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Story by Kathryn Randall
As lasers filled up the stadium with the precipitation looking like a brilliantly staged production element, the drenched crowds went crazy dancing to the bursting beats and waving their blinking wristbands that were passed out upon entry. Though it really signaled the end to a 90 minute version of a show that's generally been running around two hours in other cities, it was one of the more unique and entertaining undertakings throughout Coldplay's decade-and-a-half love affair with Chicago.
Prior to hitting the fast forward button to the finale, Martin and his mates delivered a hit-heavy set that also unveiled songs from 2015's sunny pop affair "A Head Full of Dreams," plus a few from 2014's softer-spoken "Ghost Stories." After opening with the latest album's title track to a rainbow of lights, confetti and fireworks, the group kept the color wheel turning with the acoustically-framed "Yellow," the EDM surges of "Every Tear Drop is a Waterfall" and the piano-driven "Paradise" (to name but a few).
For "Princess of China," the guys turned in a virtual duet with Rihanna on the jumbotron, and later, piped in Beyonce's parts during "Hymn for the Weekend" (both of which might have been better with live performances from canceled openers Foxes and Alessia Cara). "Charlie Brown" also started out as a bit of a misstep with Martin's guitar out of tune, but after awkwardly halting the song to correct the problem, the potent pulsations and reactions picked right back up as if it was the very first attempt.
The ballad "Fix You" naturally served as a mighty sing-a-long (especially as Martin laid down dramatically on the catwalk), a patriotically-tinted cover of David Bowie's "Heroes" came as a pleasant surprise and "Viva La Vida" was as epic as it gets. In fact, it was that latter's chorus that continued well after Coldplay wrapped the gig with jubilant shouts of "oahahahah oh" echoing throughout the concourses to further enhance the unconventional nature of an adventure that almost never happened and luckily had the chance to try again on Sunday.
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