Coldplay Concert Benefits The GRAMMY Foundation
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By Crystal Larsen
I remember Coldplay's performance at the 51st Annual GRAMMY Awards in 2009 like it was yesterday. Chris Martin appeared behind his token graffiti-covered piano to sing "Lost!" before Jay-Z joined in and the duo segued into a rap version of the song. That same year the London quartet took home a GRAMMY for Best Rock Album for Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends. Last night the Coldplay/GRAMMY relationship was rekindled, but this time in the form of a benefit concert for the GRAMMY Foundation's GRAMMY in the Schools music education programs.
Held at the intimate 10,000-capacity Los Angeles Tennis Center on the UCLA campus, not a seat was empty before the lights went dim at just a quarter past 8 p.m. The band — Guy Berryman (bass), Jonny Buckland (guitar), Will Champion (drums), and Martin — took the stage in grand fashion, backed by glowing neon fixtures and hot-pink blinking overhead stage lights. Strings of colorful confetti shot out from above the stage and fell onto the audience as the band launched into a new song, "MX," a perfect celebratory intro to what was to be a great night of music for a great cause.
Coldplay, noticeably in top form despite the fact that this was their first performance in Los Angeles in more than two years, occupied the stage for nearly two hours, performing tracks from their forthcoming fifth studio album as well as plenty of hits and crowd favorites, including "Yellow," "The Scientist" and "Viva La Vida." With Martin on piano, the band was led into "Viva La Vida," which was preceded by the never-before-played anthemic rock tune "Charlie Brown."
Just when I thought the show was over and I would have to trudge home without hearing my personal favorite, "Fix You," the band rushed back onstage to a deafening roar. Martin and the band took the night out with a performance of their Record Of The Year-winning "Clocks" before segueing into the chorus of Amy Winehouse's "Rehab" in a tribute to the late singer/songwriter, and "Fix You," which Martin wrote for wife Gwyneth Paltrow after her father died. Before the band exited the stage for the last time, the crowd was treated to an encore of "Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall" and the venue was filled with confetti again, this time in the shape of neon-colored butterflies. The audience was also in for a special treat as this was among the songs from the benefit concert aired that night on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"
The evening proved a true celebration for music fans and the net proceeds will benefit the GRAMMY Foundation's GRAMMY in the Schools music education programs for high school students, including the annual GRAMMY Camp. Established in 1989, the GRAMMY Foundation works in partnership year-round with The Academy to bring national attention to important issues such as the value and impact of music and arts education and the urgency of preserving our rich cultural heritage.
Last night was just one of the many ways music and education work hand-in-hand, and I was lucky to be the benefactor of that partnership.
"Hurts Like Heaven"
"In My Place"
"Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall"
"God Put A Smile Upon Your Face"
"Us Against The World"
"Viva La Vida"
"Life Is For Living"
"Rehab" (Amy Winehouse cover)
"Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall"
To catch Coldplay in a city near you, click here for tour dates.