Live: Coldplay in Cape Town

2011-10-06 13:55
The atmosphere was electric in the Mother City on Wednesday, 5 October 2011, as approximately 65 000 fans made their way to Cape Town Stadium to see the award-winning rock band Coldplay.

People streamed down the fan walk along Somerset Road while the restaurants were packed to capacity in a scene that was reminiscent of the World Cup. It was a beautiful night, a clear sky with stars visible and hardly any wind.

And we proved once again that we are able to pull off world-class events with bearable traffic, as many opted to use the Park and Ride facilities, the My City shuttles and other means of public transport.

Being a big Parlotones fan, I was quite excited that they were the opening performance. I missed quite a bit of their show, but heard my favourite (I’ll be There) as I entered the stadium.


What struck me about Coldplay’s entrance was that it wasn’t pretentious. But then again, with a band of their calibre it is more about the music and how it is delivered rather than the superficial stuff. The soundtrack to Back to the Future played in the background as they made their way onto the stage and the band got straight into their first song. Their performance of Yellow really got everyone in the mood as colourful beach balls bobbed about the crowd's heads.

The stage was nothing spectacular; in fact, it looked like the recession had resulted in a frugal budget. They had these big, dream catcher-like light fixtures at the back of the stage that resembled oversized hypnotic lollipops, emitting a spectacular lightshow.

The piano, which Chris Martin played, looked like something that Apple and Moses had been let loose on with brushes and pre-school paint. The stage was very colourful and the vibe was psychedelic, as many swayed to the sound of the tunes.


The people I was surrounded by were quite sympathetic to the fact that I’m vertically challenged and encouraged me to pass and eventually I ended up three rows from the stage. A sense of camaraderie developed and together with my fellow concert goers, we created a human barricade to prevent the people who pretended to know someone in the front from passing.

The crowd was diverse, with people of  all ages, parents with their kids, and loads of teenagers taking their fashion cues from the Kardashians (caked on make-up and eyelash extensions).  And then there was the more discerning crowd, who've been following Coldplay for more than a decade.

Their rendition of Viva la Vida had many mouthing the lyrics in unison. Chris has quite a potty mouth and is very entertaining. Addressing the crowd a few songs into their set he apologised for the band taking 12 years to finally come to South Africa. "That's how long it took us to get a visa," he quipped, with a clever nod to the Dalai Lama's visa battles with SA.

His performance was spectacular and this was evident by his turquoise T-shirt being drenched halfway through the concert. The band members also gave it their all with the bassist and drummer producing some dance-worthy sounds, many of them previews of the highly anticipated new album Mylo Xyloto.


Chris got the entire audience to participate in a "Cape Town first" of the mobile phone Mexican wave.

At 22:30 they called it quits and the lights went out but the fans waited patiently for the encore, humming, whistling and singing the lyrics to their more popular songs.

The band came back out and performed their massive hit Clocks and unified the crowd in song once again.

Chris paid sweet tribute to the late Amy Winehouse with a performance of the chorus from Rehab as a lead in to the A-M-A-Z-I-N-G Fix You. They finished off with Every Tear is Waterfall from Mylo Xyloto, then the fireworks went off and everyone went ballistic for the spectacular finish.

What an incredible night courtesy of an incredible band. Johannesburg, you are in for the night of your life!

Reader Imtithaal Dawood sent in a live review of Coldplay's performance in Cape Town.
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