Days after their Austin City Limits appearance, Coldplay headed to New York for a slightly scaled down, but no less energetic set at Ed Sullivan Theater on September 20th. Their hour-long performance included a slew of past hits and tracks off their upcoming October 24th release, Mylo Xyloto. While select New York fans had a coveted seat inside the theater, others could watch the set live streamed on CBS.com.
At 8 p.m. Coldplay took the stage as their instruments glowed in bright neon graffiti art. After a brief piano introduction, enigmatic frontman Chris Martin grabbed the mic for “Hurts Like Heaven,” off their upcoming LP. Laser strobe lights glistened onstage as he danced.
The band’s classic ballad “Yellow” followed to screams as Martin’s familiar high vocals resonated throughout the room. Those same shrieks were heard continuously during fan favorites “Viva la Vida,” “The Scientist,” “Clocks,” and “Fix You.”
“I can see you clearly, maybe a little too clearly,” Martin joked. “We’re going to play some new songs you’ll probably be a little confused on, but in six months time you won’t believe you heard [them here] first.”
Though not everyone knew the words, (except a few diehards who sang along) the band exuded confidence on each new track played. Layered guitar textures and a dark bass line electrified on “Major Minus” while sing-along choruses and a heart-pounding drum beat throughout “Charlie Brown,” showcased the quartet’s tight live set.
Martin ended “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall” with boundless energy, spinning in circles and jumping around, before thanking the audience for giving up their Tuesday evening to attend their show. Afterward, the band exited before he reentered solo for an encore.
“Are we still on the Web? Am I allowed to swear yet?” he joked. “We have one more song, it’s new but it isn’t that bad. This is how we advertise all our songs…it’s called ‘Us Against the World.'”
After a technical snafu, he restarted the track without a mic and added, “This is about our band and our feelings about each other and trying to do something good with our music and feeling like sometimes we’re under attack but nevertheless feeling resilient.”
A fitting set closer, the stripped down song transformed the theater into an intimate living room as nothing but Martin’s voice could be heard.