There is a certain level of expectation involved with sold-out, stadium-style concerts featuring bands that have had as much success as Coldplay. Their combination of excellent music and phenomenal theatricality in live performance has given them the reputation of being the hot ticket for the summer, and as such the demand (and the price) for said tickets have skyrocketed.
High prices did not stop Southern Californians from flocking to the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine to lie down their blankets and cram together on the vast lawn to listen to Chris Martin and the boys play the hits that have given them their reputation as performers. In addition to the incredible sound, there were the effects: Great lights, projections, set, and, at a few select moments, giant orbs (think enormous Chinese paper lanterns) with images and video being projected onto them.
The high energy of the band did not waver throughout the night. This is an especially astonishing feat when you consider the sheer athleticism of their performance: Not only does Martin have a lung capacity rivaling that of a whale, and drummer Will Champion looks like he could kill someone with his drumsticks, but the band literally ran from the stage up into the upper lawn to play on a tiny stage no bigger than a minivan to play an acoustic set. Twice. And then ran back to the main stage to play some more.
It’s moments like that that make Coldplay likable, in spite of, and because of their massive success: Sure they’ve made enough money to not care about their fans’ individual experiences at every concert, but they make a point of making connections with the fans in the cheap seats as much as the front row. Besides, who else would give everyone in the amphitheater free live CDs?