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by Neil Leeds
It was freezing cold in Cambridge last night, like the first day it turned really wintery. The Junction is in the middle of an industrial estate, full of plumber's merchants and heating companies, not the kind of place usually associated with beautiful, heart warming music. The contrast between Coldplay and the business world are a massive divide, and long may they stay that way.
The haunting 'Spies' begins to filter through the speaker bank, and the excitement levels were high, and justifiably so for anyone who has had the pleasure of seeing Coldplay live before. For me, 'Spies' is the most unbelieveably spine-tingling 2am song I have ever heard. It is amazing, and live it takes on a whole new level. It's intense, and it makes me stand still until the last note of a slightly longer version.
'Spies' is followed by a plaintive version of 'Trouble', the set list taking a slight tweaking from previous performances. After 'Trouble', Chris announces "Welcome to a Coldplay concert".
The setlist was similar to other recent concerts, with the addition of a couple of gems. 'Shiver' was an absolute stand-out song, it was the best I have ever heard it, and I didn't want it to end.
'Yellow' was not introduced, but the opening chords in truth did all the introduction needed. During the chorus a glitter ball was turned on, and the lights turned yellow, creating a gorgeous swirling yellow. At the end of the song, Chris stood by his microphone beaming, allowing the crowd to finish off the last few lines.
A new song 'Animals' was played, which Chris told us they only decided to include a week ago. Needless to say it was exceptionally good, and a bit different to the album tracks. You know what it's like at gigs, you think they are great, but then you can't remember anything about them the next day... I recall it having a cool drumline though.
'Everything's Not Lost' was simply superb, and a fitting end to the concert.
The band came back on for the encore, and because of technical difficulties with Chris' guitar, it took longer to get back into the gig than anticipated. Chris milked this by returning back stage, and re-entering, each time to a more rapterous applause than the last.
Finally, an emotive version of 'Careful Where You Stand' was played, which for me was a highlight. However, the traditional "save the best till last" was played with a vengence. Another new song, introduced as "something we are very proud of, we hope it's number one" and I believe called 'In My Place'. This song was an absolute skyscraper, an enormously defining moment for the whole gig, and the crowd lapped up every last second of it.
You wouldn't have thought they could come up with a better ending than with 'Everything's Not Lost', but my God have they! The warm glow the song gave me was fantastic, I just stood transfixed, as the piano part soothed me. The lyrics were classic Coldplay, truly beautiful and, in truth, it was possibly the best Coldplay song I have ever heard. They are right to be proud of it.
In past gigs Chris has thanked us for going to see them before they become Bon Jovi massive, and I am thankful I have seen them in such small, intimate venues, as Bon Jovi massive they will undoubtedly become.
Coldplay tell us "we live in a beautiful world" - it's certainly that little bit better for having them in it.