame of mind, is currently limited to girls and, uh, girls. Though he's slowly stepping out of that narrow definition - the new title track and the dreamy, introspective single "In My Place" examine concerns beyond infatuation - his favorite trick, and it's deeply effective, is to deliberately place love on a pedestal, then skulk off when it won't stay grounded. U2 had more reason to exist than that.

Coldplay's lack of lyrical ambition isn't a drawback, however, particularly when Martin can pen something as heartbreakingly gorgeous as "The Scientist" (about trying to get the feeling again) and as tenderly fragile as "Green Eyes" (which received a rare airing this night). Likewise, the quartet's deft ability to create epic, dynamic soundscapes with zero gimmickry is one of its best traits.

It has come into its own and transcended pigeonholing with an approach that is far less bleak (if also less daring) than Radiohead's - Thom Yorke would never sing something as optimistic as "we live in a beautiful world, yeah, we do" - yet not nearly as limp as recent Travis.

And that's what will push it to the next, arena-size level. You could see the adulation all over the Greek, especially in the way fans stood and swayed during the slowest moments of the band's 90-minute set. What audiences seem to respond to in Coldplay isn't primarily its sumptuousness or Martin's soaring tone but the hopefulness inherent in both, the positivity behind the cocooning of "Yellow" or the spirituality of "God Put a Smile Upon Your Face" or the wise advice of "Life Is for Living."

They are nice guys largely unencumbered by ego, creating emotionally arresting music that makes simple things seem important again - and because of that they have an appeal wide enough to include both snooty Anglophiles and mainstream Johnny-come-latelies.

Given America's embrace, and how much Coldplay seems to like it here, it isn't hard to envision their own "Joshua Tree," followed by a search for rock's roots, then a radical stylistic departure, and a giant lemon, from which they will undoubtedly emerge to sing you-know-what.

The next U2? No. There could never be another. But in its own subdued way, Coldplay comes close.

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