First off, the stage and lighting were interesting. Directly behind the stage was a large screen and in front of the stage, at about the halfway point in the arena, were two Jumbotrons parallel to the stage. In front of the Jumbotrons was a sort of bubble underneath a short cylinder (so it looked kind of like an oversized, upside-down, ice-cream cone). The bubble-thing was lit up with different colours and projections during the show. Another five smaller bubble-things appeared and disappeared during the show. The projections on the back screen and Jumbotrons were also projected onto the bubble things which made for an interesting light effect. There were also six or eight direct lights on four movable tracks to add additional light and colour. All of this, coupled with laser lights radiating out from the back of the stage floor, made for an interesting light show.
Unfortunately, it was one we couldn't completely see. We were on one side perpendicular to the Jumbotrons so we and a bunch of more people more to the side of us couldn't see the projections on the Jumbotrons. The bubble things blocked some of the stage as well. Some small improvements in the stage design would have made the stage more viewable from a greater number of seats.
Fortunately, not being able to see everything didn't diminish from the concert too much. The band is very talented - the drummer in particular is brilliant! They played all of the songs that people would know and they played them very well; in fact, the live versions of some of the songs were better than the recorded versions (which doesn't always happen)! The band was also clearly having a good time up on stage.
Chris Martin , the lead singer, was very comfortable with the audience. He joked with us (for example, he thanked everyone for coming even though he knew that many of the boyfriends had been dragged there by their girlfriends) and when people reached their hands out to him, he often shook those hands. Clearly, he wasn't afraid of his audience. How many times have we seen bands/singers/stars turn away from their fans or treat the audience as though they were a piece of ick stuck on their shoes? I'm quite sure that this is the first arena/stadium concert where the band treated the audience as though we were watching them in a much, much smaller venue.
At one point, the band did a short song off the stage over in one of the sections, and they did another song on a small, lit platform on one side of the stage. Both of these songs were minimally instrumented but were still very good.
The opening band, Stars, was ok. Apparently they're very highly thought-of but the female singer's voice is a little weak and the band isn't good on all of their instruments. The male singer is very good and could probably do quite well in a stronger band. The lyrics to their songs were interesting and sort of delicate.... but different singers and instrument players (like a MUCH better trumpet player) would have made for a better show.All in all, we enjoyed the concert a lot. If you get a chance to see Coldplay, you should definitely go, even if you're not that fond of the music. It's a show that is well worth seeing.
On a side note, I have to say that one thing I do love about live concerts is the light show.... in another life, I suspect that I'd have gotten involved in that kind of stage design. Ever since my first live concert, I've spent more time looking at the lights and figuring out how they did the effects than watching the people on-stage. :)
And another thing that I'll mention, just because the concert was in an arena .... I don't have a bucket list, but if I did, going up and wandering around the catwalks of an arena would be on it. I've *always* wanted to go up there! Every time I've been in an arena or similar structure, I look up and try to figure out where all of the catwalks are as well as the possible entrances to them. I don't want a guided tour - I just want to be left to my own devices up there, walking around and around and across and just seeing what's there and what I can see. How cool would that be?