COLDPLAY returned to Manchester’s Etihad Stadium for a second night last night (June 5), and our entertainment reporter, Abi White, went along to the show…

Coldplay could not have picked a better weekend to showcase their “head full of dreams” tour in Manchester. The northern city where the weather is typically dismal, were treated with glorious sunshine that shone brightly over the Etihad Stadium, creating the perfect atmosphere for Coldplay’s star performance.

As soon as the doors opened at 17:00, thousands of Coldplay fans began to file into the stadium excitedly, before being given a flashing LED wristband on arrival. Both seated and standing, many fans had a pimms or beer in hand and were soaking up the rays on the beautiful summer evening before the show kick started.

By the time it was the turn for Alessia Cara, the first support act to take to the stage, the standing area had already become a sea of fans who welcomed the act with a lovely reception.

Her set, which consisted of six tracks, covered her hit single, ‘Here’ and also her latest single, ‘Wild Things.’ The 19-year-old Canadian pop singer demonstrated her confidence throughout her whole set – pacing up and down the stage with her swagger and interacting with the audience at every given opportunity.

As well as her distinctly recognisable and flawless vocals, another part of her performance that was memorable was when she explained what some of her more heartfelt songs were about. The short speeches were somewhat inspiring before her tracks, ‘River of Tears’, which really exposed her vocal range and song-writing ability, and ‘Scars To Your Beautiful’.

The short yet sweet set from Cara was well executed and certainly set the perfect atmosphere for the next support act, Lianne La Havas.

Shortly after Cara’s set, Lianne La Havas emerged onto the stage wearing a green number, teamed with reflective shades and a turquoise guitar. It would be fair to give the singer-songwriter the label as the definition of ‘cool’. From the start to the end of her support set, she also delivered a faultless performance and appeared relaxed and at ease with the crowd.

With frequent guitar changes, the folk and soul singer seemed to impress the audience with her talent and performed the recognisable tracks, ‘Green and Gold’, ‘Unstoppable’ and her unique cover of the classic Aretha Franklin track, ‘I Say a Little Prayer.’  

Lianne La Havas supporting Coldplay at Etihad Stadium, ManchesterHowever, the singer did play the crowd a little too frequently throughout her performance, with many references to the Manchester crowd and Coldplay weaving through her set. Never the less, it did show that she was trying to get the audience in the mood for the headline act.

After a short while, the atmospheric music that was echoing through the stadium during the break stopped, and the classical song ‘O Mio Babbino Caro,’ was played at high volume through the venue. The screen on stage then became illuminated with videos of Coldplay fans across the world, before two English fans introduced the band.

The crowd then erupted as their LED wristbands began to glow, and the chilling Charlie Chapman speech, ‘The Great Dictator’, filled the stadium before the four-piece band embarked upon the stage and transitioned into the tour-titled tack, ‘A Head Full of Dreams’. 

Filled with showers of confetti and a brilliant firework display, the anthemic track teamed with all of the effects was a perfect opener for the show and already had all of the stadium jumping to the beat.

The opening few songs were the perfect choice to open with, covering the well known hits, ‘Yellow’, ‘Every Teardrop is a Waterfall’ and ‘The Scientist’, who the band dedicated to the young band, YOU 62. By opening the set with well known songs, the band united the fans who were less familiar with their newer songs with the super fans, creating a choir effect across the stadium.

‘Paradise’ was also played early on in the set whilst the audience were still extremely lively and filled with energy and adrenaline. The band proceeded to play the track, which featured the Tiesto remix. This was a pleasant surprise to add to the song and the light display during this song was visually incredible.

After an extremely energetic entrance, the band walked down onto a smaller stage in the middle of the audience, before a tribute to the recently passing Muhammad Ali was played on the screens during one of his speeches. The voice of Ali ran through the stadium: ‘When I die, if there’s a heaven, I’m going to see it,’ before the band played ‘Everglow’, creating an almost-tear jerking performance.

Upon their return to the main stage, the band then played one of their older tracks, ‘Clocks’, which again was visually impeccable, with lasers shooting all around the stadium. This part of the performance on this stage was arguably the best part of the show, as the section showed a variety of songs from old and new albums.

This part of the performance included large balloons being sent out into the audience, copious amounts of confetti, a heart-warming David Bowie tribute of his song, ‘Heroes’ and a chilling rendition of ‘Fix You’, where the crowd sang louder than they had at any other point during the set.

The quartet then disappeared off stage for a few minutes, leaving the audience hanging before they re-appeared on another new stage, where they played a handful of more chilled songs, including the Instagram request, ‘In My Place,’ which went down extremely well with the audience and was a good choice of request.

Returning to the main stage for one final time, the band played ‘Amazing Day’ before the audience became a stadium full of stars due to the LED bands, which transitioned into ‘A Sky Full of Stars’ and star shaped confetti was once again showered over the audience.

The finishing song was ‘Up and Up’, ended the performance on a more relaxing song. The whole performance from start to finish was absolutely mesmerising, from the stunning light displays, pyrotechnics, fireworks, confetti and not forgetting the amazing talent. Coldplay create an atmosphere during their gigs that you couldn’t get anywhere else, and I would certainly recommend going to see this band at any given opportunity.

By Abi White

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