Review: Coldplay @ Optus Stadium (Perth)

Coldplay played Optus Stadium (Perth) on 18 November, 2023 - image © Anna Lee Media
Art Alchemist · Costume Connoisseur · Rhythmic Reveller: Step into my realm of expressive exploration and behold the world through my enchanting lens of musical perception. Where every note transforms into a vibrant hue, effortlessly blending on my kaleidoscopic palette to create a masterpiece on the canvas of life! @dashkovsky

Like returning home from a distant journey, Coldplay transported the Optus Stadium crowd (18 November) through a performance that was nothing short of a spectacular cosmic odyssey, guiding us back to earth in four acts, past the Planets, Moons, Stars, and tenderly back Home to Western Australia.

Showcasing our globally acclaimed sunshine, WA heightened the temperature for Coldplay's performance in Perth.

Nearly 70,000 fervent fans, drawn from all corners of Australia, some bravely embraced the scorching sun, vying for prime positions in eager anticipation of witnessing Coldplay's triumphant return to Western Australia after a 14-year hiatus.

Welcomed by Adrian Dzvuke, Thelma Plum and Amy Shark who strapped us into our seats and wished us a safe trip. Glazed in silver, Amy Shark, who seemed momentarily awestruck by the sea of fans, welcomed Coldplay to the stage.

Her powerhouse set concluded with an expression of gratitude to the band, wherever they might be, for the unforgettable opportunity and delivering the closing lines of her hit song with an artful twist: "Tell 'em all I said hi, have a nice day, I wish you all well and have the best time!" adding a touch of heartfelt sincerity.

Image © Anna Lee Media

As the quartet made the stage, 'coldplayers' received a captivating live glimpse of the behind-the-scenes sprint from the green room to the spotlight. Chris Martin kissing the stage as he took the floor expressing gratitude for the experiences that brought them to this moment.

With their only appearance in Australia's being secured by a rumoured ten million dollar partnership with Tourism WA, a meticulous strategy was designed to bolster the image of Western Australia on a grand stage.

From Chris taking a classically Australian barefoot stroll along the Swan River, to the band choppering down to one of Margaret River's crown jewels, Leeuwin Estate, and although a smiling quokka photo is yet to surface, reports of their token red helicopter was spotted on its way to Rottnest for a suspected glimpse of the world famous smiling marsupial island.

Coldplay was given an extraordinary experience, allowing them to present the essence of Western Australia at its finest, a return on investment that extended beyond the significant influx of 134,000 fans injecting millions into the local economy.

Their campaign coming to completion with a one-time-only ode to WA. Singing "we've been around the world man, we've been everywhere, if you think of a place and we've probably been there, but my life would have been, a total failure, if I hadn't seen Western Australia," with Martin also making humorous references to Tame Impala and Bon Scott, showcasing his connection with the local music culture.

The relaxing effect that WA had on the band was evident as the concert unfolded in moments of unfiltered realism and authenticity. Amidst the sea of shimmering lights, explosive fireworks, confetti cannons, and whimsical costumes, it's unmistakable: this was Chris Martin's vivacious playground.

Whether he was casually sitting on the floor as if in his own living room or pausing to adjust his earpiece, with a smile and a chuckle, urging the crowd to hang on a sec, Martin forged a genuine and unscripted connection with the audience.

Image © Anna Lee Media

Powering through the memory-inducing classics such as 'Yellow', 'Paradise', and 'The Scientist', Coldplay managed to bring a tear to my eye and remind us all what makes live music truly special.

A sea of Coldplay's signature bright and beautiful wristbands created a spectacular, immersive light experience, not only showcasing the immense size of the crowd but also underscoring the band's steadfast commitment to sustainability.

The world's first compostable plant-based plastic LED wristbands, also used by music acts like Taylor Swift and Shawn Mendes, symbolise more than just stylish accessories; they embody Coldplay's dedication to responsible environmental practices.

In crafting this tour, Coldplay went beyond music, a commitment to sustainability unfolded through a range of initiatives aimed at minimising the carbon footprint of the tour, with a powerful message that echoed pre-show: every ticket sold supported green projects, conservation efforts, forest cleanup initiatives, and carbon capture programmes.

Their signature Music of the Spheres World Tour App guided attendees to the concert using the lowest impact routes, with their own arrival in Perth being a conscious effort to reduce travel distance by 200 miles compared to heading to Sydney.

Finally with the introduction of innovative kinetic jump pads and bikes, attendees enthusiastically helped to power the show, with Coldplay successfully projecting their call for meaningful action towards an environmentally conscious future.

Environmental topics were only part of the impact they wished to make with the audience. Expressing their disbelief in oppression, occupation, genocide, or terrorism, they requested 12 seconds of our time to send love into the universe for the people that needed it most in Gaza, Israel, Ukraine, Congo, Indonesia, and more, marking the 12 seconds with a fanfare of fireworks.

Infusing the concert with more unexpected emotional twists, Martin exhibited the transformative power to change lives in mere seconds. Spotting a sign from a young cancer survivor, in an extraordinary gesture he invited her onstage to perform an impromptu duet of 'Everglow'. Singing: "I'm sitting here with Jaz, can't you tell, everyone in the stadium is so glad you're well," crafted a profoundly moving memory, radiating love and hope to all fortunate enough to share in that intimate and powerful moment.

Continuing the theme of the unexpected, the stage welcomed Angel Moon, an extraterrestrial being from another planet and the lead singer of the suitably named 'Weirdos', was a puppet adorned with rainbow hair and voiced by Chris.

While initially perplexing, this creative addition emphasised Coldplay's adventurous spirit, showcasing their willingness to experiment and genuinely surprise their audience.

Despite the meticulous preparation and quip that they had rehearsed this concert 119 times for tonight's performance, there were still moments of oversight and absence. The waving of a rainbow pride flag, displayed in black and white on screens, seemed to somewhat contradict the message of inclusivity for those in the bleachers.

More notably one of their beloved songs, 'Something Just Like This' appeared to be one the band might have grown weary of performing; only being played as a pre-recorded track with the quartet donned in large alien heads, signing a new alien language to the crowd, creating an atmosphere more reminiscent of a DJ set than a live performance.

Reaching its peak with 'A Sky Full Of Stars', Martin encouraged the audience to put away their phones and connect with each other like we once did at concerts past. A time when the impulse to immortalise every moment on social media didn't overshadow the joy of simply dancing, free from the awareness of being watched.

The sea of golden yellow wristbands replaced the harsh glow of phones, casting a spell of enchantment over the entire stadium. Although there were inevitably some who chose to document rather than fully immerse themselves, the collective spirit of the audience triumphed, preserving the magical essence of the moment. In that shared space, we all glowed with the love and emotion ignited by one of Coldplay's most unforgettable songs.

Image © Anna Lee Media

A powerful encore saw Coldplay weaving through the crowd to a previously unnoticed stage. Fuelled by the fans' infectious enthusiasm, the scene resembled a breathtaking spectacle akin to the wildebeest stampede from 'The Lion King'.

Thousands of standing-room Coldplayers swiftly pivoted from their prime positions, sprinting for the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime, priceless experience of an up close and personal acoustic rendition of 'Sparks'.

Coldplay's return to Western Australia successfully guided the audience through a spectacular odyssey of music and emotion. From presenting the essence of Western Australia to the mesmerising innovative performance, this concert was a triumphant return after 14 years.

The combination of unfiltered moments and genuine connections made for an unforgettable experience that elevated the audience, leaving a lasting glow of love and emotion ignited by their music.

Image © Anna Lee Media

Becoming more than their music, Coldplay have left us with a celebration of Western Australia, sustainability, and the powerful connection between the band and its fans, marking this cosmic journey, one that transcended the boundaries of time and space.

Coldplay reveal more Australian shows in 2024.

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