Coldplay live up to their “biggest band in the world” claim in front of 60,000 strong at Levi’s Stadium

ColdplayBy Steve Carlson //

Coldplay with Tove Lo, Alina Baraz //
Levi’s Stadium – Santa Clara, CA
October 4th, 2017 //

British rockers Coldplay brought their massive “A Head Full of Dreams” tour to Levi’s Stadium just a little over a year after their first visit, and it proved to be quite the spectacle.

Kicking off the night for the few fans who made it inside the stadium before sundown was LA-based rising star Alina Baraz, whose soulful, downtempo R&B vibes didn’t bring much energy to the lineup and felt overwhelmed by the massive stage. Nevertheless, her performance did hint at her immense talent. Be sure to catch her when she plays a smaller space in the future.

Next up was Swedish pop provocateur and Bay Area favorite Tove Lo. The Djursholm native showed considerably more energy out of the gate, confidently running out onto the stage and launching into spirited renditions of “True Disaster” from her 2016 LP Lady Wood and its title track. Unlike Baraz, Tove Lo seemed to enjoy herself (in more ways than one) and fed off the crowd’s growing energy.

Tove Lo

Tove Lo

The inclusion of the “Disco Tits” singer — with her confident sexuality, explicit lyrics and well-known tendency to expose herself onstage — might have seemed like an usual pairing with the unoffensive, family-friendly arena rock Coldplay are known for, but judging by the enthusiastic reactions from the significantly larger crowd, most were happy to go along for the ride.

Coldplay took the stage shortly before 9 p.m. as a video montage of fans who introduced them as “the biggest band in the world” played onstage. While I’m pretty sure there are a few other artists or groups from their side of the pond (ehem, U2) who might take issue with that claim, they certainly did nothing during their electric, almost two-hour performance to dissuade that sort of thinking. Chris Martin and company, in fact, wasted no time getting down to business, flooding the stadium with confetti and firing off pyrotechnics at a steady clip while opening with “A Head Full of Dreams” and subsequently all throughout the night.

By now, Coldplay’s show has been around the block a few times (this show being one of the last of their year-and-a-half long tour) and their shtick is well-known — the aforementioned confetti and pyro, light-up audience wristbands that sync with the music and Martin’s hyper-endearing goofiness cranked up to 11 — but more than a few concertgoers seemed genuinely concerned when the band abruptly cut off the intro to “Charlie Brown” to hold what looked like a “band meeting” by Will Champion’s drum kit.


Though Coldplay has been doing this every night as of late (they tell everyone it’s to discuss how they can get the audience to put their phones down and jump around more), it occurred just close enough to the well-publicized and somewhat controversial 10 p.m. curfew set by the City of Santa Clara that some seemed to think the band’s sound had been cut off. However, it wasn’t, and the band continued to mesmerize for another 45 minutes, well past curfew, to the delight of the more than 60,000 faithful.

That’s not bad for a band, which during their 2002 appearance at the Greek Theatre Berkeley suggested that one day we might stumble upon them playing a small room in Las Vegas and remark, “Oh, there’s that little Coldplay band!”

The biggest band in the world? Maybe, or maybe not. But there’s no doubt that Coldplay know how to play the part convincingly and won’t be slumming it in any Vegas bars any time soon.

A Head Full of Dreams (extended intro with Charlie Chaplin speech)
Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall
The Scientist
God Put a Smile Upon Your Face (with “Oceans” excerpt in intro)
Paradise (with Tiësto Remix outro)
Always in My Head
Everglow (dedicated to Tom Petty and victims of recent disasters)
Clocks (with “Army of One” excerpt in intro)
Midnight (partial)
Charlie Brown (restarted with Chris asking the crowd to turn off their phones for this song)
Hymn for the Weekend
Fix You (with “Midnight” excerpt in intro)
Viva la Vida
Adventure of a Lifetime
In My Place (acoustic, with a snippet of Tom Petty’s “Free Falling”)
Don’t Panic (acoustic; Will on lead vocals)
O (with fan from audience called Rece on piano)
Something Just Like This (The Chainsmokers & Coldplay cover)
A Sky Full of Stars
Up&Up (extended outro)

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