When I heard that Coldplay, one of the biggest musical acts in the world and one of my favorite bands, was releasing their new concert film only on Nov. 13 to selected theatres across the globe, I briefly considered buying a ticket to France. Surely they wouldn’t release it at the Huntington 7 movie theatre. Thank goodness Fort Wayne is nearby.
“Coldplay: Live 2012,” the band’s first concert movie in nine years, is an hour-and-a-half long film from Coldplay’s recent tour in support of their fifth album, “Mylo Xyloto,” an album that deserves to be played in immense arenas. “Coldplay Live 2012” is exactly that. Along with clips of the band playing “Yellow” and “Viva la Vida” across Europe, the film also features brief interviews with the band members about the song-writing process, the pressures of touring and the thrills of being one of the biggest bands in the world.
Having seen Coldplay live in Chicago this past summer, I knew that sitting in a dark theatre watching videos of the live shows would not be the same experience. However, “Coldplay Live 2012” certainly does justice to their dynamic shows. The different camera angles and closeups of the band’s faces immerse viewers in a way that sitting in the nosebleeds of the United Center couldn’t achieve. When the melodious “Charlie Brown” kicks off near the end of the film, the same chills that overwhelmed me in Chicago found me again. The plethora of lasers, pyrotechnics and confetti common in Coldplay shows also transfer well to the silver screen.
But the excitement could easily wear off for non-Coldplay fans. For me, it was a phenomenal look at the band I’ve loved since 2005. For non-obsessed viewers, it may be a painfully long film of a mediocre band that wrote that one song about para-para-paradise and fixing people.
Yes, the band plays both “Paradise” and “Fix You” in “Coldplay Live 2012,” along with 14 other songs. However, it’s tough to ignore the glaring omissions in the setlist. Where’s “The Scientist” or “Shiver,” classic favorites that Coldplay played in their tour? This is a very “Mylo Xyloto”-heavy set list, and it may irk the die hards who miss the old Coldplay from 2002. If you loved “Mylo Xyloto,” you’ll have no problem with the film. If you still think “Parachutes,” Coldplay’s debut album, is their best, you will be painfully disappointed. But, hey, everything’s not lost.
Overall, “Coldplay Live 2012” is energetic enough to fully engage theatre audiences, even if they’re not singing with 30,000 other fans in Chicago. Get over the somewhat-weak setlist, and Coldplay delivers a phenomenal experience that die-hard fans will surely savor. “Coldplay Live 2012” is out on Blu-Ray, DVD and CD Nov. 19.