Coldplay...you either love 'em or hate 'em, but they're popular enough to be in the music business for the long haul. Like all music artists who have achieved their level of international success, they've got a very sizeable and rabid fan base. Not everyone likes them, but it's safe to say that they're one of the most popular imports from the UK in recent memory. Their music isn't anything the world hasn't heard before…it's just good, catchy British rock. So far, they've released two studio albums: 2000's Parachutes and last year's A Rush Of Blood to the Head. Not wanting to sound like a record-shop snob, I can say with confidence that I liked their first album better. Still, that doesn't count for a lot here…both albums are fantastic releases, each with their own strengths.
With their new-found international success has come a daunting task: pleasing all of their fans. Coldplay embarked on a massive world tour in support of their second album, which may or may not have come to a city near you. Thankfully, this new release treats fans to a taste of their recent globe-spanning tour. This compilation is simply titled Coldplay: Live 2003, and covers a nice cross-section of the band's experience on the road. While not a definitive live compilation, it proves to be an excellent value and should be on any Coldplay fan's wish list. There's a nice selection on the menu…let's have a look at everything included here, disc by disc:
The main feature, of course, is a full-length concert from the Hordon Pavillion in Sydney, Australia. This was one of Coldplay's smaller venues on the tour (although the place looks jam-packed!), and they played to a sold-out crowd. This was an excellent show from top to bottom, and the power and talent of the band is undeniable. While they've only got little more than two CDs worth of songs, the group manages to get a wide range of sounds going---and the fans are more than appreciative for their efforts! Here's the complete track listing for the show:
Also included on this disc is a Tour Diary which shows the band before, during, and after some of their live performances. While it occasionally drifts into their own political preaching and other tangents, this 40-minue short film will be an enjoyable watch for Coldplay fans. Like the concert itself, the Tour Diary is a mixture of black-and-white footage and color. Also of note is the multi-angle feature for the concert. Available during a select number of songs, this feature gives viewers the option to switch between vantage points: most are behind-the-band stage views, but there's some interesting composition choices here. The only other notable features were some web-links, production notes and lyrics (which didn't really help, and should have been included as subtitles).
Seemingly a tacked-on addition, the bonus CD is essentially a shortened version of the concert from the DVD. 12 of the 17 songs are included here, with a total running time of just under 70 minutes. I know the concert was shortened for the sake of CD space, but it seems sort of odd in context with the rest of the release. Still, it's nice to have a more portable version of this show for the road, in any form. Anyway, here's the track listing for the shortened version:
Although I would have loved to hear more tracks on the CD itself, what we do get is very good. The editing that takes place between some tracks is well-done, and not distracting in the least. While the DVD is definitely the star of the show, this shortened concert is still worthy of a spot in your CD player. Anyway, that wraps up the total content...let's see how this release fared in terms of techincal quality:
Menu design and Presentation:
Should anything else have been included?
The recent world tour was obviously a major event for Coldplay, so it's good to see such a thorough presentation from an excellent show. The DTS audio track was a very nice surprise, and the extras were all welcome inclusions. I said before that this compilation wasn't as complete as it could have been, but it's still a tremendous value for the asking price. If you were lucky enough to be at a recent live show, this concert should bring back some good memories. For everyone else, though, this will be an especially ear-opening experience. Highly Recommended.
Randy Miller III is a part-time cartooning instructor based in Harrisburg, PA. He also does freelance graphic design projects and works in an art gallery. When he's not doing that, he enjoys slacking off, general debauchery, and writing things in third person.