Live In Buenos Aires, by Coldplay
I happen to have gotten this album as a gift because the person who bought it was not very fond of it at all. That said, if you are fond of Coldplay, this album gives a good example of what a live album can provide. With two discs of Coldplay, this particular performance shows them at a high point at the end of a world tour where the band is tight and the songs are solid and the interaction with the audience is positive. Chris Martin shows his Spanish speaking skills here as he manages to slide in some obvious pandering to his Argentine audience and the result is a worthwhile live album from an immensely successful band. This isn’t even my favorite era from the band, but all the same, the songs included are generally good even if quite a few of my own favorites are not likely to be on the setlist because they were too obscure. Still, I enjoyed listening to this album and if you are a fan of Coldplay, especially their more recent material, you will find much to enjoy in about two hours of listening pleasure, and that counts for a lot.
In terms of its material, this 2cd live set includes twenty-two songs as well as end credits and a presentation of vocal material in Spanish with some sort of faux-revolutionary intent that fill up another couple of tracks on the second album. The first cd begins with “A Head Full Of Dreams” and then moves on to “Yellow,” “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall,” “The Scientist,” “God Put A Smile On Your Face,” and “Paradise.” The second half of the first cd then contains “Always In My Head,” “Magic,” “Everglow,” “Clocks,” “Midnight,” and “Charlie Brown.” The second CD begins with “Hymn For The Weekend,” then goes to “Fix You,” “Viva La Vida,” “Adventure Of A Lifetime,” “De Musica Ligera” and the vocal sample. The second cd then ends with “In My Place,” “Amor Argentina,” “Something Just Like This” “Up & Up,” and the end credits. By and large Coldplay manages to mix playing new songs, their hits, as well as some songs clearly meant to appeal to the specific audience, which is the sound of a band firing on all cylinders.
This sort of album is not only an example of a successful live album given its choice of songs, the obvious rapport that the band has with the audience, and the band’s performance, but is also the sort of album that can help other bands understand what it takes to make a great live album. Not only is this a good album to listen to but it is also instructive in showing how a band can deal with a loyal listening audience. Bands like Maroon 5 have gotten a bad reputation for performing poorly and antagonizing their audience and showing poor emotional control at times. Coldplay shows none of these problems. They remain in full control of their show even as they enjoy the audience singalongs and manage to mix in songs from their latest projects, songs that are designed to appeal to their audience specifically, and fan favorites and hits from their whole career. Not every band can show such a range, but those who can do so would be well advised to take a similar approach.