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Published on January 31st, 2019 | by voxx

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Coldplay – Live in Buenos Aires

Chris Martin and co’s live spectacular, captured in South America…

Of all the things about Coldplay’s A Head Full Of Dreams world tour, perhaps the most spectacular stadium shows since U2 reinvented the form with Zoo TV in the early ’90s, the most surprising is that the extravaganza that took to the road on 31 March, 2016 was the pared-down version. Originally, as Chris Martin excitedly told Q Magazine at the end of 2015 that the idea was to turn their iconic flashing “Xylobands” into sonic receivers that emitted a chime, creating what he described as “a galaxy of noise”. Reality couldn’t keep up with their ambition, though, and audiences had to settle for thousands of wristbands flashing in dazzling unison instead.

Witnessing that scene was a huge part of what gave their shows such a euphoric kick, but stripped down to plain ye olde worlde audio, Coldplay sound just as fantastic. Their songs have never sounded so beefed-up, the Zooropa-style blast of A Head Full Of Dreams setting the tone for this 24-track set in the Argentine capital on 15 November, 2017.

There’s a mammoth singalong before the end of the first song, and another in almost every track that follows. Universal anthems are Coldplay’s stock-in-trade and you can hear Chris Martin feeding off the giddy reception to their biggest songs, making him sound like he’s performing ‘Paradise’, ‘Viva La Vida’ and ‘Fix You’ for the first time. The thrill of ‘Charlie Brown’ locking into its groove remains long after you know it’s coming.

As an isolated listen, Martin’s ad-libbing and crowd rallying can get in the way but to remove that would be to take away the human interaction at the heart of Coldplay shows. Live In Buenos Aires is an excellent memento of the best tour of Coldplay’s career. Now they can turn their attention to getting those sonic wristbands working.

- By Jake White


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