COLDPLAY turned up the heat for the biggest crowd the Stadium of Light has ever seen.
More than 55,000 fans flocked to the sold-out gig which, through rail strikes and rain, became a vibrant night to remember.
The English rockers were once described to me as “the musical equivalent to beige” – but last night they proved they were anything but.
Gig-goers were handed wristbands as they entered the home of the Black Cats, but it didn’t become apparent as to why until the four-piece launched into their opening number.
The multi-coloured bands flashed in synch to the music and the stadium was transformed into a pulsating kaleidoscope of colour and light. It set the tone for what proved to be one of the best shows I’ve seen at the venue.
That’s thanks in part to the soaring songs which lend themselves perfectly to stadium rock gigs, but it’s also down to frontman Chris Martin.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from a man who’s been dubbed “music’s Mr Bland” but he exceeded my expectations – and then some.
The crowd were soaked through before Coldplay even arrived on stage but Chris proved to possess the perfect cocktail of charisma, showmanship and passion to lift their spirits through the roof.
He sprung into life as soon as fireworks opened the show and never let up as the band worked through a selection of tracks from their new album and classic Coldplay anthems.
Early doors he yelled: “I know you’ve been through the biggest hell to get here, with the traffic, the strikes and the rain, but don’t think we don’t appreciate it.
“If you give us everything you’ve got we’ll give you everything we’ve got.”
And indeed they did.
There are few gigs I’ve been to in which the crowd are so involved in the show, so much so, that you almost forgot the heavens had opened up above you.
In particular, the anthemic Yellow which allowed the crowd to partake in a good old sing-along before it broke into its distinctive guitar riffs.
It’s easy to forget just how many good songs Coldplay have released but with The Scientist, God Put a Smile Upon Your Face, Paradise, Charlie Brown, Clocks and more all featuring on the set list this was a tour-de-force of chart-toppers.
As if peppering the songs with lasers, lights, inflatables and confetti wasn’t enough, the band disappeared from the main stage only to appear on a small acoustic stage at the other end of the venue.
It was during these pared-down tracks – Us Against the World and Speed of Sound – that Chris’ strong voice really shone before the band made a daring dash down the West Stand concourse to get back to the main stage.
As the final songs – Fix You and Every Teardop is a Waterfall – rang out around the stadium, fireworks shot into the night sky marking an explosive end to an electric evening.