Coldplay parachuted into the South by Southwest music festival Tuesday night with a 50-minute performance that mixed familiar hits with new songs from their upcoming sixth album, Ghost Stories.
The hot-ticket show at the intimate 2,700-seat Moody Theater at ACL Live kicked off the inaugural U.S. iTunes Festival, which runs over five nights during the fest. After sets by openers London Grammar and Imagine Dragons, frontman Chris Martin and co. took the stage looking trim and fit in a nondescript knit shirts.
“We’ve been away a long time, and I can’t think of a better place to come back into the world,” Martin told the crowd before launching into band standards including “Paradise,” “Viva La Vida,” “Fix You,” “Clocks” and “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” (that last adding a confetti cannon that left Martin wrapped up like a mummy). The new slower-paced new songs “Another’s Arms,” “Always In My Head” and “Magic” suggested Ghost Stories might be a more subdued entry into the band’s discography. Martin also took a moment to send “good vibes” to “everyone involved in the Malaysian [missing plane] situation.”
Performance wise, the group seemed pretty much note-perfect (and when Martin messed up the intro to one song, he called himself out on it) and the high-tech presentation left one fan screaming: “This needs more lasers!” It was snark, but happy snark.
Here’s a clip of Coldplay playing new Ghost track “Magic” last night: