Coldplay - Live 2003

Year of Release: 2003
Label: EMI
Catalog Number: 7243 490803 9 3
Format: CD/DVD
Total Time: 132:21:00

Only a handful of years ago and no one would have turned up once they saw that a piano was part of the instrumentation. In the case of Coldplay, things have gone extremely fast, what with only one EP (now valued at 1500 euro!!!), one early single ("Brothers And Sisters") and only two full albums to their credit. And all this despite the fact that a lot of their music is based around ? the piano. In fact, when you listen closely to Coldplay's music, a large chunk is repetitive, with Jonny's guitar often delivering authentic Gilmour-like soundscapes whilst Chris kind of delivers similar sounding "loops" on top of which he sings in pure trance-like fashion. Recorded on tour in 2003, this DVD perfectly illustrates the fact that it's mainly Chris Martin who really sings and plays from the heart whilst the rest of the band is standing on stage as if they were doing a job, as if they couldn't care less, only backing the maestro himself: Chris Martin.

When my kids go to a party and they are given a stamp on the back of their hands, they have to make sure most if not all of it has been washed off by the next morning. In the case of Martin he only takes to the stage when some text has been written on his hand. In thick black marker his left hand reads "make trade". Contrary to most bands, Coldplay uses its popularity to deliver important issues to their fans. Their "make trade fair" attitude kind of delivers Oxfam on stage whilst they also encourage you to buy a tree in the Coldplay forest. So in a way this "green" thought gives the band a lot of sympathy amongst their millions of mainly young fans. Pity then that only the accompanying booklet is made out of recycled paper, but that the box containing the DVD and CD is still made out of plastic!

The band most certainly has worked closely with experts in the domain of visual arts and crafts as the energy in some of their songs is extra enhanced by means of the right use of lights and effects. The powerful "One I Love" is a perfect example of this. Then again "Shiver" illustrates how two extremes can sit back to back in one single song as heavy outbursts mingle with contained passages. The recognizable electric guitar that at times is reminiscent of The Edge not only puts the power in the song but also the fire in the audience, whilst during the more acoustic parts that enthusiastic crowd remains calm so as to fully enjoy every single texture of this great song. Throughout the entire duration of this DVD, Martin's voice remains crystal clear and unique, whether in his "normal" tone or in the falsetto parts. Recorded at Hordern Pavillion, Sydney, on July 21st and 22nd, 2003, the actual concert contains no fewer than seventeen songs, five of which are pulled from the band's debut album Parachutes, no fewer than eight songs that can be found on their second album A Rush Of Blood To The Head and four songs that can't be found on Coldplay's albums. There's "One I Love," "See You Soon" from the Blue Room EP, the hidden track on Parachutes "Life Is For Living" and the brand new track "Moses," which in it's intro contains some Unforgettable Fire-era U2.

No doubt Chris Martin is the focal point of the band, an image that is widely spread all over the footage on this DVD. Take a look at "The Scientist" where his face is blown up on all the huge screens in the background. In fact this is a strong section of the concert which kicks off with the well-known hit "Yellow," which for the occasion bathes in tons of ? yellow light, and ends with "The Scientist." This is, in fact, the end of Coldplay's "regular" set, but surely some more surprises are waiting as the audience can't get enough ? yet. Martin jumps on stage again like an Olympic athlete and once the first chords of "Clocks" hit, the audience a massive cheer welcomes the band once more. Backed with green stroboscopic light this most certainly is the best all-time high for the time being. And what a great finale it is when Jonny's guitar introduces "In My Place," yet another firm crowd favourite. Prior to "Amsterdam," Gwyneth Paltrow's husband advises the crowd to visit the "make trade fair" site and he makes great publicity for Belgium's export product number one as he asks the audience to: "eat more chocolate"!

Four songs benefit from the "multi-angle" possibility. In black and white you get "Daylight," "God Put A Smile Upon Your Face" and "Trouble" to benefit from this extra feature. In full color you get the possibility to feel how it is on stage as a member of the band yourself as during "In My Place" you are on stage watching the audience yourself! Lyrics, tour dates and weblinks are to be found in the extras department, whilst it's that 40 minute tour diary that really makes this package complete. Shot for 98% in black and white so you would concentrate more on the actual contents rather than the nice pictures, this tour diary literally takes us around the world in the company of the band. Whether backstage, in a radio station or simply "on the road," this footage clearly shows us that Coldplay is a very tight unit, that this is a collective of four "real" friends! With subtitles in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Portugese, virtually the entire world can witness what a great bunch of characters Coldplay really is. We see Chris doing a workout somewhere in Spain and follow him doing vocal exercises. During one soundcheck the band delivers a short punky version of "Trouble." We are taken to the memorable Hollywood Bowl and to the rainy settings of Red Rock where U2 performed twenty years earlier! It most certainly is a great addition to the live concert. The bonus audio CD enables you to take the Coldplay music with you on the road, although here you get five songs fewer than on the DVD. As kind of consolation the band offers you 33 photographs.

To make it modern throughout, the pictures on this DVD are mainly in colour but sometimes interspersed with black and white footage. Sometimes also the images look like they have been filmed by an amateur introducing like inferior bootleg quality to add as a little gimmick. Razor sharp images alternate with slightly blurred passages to give it all an arty feel. So from one angle it's as if you witness the pure quality of the band which translates itself in perfect quality images, whereas on the other side you can feel the sweaty moving ambiance of the crowd which due to occasionally bumping into one another does not always result in perfect images. Whether you were there yourself during this tour or whether you're curious to see what you've missed, Live 2003 is a wonderful testament of one of the leading bands of the moment. Grab it with both hands!

DVD: Politik / God Put A Smile Upon Your Face / A Rush Of Blood To The Head / Daylight / Trouble / One I Love / Don't Panic / Shiver / See You Soon / Everything's Not Lost / Moses / Yellow / The Scientist / Clocks / In My Place / Amsterdam / Life Is For Living

CD: Politik / God Put A Smile Upon Your Face / A Rush Of Blood To The Head / One I Love / See You Soon / Shiver / Everything's Not Lost / Moses / Yellow / Clocks / In My Place / Amsterdam (CD Timing: 70:00)

Guy Berryman ? bass
Jon Buckland - electric and acoustic guitars, backing vocals, harmonica
Will Champion - drums, backing vocals
Chris Martin - vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano

Safety (ep) (1998)
Brothers & Sister (ep) (1999)
Blue Room (ep) (1999)
Parachutes (2000)
Acoustic CD (2000)
A Rush Of Blood To The Head (2002)
Live 2003 (2003)

Live 2003 (2003) (DVD)

Genre: Rock

Origin UK

Added: February 9th 2004
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 999
Language: english


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