The music attracts the public, but the shows break records. There could be an explanation of the historic string of concerts that Coldplay has scheduled at the River Plate Stadium starting this Tuesday the 25th, which continues on the 26th, 28th and 29th of this month and on the 1st, 2nd, 4th, November 5, 7 and 8. In a context of crisis, and in the case of artists who are not part of the pantheon of classic “monsters” like Roger Waters or are closely linked to the Argentine idiosyncrasy like the Rolling Stones, it is worth looking for some extra-musical justification for Chris Martin’s band has achieved what no one has ever achieved before: ten Monumentales in a row.
In the socioeconomic field, it would not be so complicated to conjecture: those who have a “rest” that allows them to do more than live from day to day will be able to take the purchase of a ticket for a megashow as an investment and an escapism. In Argentina 2022, any financing plan invites the well-known syllogism “with the inflation that exists, with what I end up paying in installments, I don’t even buy candy.” That, added to the premise “you can’t save, so I’ll spend it” results in a wave of middle/upper-middle class audiences filling stadiums to have a good time. What should be defined, then, is why Coldplay.
There is a certain paradox in that the authors of “Yellow” have precisely displaced the Stones and Waters in the ranking of the most convening international numbers in River, taking into account that the group of Jagger and Richards had a lot to do with the conversion of the shows of rock at social events and Pink Floyd craned one of his masterpieces (TheWall, 1979) as a criticism of this massiveness that he considered inhuman. The five River of the Stones of 1995, the other five of 1998 and the nine of Waters in 2012 were overshadowed by this ten of Coldplay that comes to crown a sustained growth of their call in the country.
It all started with three Gran Rex as a test balloon: February 20, 21 and 22, 2007. Tickets, like this time, sold out instantly, making it clear that the test had gone well and that the Argentine public wanted more Coldplay. They came to promote their third album X&Y (2005), in which they began to detach themselves from the introversion and subtlety of the first two albums to let their stadium band vocation flourish. Songs like “Speed of Sound” gave the first indications of the next stage of his career, but still ballads like “Fix You” and ambient and organic songs like “Swallowed by the Sea” continued to be the center of the proposal.
that changed in Live life or Death and All His Friends (2008), an album in which they finished discovering the benefits of pop bombast at the hands of a key figure in their metamorphosis: producer Brian Eno, who (not coincidentally) had also worked on the albums that made U2 in a mass phenomenon. Achtung Baby! (1991) and Zooropa (1993) bear the signature of the former Roxy Music and are two clear references to the sound that Coldplay embraced from then on. “U2 is an inspiration to everyone. It is difficult to ignore his influence on music and on other causes”, Chris Martin once declared, referring to the imprint that Bono’s group left on his: the sentimentalist epic and the combination of electronics and organicity in music, and the “missions” such as the defense of the environment, fair international trade and others in the humanitarian field. This Coldplay, the one from Live lifewas the one who visited us for the second time in his debut on the court that will now be his home: on February 26, 2010 they played at River (only one show!) as part of this tour.
At the time of editing A Head Full of Dreams (2015) the band was already one hundred percent converted into the white elephant it is today. The presentation tour of that album included 122 concerts and raised 523 million dollars thanks to the sale of more than five million tickets worldwide. The tour also had a peculiarity that made it clear that Coldplay with Argentina was serious: it began and ended at the Estadio Único de La Plata. His performances on March 31 and April 1, 2016 were “hello” and those on November 14 and 15 were “goodbye” (a color fact of those concerts: the opening act was Dua Lipa, today established as a number of stadiums on its own merit). From this last performance an invaluable testimony remained for local fans: the live album Live in Buenos Aires (2017), which includes a sui generis tango composed for the occasion called “Amor Argentina” and a version of “De musica light” by Soda Stereo.
The pandemic stretched normal times, and the wait took longer than expected: five years later, Coldplay returns to our country to present Music of the Spheres (2021) and is much more than a rock/pop band in passing. The functions were running out and adding up, the handle spread through social networks with the hashtag #Coldplay10ShowsenRiver and thus the record in question was reached. To celebrate the brand and the special bond that unites it with Argentina, the band announced that it will broadcast the concerts on October 28 and 29 live in theaters around the world. It was also known in recent days that Jin from the K-pop group BTS (with whom they collaborated on “My Universe”, from Music of the Spheres) will be the special guest of the function on Friday 28, where he will sing his single “The Astronaut”, which will be published that same day.
All this succession of pleasant news shook earlier this month, when it was learned that Chris Martin had a lung condition that forced him to cancel the concerts scheduled between October 11 and 22 in Brazil. “Rest”, the doctors prescribed, and the Brazilian dates were rescheduled for 2023, but the clarification came quickly: the Monumental shows were not in danger. For the Argentine public, everything.
The relationship is back and forth. Coldplay became the great stadium band of the 21st century and found massiveness and feedback in our country to which they decided to respond with gestures -such as the cover of Soda Stereo- that contain a lot of affection and some intelligent marketing. Those fans who know their songs by heart -which, in themselves, are many- will be joined by those who want to be there: for some time now, the highly promoted mega-concerts are -more than mere musical gatherings- events that nobody wants to miss , because the anecdote and the selfie with the stage in the background are valued and the FOMO (“fear of missing out”, or “fear of being left out”) is overwhelming.
The leg of the entertainment also weighs: the presentations of the British group are vibrant, colorful, with high definition screens, laser lights and varied pyrotechnics, and that attracts spectators who do not usually go to recitals. The humanitarian side is still important: the European press pointed out that on this tour the band “proposed an unprecedented ecological plan” and that it is “rewriting the rules” in terms of impact and carbon footprint. And finally there is the aforementioned Carpe Diem: who knows what the future holds, so better treat yourself and spend a little surplus on fun. Music, entertainment, activism, consumption, a couple of winks and a lot of hype: the possible keys to a phenomenon never seen before.
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Coldplay: from inflation to caring for the planet and emotion, the reasons why Argentina increasingly wants more from the English band