Coldplay: A Head Full of Dreams, Live at Wembley Stadium Review (I had a bit of a disaster)

From Parachutes, with early masterpieces such as Yellow and Trouble, to the rousing sounds of their later albums such as X&Y, Viva La Vida or Mylo Xyloto, I’ve been a Coldplay fan thick and thin through every album. Whenever I think of a major milestone in my life, there’s always been a Coldplay record to complement it.

Coldplay are seemingly a band that many take great pleasure in knocking, but their huge back-catalogue of hit after hit certainly suggests they’ve been doing something right all this time. My thoughts on their success? It’s always been their live performances, such energy and euphoria lends itself to stadium arenas, which frankly, are out of this world.

Having been fortunate enough to see Coldplay twice previously on earlier tours (X&Y and Viva La Vida), I was really looking forward to seeing the guys play Wembley for their most recent tour and work, A Head Full of Dreams. I say really looking forward. I was bouncing off the walls. Nearly wet the bed. That kind of excited.

So, how was it?

Coldplay’s A Head Full of Dreams Tour, Wembley: Sunday 19th June 2016

Well. Let me paint you a picture.

Imagine sitting, painfully, in gridlock traffic. You’ve been in the car for well over three hours for what is typically a fifty minute journey. It’s 8.34pm and you know that your favourite band are taking to the stage to 75,000 people. But you’re not there to enjoy it – no, you’re helpless, stuck several miles out on the North Circular with no signs of movement. It’s looking like your £200 tickets aren’t going to be necessary afterall.

With this context, it’s fair to say that Coldplay’s A Head Full of Dreams gig live at Wembley didn’t start on the best footing for me.

Owing to traffic accident which closed the M1 southbound and *horrendous* traffic management closer to Wembley, I was GUTTED to miss the first hour of Coldplay’s set, which included my favourite hits such as Yellow, Fix You, Clocks, The Scientist, Everglow, Every Teardrop is a Waterfall, but to name a few. Serious FML.

We arrived to hear the closing cheers of the crowd going nuts for Fix You and a Bowie cover of Heroes (which sounded great, albeit muffled through Wembley’s vast corridors), finally getting to our seats as Viva La Vida rang out with menacing bass and gusto throughout the stadium. Fellow-blogger Carolin (@Style_Lingua) of Style Lingua fame captured Viva La Vida:

It was abundantly clear that Coldplay certainly haven’t dialed down efforts in performing live from when I first saw them in a much smaller capacity, if anything kicking it up a notch in transferring to larger capacity arenas and stadiums; breathtaking lighting, industrial-sized confetti cannons and bouncing giant-balls filling the stadium (no giggling at that last reference, please) added to the electrifying atmosphere. The stands were bouncing and the crowd were loving it.

Bringing an end to the rousing rendition of Viva La Vida, Chris Martin and the boys took to a smaller stage at the back of Wembley in the pouring rain, performing songs requested by fans from Instagram.

Coldplay take to a smaller stage in Wembley
Coldplay take to a smaller stage in Wembley
First up was Trouble with drummer Will Champion jumping on the keyboards. Disaster! Chris embarrassingly realised into a few chords in that his guitar wasn’t picking up; after a few seconds of panic amongst various stagehands, guitar technicians scurrying about and even an inquisitive “does anybody here know how to fix a guitar?”, the boys carried on with a beautiful if not slightly unintentionally absent-acoustic guitar accompaniment of Trouble. The crowd didn’t care in any regard, singing the infamous lyrics back. Definitely a goosebumps moment.

There was also an appearance of See You Soon, something only die-hard Coldplay fans would probably appreciate having been a b-side on The Blue Room. It’s a beautiful song and is amazing live, especially as the band one-by-one leave the stage leaving Chris just on acoustic guitar performing the last verse of the song.

Coldplay's A Head Full of Dreams tour at Wembley live
Coldplay perform A Sky Full of Stars in Wembley
With two songs completed, the band returned to the main stage to close the gig. Three big songs followed; Amazing Day, A Sky Full of Stars (as per my video below, the energy was INSANE) and finally their new single from A Head Full of Dreams album, Up and Up.

Finishing with fireworks, Up and Up roared through the stadium and the crowd were lapping it up, despite not being a terribly well known Coldplay hit. Sadly, all good things come to an end and after all the hits (although I only saw five songs, *sob*), it was time to call it a day and the boys departed the stage with huge applause. Clearly, the crowd wanted more, singing the chorus of Paradise over and over, but it was to no avail.

Noticeably big songs like In My Place, Speed of Sound, Shiver, Violet Hill and Magic were absent, but with a huge back-catalogue plus new material to play, Coldplay setlists are forever going to be contentious with various favourites absent. Can you imagine what compiling a ‘greatest hits’ will be like, whenever that happens?! Impossible. Overall, the setlist on the Sunday night featured a good selection of crowd-pleasers, new material and a couple of treats for old-school Coldplay fans.

Absolutely gutted to only catch the last five songs or 35 minutes, but those final songs reconfirmed my love for Coldplay’s music and live performances. If they tour again, I’ll be all over it like a bad rash.. although I’ll probably leave a good day or two beforehand to make sure I get there for the start next time… :/

In the meantime, it’s over to YouTube and Spotify to blast some of my favourites to drown my sorrows, not to mention the various videos floating about on Twitter to show just what I missed! Unbelievable!

8 thoughts on “Coldplay: A Head Full of Dreams, Live at Wembley Stadium Review (I had a bit of a disaster)

    1. Thanks Drew. Not sure I can forgive myself, Wembley was the last Coldplay gig of the A Head Full of Dreams tour so I was gutted to have missed a big chunk of it. I will have to keep an eye out for their next tour!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, that’s lovely feedback! I was so gutted but fortunately I have seen Coldplay a couple of times before (a few years ago now admittedly). I just hope A Head Full of Dreams really isn’t the last album or tour, I’d definitely want to see a Coldplay tour again, the energy they put into their gigs is out of this world!

      Liked by 1 person

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