Video image of Coldplay’s Chris Martin at Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom in February 2001. (Photo: youtube.com/bigjokk)

#ThrowbackThursday: That time I reviewed Coldplay’s first-ever North American gig, in Vancouver (video)

BC Place plays host Friday to the British band, which played Commodore Ballroom in 2001

VANCOUVER — Coldplay’s “A Head Full of Dreams” tour stops at BC Place on Friday night (Sept. 29), but the British band played a much smaller venue in Vancouver 16 years ago, on a much colder night.

I know, because I was there.

On Feb. 8, 2001, the Commodore Ballroom played host to Coldplay’s first-ever gig on North American soil.

Chris Martin and company were greeted at the airport by icy weather and snow.

“But inside the hallowed Commodore Ballroom, the climate was almost balmy, as the overheated crowd squeezed into the seriously sold-out venue,” I wrote in a review for the canoe.com website.

“Given the fact that the band has only one album under its belt, ticket-buyers knew not to expect a marathon set of Springsteen proportions. Luckily for Coldplay, the quartet’s sole long-player, ‘Parachutes,’ goes deep both early and often, with memorable, highly melodic and occasionally mesmerizing tales of faith, hope and devotion.”

Yeah, I loved that “Parachutes” album at the time, and still do.

That Thursday night in Vancouver, the ballroom’s sprung dance floor wouldn’t be getting much of a workout, though, with the band’s softer songs played.

“Still,” I wrote at the time, “the energy was palpable as the fresh-faced members of Coldplay made their entrance — in jeans, T-shirts and, in the case of singer Chris Martin, a humble, buttoned shirt — against a backdrop that had the look of crushed velvet on brick.”

Martin mumbled “Canada, Canada, Canada” as he finished strumming the quiet notes of the set-opening “Spies”.

On the evening’s next song, “Trouble,” he quickly made use of the electric piano that was pushed up behind him on the bare-bones stage, which was decorated only by the globe that graces the cover of “Parachutes,” resting atop Guy Berryman’s bass cabinet.

Guitarist Jonny Buckland’s sunburst Fender Mustang then kicked in with the soaring, stadium-sized riff of “Shiver”, which Martin dedicated to “Celine Dion, Alanis Morissette and all the sexy Canadian women.”

(Note: The video below says Feb. 5, 2001, but it was most definitely Feb. 8, 2001)

My review continued: “Throughout the entire set, Buckland’s guitar sounds caressed Martin’s high, fragile voice with the kind of cascading, echo-y textures with which The Edge made a name for himself back in the day.”

Throughout the evening at the Granville Street bar, Coldplay came close to duplicating the sonic wonders of “Parachutes,” I noted.

“Lulled by a mid-set string of mellow tunes (and the band’s stay-where-you-are stage presence), the crowd exploded eight songs in when Martin began strumming the opening notes to Coldplay’s hit, ‘Yellow.’ The song ended with the group bathed in (yup) a bright yellow hue, and the crowd happily singing (the song’s) closing refrain, without any on-stage prompting at all.

“Four songs later it was all over, and Coldplay turned its attention to the drive to Seattle and the other cities on its short, 10-date tour.”

The Vancouver concert was opened by Lily Frost, by the way.

Here’s Coldplay’s full setlist at the Commodore that night, as posted on setlist.fm:

Spies

Trouble

Shiver

High Speed

Don’t Panic

Animals

Sparks

Yellow

Everything’s Not Lost

In My Place

You Only Live Twice (Nancy Sinatra cover)

What the World Needs Now Is Love (Burt Bacharach cover)

tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Just Posted

North Delta history: Surviving the Spanish flu outbreak of 1918

Spanish flu claimed the lives of 3,500 people that year and infected 30 per cent of B.C.’s population

Tsunami warning issued for coastal British Columbia

Warning issued following 8.0 earthquake off Kodiak, AK

UPDATE: Fuel truck hits train in Port Coquitlam, causing massive fire

CP Rail reporting no injuries, driver of truck is safe.

COLUMN: We need to change how we think about housing

“…Four to 12 storeys on suitable sites need to be more readily accepted by us, the voting public.”

UPDATE: Brother of teen killed by stray bullet in Vancouver says the death left a void

Alfred Wong, 15, was gunned down while on his way home from dinner with his family

North Delta science students say so long poster board, hello arcade machines

Delview Secondary students to showcase their interactive science projects at Delview Exhibition 2018

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Man lives despite malfunctioning defibrillator at B.C. arena

A middle-aged man went into cardiac arrest after at game at Pitt Meadows Arena last Wednesday.

Cause of Northern B.C. seaplane crash released

TSB releases report on seaplane crash during a water landing in 2016 near First Nations community

Vancouver police crack down on pop-up pot vendors

Officers raided merchants’ tables on Robson Square late Sunday

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Crown seeks 4.5 years jail for B.C. woman convicted of counselling tax evasion

Debbie Anderson the latest from group to face jail for teaching debunked ‘natural person’ theory

Movie filmed in Castlegar B.C. opens Friday

Hollow in the Land starring Dianna Agron will be playing in select cinemas.

Semi rollover on Highway 3

Highway 3 is reduced to single-alternating lanes

Most Read