Coldplay: four River sold out, 280,000 tickets sold and all the keys to a musical romance with the Argentine public
Did you see it coming? How did this phenomenon happen? Who knows, but here it is: This year’s musical revelation in Argentina is without a doubt Coldplay. The British band, which is neither new nor at its artistic peak, will do four stages of River next October and, so far, it is the biggest public phenomenon of the year. They even entered history: the five Rivers that filled the Rolling Stones in 1995 are still remembered as an unprecedented rock milestone. The most curious fact is that Coldplay does not have that one-to-one economic boost or an emerging fashion tribe like rollingas nor (it must be said) are the Rolling Stones. And yet, they arrive with four Monumentales sold: some 280,000 people.
It all started on June 24, 2000, when Coldplay performed for the first time at the Glastonbury festival, with nothing more than a handful of singles up his sleeve. Before playing “Yellow”, Chris Martin took the microphone and addressed the audience that was watching his show on an alternative stage: “I don’t know how to present this song in the right way, but hopefully next year they will be singing it when sounds because it will be a hit”. The phrase sounded risky: the subject would come out as simple only two days later, and Parachutes, his debut album would hit the rinks in the middle of the following month. However, his sentence was a self-fulfilling prophecy: although the band did not return to the woad the following year, it did in 2002, and as headliner on the main board. The gesture also serves as an explanation from its beginnings to date: even from a façade of apparent austerity, Coldplay’s ambition always bets as high as possible.
In the twenty-two years that have elapsed between that show and the present, Coldplay traveled a path that was born in post-Radiohead sensitive England, and that album after album was built as a massive phenomenon capable of filling stadiums at any latitude, a kind of inheritance of the legacy of U2. The comparison not only has to do with the spectacular nature of their live performances, but also with their commitment to humanitarian causes. In his own way, Chris Martin is a Bond tailor-made for the millennial public, capable of demonstrating against war conflicts, supporting fair trade foundations such as Make Trade Fair, or helping refugees through the Migrant Offshore Aid Station.
In the middle of all this phenomenon, Chris Martin, an Englishman with a good-natured face who knew how to play the game of showbiz discreetly, even when he had high-profile partners. The singer was married between 2004 and 2016 with the actress Gwyneth Paltrow, with whom he had two children. After a short-lived relationship with Annabelle Wallis, Martin made his relationship official in 2017 with Dakota Johnson, daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Grifith and protagonist of the film saga of Fifty Shades of Grey, the dark daughter and the remake of Suspiria. Not wanting to be part of the sensationalist press, Martin concentrated his efforts on his political and social militancy: he traveled to Ghana and Haiti to study the effects of inequitable trade policies, he expressed his support for candidate John Kerry during the award ceremony Grammy in 2004, and did the same with Barack Obama some time later. Along with Coldplay, he participated in concerts for the victims of forest fires in Australia, and also for those affected by Hurricane Sandy in the United States.
Last year, Coldplay released their ninth studio album, Music of the Spheres. If your previous job, Everyday Life, sought to be a tribute to austerity, its successor opted for grandiloquence beyond the Earth: the album is intended as a sort of space concept album, which takes place in a galaxy called The Spheres, made up of nine planets, three natural satellites , a star and a nebula, with a song corresponding to each of them, some named with emojis. As part of that ambition in which the band itself tried to imagine how songs created in a galaxy far, far away would sound like, for the premiere of “Higher Power”, the first single from the album, the band premiered the song in a video call with the French astronaut Thomas Pesquet, present on the International Space Station. Or, to put it another way, Coldplay blasted their music off the planet.
Although Coldplay had not presented live Everyday Life to study how to reverse the environmental impact of their concerts, the launch of Music of the Spheres coincided with the announcement of a world tour that will begin on March 18 in Costa Rica. The plan, developed over two years, aims to reduce the carbon dioxide generated by his last tour by fifty percent. For this, the group joined forces with BMW to develop a rechargeable energy source capable of supplying the electrical demand of the show, and a stage built with reusable materials, which can be recycled once the tour ends. Finally, Coldplay also promised to plant a tree for every tour ticket sold.
In the last fifteen years of their career, moreover, Coldplay developed an idyll with Argentina that was simmered at each visit. The first was in 2007, when the band came to Buenos Aires to give three concerts at the Gran Rex theater to “rest” from the opulence of their stadium shows in Europe and the United States. On that occasion, at a press conference, Chris Martin said he knows and enjoys the work of Soda Stereo. Two years later, the band returned to present the album Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends at the River Plate stadium. During an acoustic segment, the group premiered “Spanish Rain”, a song later baptized as “Don Quixote” inspired by its Buenos Aires audience, and which remains unreleased to this day. Things got bigger in 2016: Coldplay not only kicked off the world tour of A Head Full of Dreams at the Diego Maradona Stadium in La Plata, but a year later he closed the tour in the same place. The 2017 dates had not one, but two added values. First, the band premiered “Amor Argentina”, a tango sung in Spanish with strings and bandoneon as accompaniment. At the end of each night in La Plata, Coldplay drew a parable with what was declared on his first visit to the country by adding to the show a version of “De musica light”, the Soda Stereo classic.
The idyll with Argentina does not end there. At the time of announcing the Buenos Aires stop of the Music of the Spheres tour in December 2021, the group had scheduled a date at the River stadium on October 25 of this year, but the demand for tickets forced them to add a new function, and then another… and then another. In a few hours, Coldplay sold out all the tickets for four concerts at the Monumental, in what was one of the historical sales records for the local box office. A week after this happened, Martin was present (virtually) in Buenos Aires as part of the guest cast of Total Thanks – Soda Stereo, where he sang again the verses of the hit included in animal song. Will the vocalist be part if Charly Alberti and Zeta Bosio decide to include a closing tour in Buenos Aires this year? For now, it’s a mystery.