Concert in Berlin: Coldplay at the Olympic Stadium – all colors and feelings


Colorful, colorful – it’s a great show with which the London quartet will captivate their fans in Berlin. And that three times in four evenings, each receiving 70,000 visitors. At the first of three Sunday evening concerts, the band will perform all the blockbuster songs from their millennium-spanning storytelling career – “Viva la Vida,” “Clocks,” “Paradise,” “Byutiful,” and many more. Singer Chris Martin tried his hand at broken German sympathy in his ads, praising the audience several times and finding the usual words to appreciate the city: “Very good, Berlin air.”

I like it, it’s so lovable, even if you hear it like this or something similar a lot. Rather inconspicuously, Coldplay has become one of the biggest phenomena in the pop industry over the past 22 years. They’ve never been as euphoric as some of the others, sometimes their albums receive mixed reviews, and they’ve been accused of plagiarism. But Coldplay has always been there in some way. Filling the Berlin Olympic Stadium three times in a row, not even Rammstein could accomplish this feat. And the few others who could — the Rolling Stones, for example — might not feel like it anymore.

In the footsteps of Bono Vox and Co.

Coldplay is a bit like U2 once upon a time: (almost) everyone can agree on it. They do no harm to anyone, do not confuse their listeners musically, and they uphold good values: peace, love, optimism, justice – and environmental protection.


The band is working to make their concerts as green as possible – Coldplay released statements ahead of their ongoing music tour and pledged to work on reducing carbon dioxide. Party-goers can generate electrical power in specific areas on kinetic floors by jumping up and down. Likewise with some “power bikes” in the back area of ​​the Oval Stadium, fans can pedal as little power stations. Small wind vanes are installed on the masts of the loudspeakers. A portion of the tickets are used to fund afforestation and ocean cleanup projects. Before the concert began, videos from environmental NGOs were shown on circular video screens to the left and right of the huge stage.

Start with “Higher Power” and fireworks

Then it begins with a “higher power” from the current album “Music of the Spheres,” framed by a lavish display of fireworks. A few minutes later, a stench wafts from the stadium on New Year’s Eve. Perhaps it is better not to ask how this fits with efforts to achieve a good ecological balance. Of course, the whole eco concept is not the least of a clever photo campaign. Sitting in this gigantic stadium with more than 70,000 spectators and watching Coldplay perform its overwhelming show feels like driving an SUV to the organic supermarket and carrying salmon fillets you bought in a jute bag to the trunk of your car.

But this does not detract from the mood. Audiences in the stands jump out of their seats after the first few bars, and most attendees continue to stand for the next two hours, almost without exception. The theatrical show is really impressive when the remaining daylight prohibits the emptying of the very large cutlery: large colored balls of size float across the oval of the playing field.

About 70,000 glowing arms

At the entrance before the party started, fans could pick up flashing LED bracelets – made of compostable plastic of course – which can be centrally controlled and change color. With the first single “Yellow,” the entire stadium lights up in yellow. Green is the main color in the song “Clocks” with a tireless piano.


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Later, it changes from song to song: blue, purple, white, yellow again – all mixed up. Light show connoisseurs of tour production can conjure oversized hearts in the ranks.

And with that, Coldplay is already setting the bar in terms of immersion. Even for spectators in the back rows, several meters from the stage, a concert becomes an instant sensory experience. Colours, lasers, flamethrowers, brightly colored video projections, colored confetti bombs and a broad thunderstorm of sound – the four-piece band is everywhere this evening. The two small extra stages in the middle of the court also contribute to this, with the quad going every now and then for a few pieces over a long bridge from the main stage. For the piano song “Let Somebody Go,” singer Hannah from backing band London Grammar comes to one of these mini plays for a duet.

Loud vocal mush, repetitive chord sequence

Of course, the sound quality leaves much to be desired. The guitars come in drab and blatantly muddy in particularly stylized songs, everything sometimes too loud and undifferentiated. But Coldplay is not the first to suffer from acoustics at the Olympic stadium in Berlin. And at Coldplay stadium parties, music is sometimes a side issue; Despite the ever-changing modern production, the band hasn’t made that much progress in songwriting lately. It’s always the same chord strings thrown in here with a lot of oomph. In any case, the maxima often shares music with the opposite pole, the simplicity, the specificity occurring in very simple patterns and structures.

45-year-old Chris Martin runs across the stage with all his energy, dressed in some sort of training suit with neon-colored applications. He politely thanks those present for coming – despite the war, despite the economic crisis, despite the pandemic and – perilously – despite the city’s traffic, and though some of them will have to get up early the next Monday morning . Celebrating a concert with Chris Martin is like attending a seminar on mindfulness.

A buddy and three inconspicuous comrades

It’s cool, and to some extent reflects the astronomical success of the band: Chris Martin’s demeanor isn’t particularly charismatic at all. He’s neither mysterious nor mysterious, and he doesn’t slip into roles. He is simply sensitive and attentive. The message: You can also be completely natural and still be a great performer. The kind of friend next door or older brother, who also jokes about the fact that some of the attendees weren’t even born when Coldplay first played an old song in Berlin.

As usual, the band allowed frontman Chris Martin to take the lead and provide strong accompanying music. Guitarist Johnny Buckland refrains from any individual parts that might catch the audience’s attention. At best, drummer Will Champion sets the tone with a few obvious groove quotes, like his powerful prelude to “In My Place” — a drumbeat very reminiscent of Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham. And Jay Berryman knocks the bass completely discreetly.

Comedy pop music and instant poisoning

In the middle of the evening, the quartet appeared on stage wearing futuristic robotic insect masks. The brightly colored pop comedy now continues with newer songs dominated by synthesizer sounds. In addition, the message “If you want love, be love” (“If you want love, be love”) is transmitted to the audience via a video screen. It’s all just overwhelming, it has no deeper meaning whatsoever, and it’s so wonderful in this exhilarating and intoxicating moment.

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British artist Damien Hirst published a book in 2006 called A Wonderful Satire, I Want To Spend The Rest Of My Life Everywhere, With Everyone, One to One, Always, Forever, Now I Spend Life Anywhere, With Everyone, Face to Face, Always. , Forever, Now.” It seems as though Coldplay set out to turn this title into a concert. Here are all the colours, all the sounds, all the feelings, all, all for all, and at the same time.

A song entirely without mobile phones

And a sky full of stars. Below that, Coldplay doesn’t do that. In the “starry sky”, an ambulance entered the stadium, and paramedics were rushing into the audience. Chris Martin interrupts the show. He briefly confers with the other three band members and inquires about the condition of those present sensitively as if this incident had been planned. Indeed: online research shows that Coldplay installed a very similar viewing platform in Warsaw a few evenings ago.

A little later, paramedics in Berlin explained everything: everything is fine. Coldplay starts A Sky Full Of Stars all over again and Martin asks fans to give up their cell phones for the song. All that matters is this moment with all the other people present, who, as theater philosopher Chris Martin explains, will never again meet in one room in this constellation. You have to do it first: to create the illusion of condescension and personal affinity in this flashy, shimmering, brilliant, noisy and boisterous atmosphere of high-tech. Whoever accomplishes this paradoxical feat may have reached the perfect stage – or just a magician.

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Unfortunately, Coldplay excluded their song “Magic” from the 2014 album “Ghost Stories” that evening. But at the end of the evening there is another political message, which Chris Martin, in turn, follows in the footsteps of U2 singer Bono Fox. Martin sings the song “Something Like This” with a chorus of Ukrainian children. Salam: Sure, it’s also important for a show like this.

On schedule, at 11 p.m., this shimmering, colorful device was finished. If you want to impress with concerts in the stadium, you have to give perfectly designed multimedia shows. Gone are the days when audiences in the back tiers could be satisfied with simple video screens. This has been around for a long time with other interpreters. But if you still want to go for a ballpark tour after Coldplay in 2022, you really have to come up with something.

Coldplay’s Great Concerts July 12 and 13, Olympiastadion Berlin, remaining tickets may be available

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