Coldplay tours globe, wins Grammy’s and stops at the Oakdale Theatre

Mike Schoeck

British rock quart Coldplay provided a lush 15 song set Thursday Feb. 27 at The Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford, Conn.

As usual, singer Chris Martin joked about the band’s sophomore status as mere one-hit wonders, as well as discussing the war with Iraq and making trade fair (

Fans from all over were rewarded with a double encore show as Martin, guitarist Jon Buckland, drummer Will Champion and bassist Guy Berryman trotted from stage right to play “Clocks” and “In My Place.”

Opening act The Music played an hour long set of their array of sonic rock, characteristic of the Doves and early Oasis and Primal Scream. The three-year-old band’s self-titled debut was released February on the Virgin subsidiary Hut label.

Singer Rob Harvey maintains some appeal with a prancing antic of moon-walks and shuffles like Jamiroquai with whiney Robert Plant chops and the scrawny frame and shaggy mane of Joey Ramone.

Shortly before 9 p.m. the sold-out venue erupted as the theater dimmed and a blue neon perimeter was lit as Coldplay took stage.

The symphonic and driving melody of “Politik” was a brilliant opener for the group’s Connecticut debut, playing four days after winning Grammy’s for Best Alternative Rock Album for “A Rush of Blood to the Head” and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group, for “In My Place.”

Best and most evoking from the first hour of an hour and a half show were the acoustic and mellower ditties like “The Scientist” and “Warning Sign” off “A Rush of Blood,” as well as “Trouble” and “Everything’s Not Lost” off their debut “Parachutes.”

Already a fantastic show with an illuminated, colorful backdrop behind the stage, Coldplay were treated with an uproar from the crowd as radio hits “Trouble,” “Yellow” and “Clocks” were played from the latter half of their set and in the first of two encores.

Fifteen of the twenty or so of the band’s catalog is a solid show. Of the few missing were early “Parachutes” single “Shiver” and the unreleased “Life is for the Living.” The band did perform a heartfelt new track as the show closer.

“It would have been cool to hear the song titled after the album, ‘A Rush of Blood to the Head,’ but perhaps it was too melancholic for the audience towards the end of the night,” said senior Mass Communications Lawrence Lau. “I enjoyed hearing ‘Spies,’ off their first album.”

Martin joked that the band heard a one-hit wonder song on the ride up from New York, and wondered whether it was Peter Gabriel or not. His punch line was that he only wished his band isn’t the sort of one-hit band that will only play tour once or twice.

His modesty wasn’t convincing to those in attendance, many paying three figures per ticket since the show sold out weeks ago. Becoming a symbol for Martin is his push for the cause of bettering international trade, for the environment and for workers overseas.

Known for always having the moniker ‘Make Trade Fair’ scrawled on the back of his hand in performance, Martin and the band also donned a banner at the end of the night, with the web link to the activist site,

Martin didn’t openly acknowledge his band’s cause aside from the presence of the banner and a small table in the Oakdale’s lobby.

“I thought the concert was amazing,” said Lau. “You could feel the electricity from Martin’s words.”

Coldplay are working their way south and then back to Europe next month for some festivals. The band has already announced some West coast dates beginning in May.