On the night of February 7th, 2016, I was blessed by God. I had the esteemed privilege of watching Coldplay perform during the Super Bowl 50 halftime show. Coldplay is one of my (if not the only) favorite bands, as well as one of the many musical influencers in my life. It was very evident that I was excited to see them perform:
Of course, since it had been announced the week before that Beyoncé and Bruno Mars were going to be special guests for the performance, a wide variety of fans were excited and ready to watch.
Anyway, in the minutes leading to Coldplay's performance, I was preparing my mind, heart, body, spirit, and soul. People were noticing:
The moment finally comes, and Coldplay opens with a mashup of Yellow and Viva La Vida. The performance was astounding. A couple of songs later, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars arrive to do their thing. It's alright. I was impressed that Beyoncé was dancing on the turf wearing high heels, and Bruno genuinely has a great voice.
But this was Coldplay's moment.
After a while, it seemed like the whole world had forgotten about Coldplay. Beyoncé and Bruno Mars had stolen the show. I was upset, and understandably yelling at my TV. This was Coldplay's halftime performance. Beyoncé and Bruno Mars were supposed to be the "special guests," the unpaid interns if you will. They were here to solely learn from the beauty and scientifically musical genius that Coldplay was, is, and forever will be. After a while, Coldplay finally reclaimed their throne, and the halftime performance ended all too soon with a rousing rendition of Up&Up.
I thought the entire universe would have enjoyed Coldplay. Boy, was I wrong.
And the worst offender:
Coldplay != Maroon 5. Not even close.
I was in shock. Based on thorough scientific research (AKA scrolling through Twitter), this is who everyone seems to think headlined the Super Bowl halftime show:
Super Bowl Halftime Performance
Disheartened and full of sorrow, I left the Super Bowl party I was attending in order to write this post.
Let's set the record straight. Coldplay headlined, performed, and ran the Super Bowl 50 halftime performance. We didn't deserve Coldplay, but God showed mercy on all of the undeserving sinners in the world and formed Coldplay 20 years ago in 1996.
Coldplay overcame an incredible amount of odds to be where they are. The band originally started off with Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland while they were in college. Guy Berryman joined soon after, with Will Champion bringing up the rear. Each of these men are musical greats by themselves.
- Chris Martin has an amazing voice, and plays Guitar and Piano
- Jonny Buckland sings and plays Guitar, Mandolin, Piano, and Saxophone
- Guy Berryman sings and plays Bass Guitar, Piano, acoustic Guitar, Drums, Trumpet, Mandolin, and Yangqin (who do you know that plays the Yangqin?)
- Will Champion sings, plays drums, acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Violin, Piano, and the recorder. He learned how to play the drums in order to join Coldplay. How nuts is that?
Together, these men are incredible. Coldplay is one of the bravest, most musically talented, geniuses the world has ever seen.
Let's talk about their main albums.
- Parachutes was the album where Coldplay introduced themselves to the world. Released on July 10th, 2000, it spoke of happiness and love. From Shiver, Spies, Yellow, Trouble, and just about every other dang song on the album, it was beautiful. A young Coldplay took the world by storm, and soon, everyone was talking about those "British Boys."
- A Rush Of Blood To The Head is one of personal favorites (my absolute favorite is Ghost Stories). Opening with Politik, the band begs you to "open up your eyes." In My Place is one of my favorite Coldplay songs (and one of my favorite songs in general). In my opinion, In My Place gives a good representation of Coldplay. Coldplay isn't a crazy band that values complex guitar riffs and booming drums. It's all about the story. Anyway, The Scientist, Clocks, and A Rush Of Blood To The Head were some of the other highlights on this magnificent album. One thing to note is that Coldplay toured the world because of the success this album and Parachutes brought.
- X&Y was incredible. We can go on about Square One, White Shadows, and The Hardest Part, but draw your attention to Speed of Sound and Fix You. Speed of Sound was written when Chris Martin's daughter was first born, and speaks about the joys of fatherhood. Fix You was written when the father of Chris Martin's wife at the time, Gwyneth Paltrow (who is a fool for leaving him) had passed away. It's a known fact that everyone cried when they first heard Fix You. If you didn't, you have no soul.
- Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends was a departure from traditional Coldplay, and marked a new era where every Coldplay album to follow would capture different musical styles and sounds. Featuring even more complex lyrics, heavier guitar, and a wider range of instrumentals, Coldplay had changed (for the better). Lost! and Life In Technicolor were my favorite songs from this album. However, I do appreciate Viva La Vida for the strings.
- Mylo Xyloto was nuts. The game had been changed. Much of the album sounds dreamy, synthy, and just plain fantastic. Hurts Like Heaven, Paradise (which was my favorite song for all of 2012), Charlie Brown, Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall, Princess of China (which featured Rihanna and was great because Coldplay usually doesn't collaborate with other artists), Don't Let It Break Your Heart, and Up With The Birds are the greats of this album. Mylo Xyloto (the album, not the song) was fantastic because I honestly don't think think anyone was prepared for it. We didn't know what to expect.
- Ghost Stories is my favorite album, and is one of the most beautiful, storytelling musical pieces of art my ears have ever been bestowed with. The first thing most people noticed with Ghost Stories is how quiet it is. Gone is the Coldplay who sold out huge arenas and turned up the volume to 11, an intimate Coldplay has taken over. This album focuses on hurt and love, and each song paints a different picture to these themes. By turning in a completely different direction, Coldplay was taking a huge risk of losing fans and failing to attract new ones. Always In My Head, Magic, Ink, Midnight, Another's Arms, Oceans, A Sky Full of Stars, and O are absolutely incredible songs. True Love however, is phenomenal. When I first heard this song in 2014, I wasn't really captured by it. Sure, it was beautiful, but I didn't really understand and appreciate it until 2015 when I listened to it again and broke it down. The words are incredible. "Tell me you love me. If you don't, then lie. Oh lie, to me." The song questions the definition of true love, and the instrumentals in this song are so beautiful that I honestly feel like crying everytime I listen to it (which is at least five times a day). In fact, this song has reminded me of the importance of stringed instruments, and I plan on learning the Viola this summer because of it (I used to play the Violin but stopped in 2012).
- A Head Full Of Dreams was hard for me to accept. Not because it wasn't good, but because it was rumored that this would be Coldplay's last album. I was so excited for it to release that I considered buying it three times. Focusing on spirituality, happiness, and growth, this album is almost the exact opposite of Ghost Stories. Birds is my alarm clock sound, Hymn For The Weekend has really profound lyrics (and special guest Beyoncé), Everglow is a great slow jam, Kaleidoscope features the flipping President of the United States (has Beyoncé ever done that?), Army of One is basically two songs in one, and Up&Up places me in my feelings. A great album to top off a fantastic musical career.
I could also go on with numbers and figures from the amount of awards Coldplay has won, the number of tickets they have sold over the years, number of stadiums they've sold out, their philanthropic work, cultural influence, musical influence, the fact that all of their albums have charted number one, the fact that they've sold over 60 million records worldwide, and all around brilliance, but I'll save that for the blog post I plan on writing after I see Coldplay live in Chicago this July.
The truth is that Beyoncé isn't bad. I mean, I could go on and on about how she lip synched The Star Spangled Banner on Inauguration Day (and how Coldplay has never and will never lip sync), how it's rumored that her marriage to Jay Z is a huge money making sham, and how Blue Ivy is a terrible name for a child, but I won't. I have a lot of respect for her. As an aspiring vocalist, I'll never understand how Beyoncé was able to change octaves at least five times in Love On Top. Bruno Mars isn't too shabby himself. He's a great musician (the opener to the Super Bowl 48 halftime show with Bruno Mars on the drums was incredible), and I think Uptown Funk is a great song. However, Coldplay deserves our respect. Apologies (actually I'm not sorry at all) to Beyoncé fans everywhere, but to me, Coldplay runs the world. And to Bruno Mars fans, I think Coldplay writes better love songs than Bruno ever will. That's just what I think. I probably will never be able to convince someone that Coldplay is the greatest band in the world (even I don't think that, shout out to clickbait titles), but show some gosh dang respect when they perform. This wasn't Beyoncé's show, Super Bowl 47's halftime was. This wasn't Bruno Mars' show, Super Bowl 48's halftime was. Super Bowl 50's halftime was Coldplay's show. Recognize brilliance, stop saying that Coldplay peaked in 2003, and journey through Coldplay's story, because they are an incredible group of guys.