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Live Review: Coldplay - 'Music Of The Spheres' Tour @ Optus Stadium, Perth

19 November 2023 | 10:45 am | Sam Mead

Truly an unforgettable experience Perth was so lucky to get, not once, but twice as the final concert commences this evening. 

Coldplay @ Optus Stadium

Coldplay @ Optus Stadium (Credit: Sam Mead)

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Perth’s very own Adrian Dzvuke got things simmering and proved to everyone why he was chosen to represent his hometown with hits from his latest album, DON’T WORRY BOUT IT SWEETHEART, including fire collab with Julia Stone, FIYAH. Thelma Plum was next to the stage, flaunting a feather boa and a belter of a voice that contrasted her quiet stage presence. Amy Shark rounded out the opening act trio, arriving to a Les Mis backing track and a light-up sign.

This is a musician who can hold her own on a stage outside of her comfort zone. Playing Australian radio-friendly hits such as Everybody Rise, Only Wanna Be With You, and Triple J Hot 100 runner-up Adore. “Everybody ready to see the greatest band in the world, and I mean that ‘cause they’re the greatest band to me”, Shark grins before departing. Judging by the roar of applause, I think the answer is yes!

The anticipation reached exasperating levels as an eager crowd of 60,000 fans travelled from all over Australia to the first night of a two-day Perth exclusive show (take that, Taylor Swift). After a Welcome to Country by the Whadjuk Noongar people and an exclamation on just how environmentally friendly this show is, the lights, powered by pedalling punters, pop into life with footage of Britain’s best. Coldplay take to the stage, rocketing straight into Higher Power, lead single off 2021’s Music Of The Spheres, and keeping the high octane energy running into Adventure Of A Lifetime as confetti and giant inflatable balls burst from the stage; everyone’s having fun.  

Classic hits from the band’s spectacular 26-year run from The Scientist through to fan fave Viva La Vida soundtrack the evening with enough cadence from frontman Chris Martin to carry the entire venue into the futuristic soundscapes of the spheres. It’s a testament to the brilliance of what makes Coldplay, Coldplay. Over two decades in, this is the band at their best - hard-hitting, punchy grooves. It’s a pure spectacle of a live performance exemplified by the ebbs and flows of the evening as Hymn For Fhe Weekend fades into the piano ballad of Everglow. Chris flies solo here, almost, as a lucky fan Jasmine accompanies him on stage to get the full Chris Martin experience.

“We wanna say thank you because we didn’t expect you to look and sound and feel as good as you did. We think we made the right decision starting in Perth,” Chris chimes.

The stadium ignites with colour and electronic guitar riffs before creating a rainbow sea. The band is back together to perform Charlie Brown. The energy is unreal - it’s like sitting in your front room with 60,000 other friends, listening to Chris and the boys set your house on fire in the best way possible. Everyone’s light-up bands glow, and suddenly, the stadium was all… Yellow. Everyone is up swaying and singing along, a true testament to the power this 23-year-old song holds, and you can tell the band has so much fun singing it. 

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Red hearts light up the stands, and the band has hired a new member to help out with the sheer volume of this venue; a fairy muppet-like creature takes to the stage to help sing Human Heart before ascending into the night. Mystifying sounds and an eerie presence fill the screen, cosmic colours swirl, the bass slamming and reverberating around the stadium, lights flashing, and something heavy and hard-hitting is upon us. Flames ignite across the stage. It’s the revolutionary People of The Pride. Chris holds a pride flag. There’s so much going on you sometimes forget you’re at a Coldplay show and not in a dystopian hellfire before crescendoing into a bang, leading into Clocks, a Coldplay classic to warm the cockles of your heart.

The journey through The Spheres is a lengthy outing, but there are enough tender moments like the acoustic Sparks, balanced out with the heavy belters and stadium anthems to really keep you on the edge of your seat, and you lose track of time. The lads feel right at home playing venues this size. Everything is big, bold and colourful. The visuals are truly out of this world. At one point, Chris shuffles through a Tron-like grid as the band shuffles through Midnight.

This is live music on acid and at its best. Planets appear on stage glowing and shining; Chris Martin says you are My Universe; as the band performs the second single of their current LP. The stadium beams and surges with an electrifying atmosphere you can’t help but groove to; it’s joy personified, bottled up and spilled out all over Optus stadium in sonic colour.

The rapture of shaking, quaking and outright euphoria continues into Sky Full of Stars.

The music stops suddenly. “Thank you for putting up with the puppets and the aliens and all that shit. We will never be in the same room like this again,” beckons a sweaty Chris before asking everyone to put their phones away to be in the moment Sky Full Of Stars starts again.

Everyone has joined in now; it’s an exhilarating moment as the chorus hits full throttle, buoyed by the sheer moxie of the band and the pageantry of the lights; there are even fireworks! I wish I could tell you more. But you just had to be there, and trust me, you’re gonna wish you were. I’ll give you one more word, though. Goosebumps.

Swirls of orange and red fill the stands, and everything is quiet. Building. Rising. The crowd begins to chant the melody of Viva La Vida again. A warm orange sunset fills the screen, harmonised with a calming violin. It’s a nice moment of rest after your mind has just been blown. 

“Humans are a wonderful group of people that can stand in a stadium of 60,000 and just love and care for each other and have so much fun. You be you, and I’ll be me, and that’s the spirit in which we are playing here today,” Martin says. 

The planets light up, swarming the arena. Chris begins Fix You but has to fix his words, so he starts again: “Pretend I didn’t do that.” The show’s winding down; it’s a grab the person next to you and tell them you love them kind of moment. As the chorus hits, the stadium literally ignites our bones as 60,000 wrists light up and pulse.

Another highlight is every song is better than the one before. Guitarist Johnny Buckland shines here as the all too familiar build of kaleidoscopic riffs echo, bounce and reverberate. The crowd joins in to finish off the song, not a dry eye in sight. 

There’s something so unique and radiant about the Music Of The Spheres tour. From the eco-friendly schemes that power the stadium to the band suddenly wearing giant alien heads singing Something Just Like This. Seeing a whole stadium filled to the brim with illuminated lights, sharing this special tender moment with what must be the whole of Perth, if not Australia and then some. Truly an unforgettable experience Perth was so lucky to get, not once, but twice as the final concert commences this evening.