Live Review: Coldplay + Jess Kent + Lianne La Havas – Etihad Stadium, Melbourne (09.12.16)

Fireworks. Lasers. Bird shaped confetti. Fire. Glowing wrist bands. Multiple stage changes. Weird but mesmerising images circulating on the big screens. Massive crowds. Massive singalongs… all the things you’d expect from a commercially popular band performing a stadium concert. And yet, even though you expect, even though you know it’s going to be obnoxiously over the top, you can’t help but walk out feeling elated, knowing you’ve just witnessed something you’ll never forget.

There’s a reason Coldplay have been around for as long as they have, and it’s because they know how to put on a show.

Opening the night was London born, Adelaide raised, Jess Kent. As the crowd filtered into Etihad Stadium, those paying attention were treated with fun, party like vibes. Her sound is infectious and you can’t help but move. When “Get Down” played, the audience listened, and everyone shimmed and slut dropped. She got the crowd grooving and as an Adelaide local myself, it was a proud mum moment.

Next was Lianne La Havas whose voice runs through your body like a warm drink on a cold winters day. From the get go, she exuded rhythm and soul. She opened with “Is Your Love Big Enough?” and as soon the beat kicked in, the crowd was swaying. If her girlish charm and radiating smile weren’t enough to win you over, her vibrato vocal strings commanded attention and had you hooked in an instant. Coming all the way from London to support Coldplay on their Australian leg of the tour, Lianne proved to be a performer worth seeing in her own right.

With the sun beginning to set, casting a shadow over the stadium, and the calming and soulful sounds echoing from Lianne and her band, the mood was perfectly set for the main attraction.

The crowd waited patiently as everything went black, then suddenly the wrist bands we were given at the beginning of the night lit up and the stadium exploded with colour. The screens came back on showing messages from people all over the world, fireworks burst through the roof and confetti fell through the sky. Coldplay appeared and went straight into ‘A Head Full of Dreams,’ setting the tone of the night with a dramatic start.

Hit after hit followed; “Yellow”, “Every Tear Drop is A Waterfall”, “The Scientist”. The four piece effortlessly flowed through each song without skipping a beat, proving that they are seasoned professionals.

With every song change the wrist bands donned a different colour, turning the stadium into a giant kaleidoscope. “Paradise”, saw the crowd become a rainbow. The beat got faster, the singing quicker, and lead singer Chris Martin urged everyone to dance and jump. From every angle, energy was shoved in your face.

Finally, things slowed down a bit as the band moved to a different stage in the middle of the stadium and played, “Magic.”Martin briefly said hello, stumbling over his words and proving to be adorably awkward.

Martins stamina was admirable. He ran from stage to stage, quickly jumping into whatever role he had to. After years of performing the same songs he could have easily come across as bored, but instead he sang each song like it was the first time he was performing; literally throwing his body into it. Guy Berryman, Jonathan Buckland and Will Champion followed suit, clinking through the motions, supporting Martin as he jumped from pace to pace.

As the show came to an end, instead of leaving the stage to hype up an encore, the band decided to dedicate a song to a local Melbourne hero by the name of Moira Kelly. Moira has devoted her whole life to charity work and caring for children in need. As a surprise, Moira’s son Emmanuel Kelly was welcomed to the stage to help sing a cover of “Imagine”, and absolutely killed it; momentarily stealing the show.

They moved to yet another stage, this time at the back of the stadium, and just when you thought it couldn’t get any better there was a proposal! Martin pulled two audiences members up on stage, the man got down on one knee, she said yes, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

The theme of the night was love and unity, and it was successfully represented. Coldplay wanted to share an important message, that love conquers all, and their show did exactly that.

The band took their final bow and the audience yelled in adoration. As they left the stage the cameras zoomed in on a banner donning the words love, and Martin placed the Australian flag alongside it before running off stage. The wrist bands continued to glow until finally they went out, the lights came on and revealed a crowd full of beaming faces.

Coldplay are currently on tour and you can catch them in Melbourne December 10th, Sydney Tuesday 13th and Wednesday 14th. Tickets available through livenation.com.au.