Coldplay debuts songs at free U.K. show

Performs at Brixton Academy, heads to Barcelona

LONDON -- There were some miscues and cobwebs, but Coldplay confidently returned to the live stage Monday night at the U.K.'s Brixton Academy, unveiling a host of songs from its chart-topping new album, "Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends."

"Viva La Vida" sold more than 300,000 copies in only three days in the U.K., and the band certainly didn't wilt under the expectation, playing to a capacity crowd of 4,900 at one of three free shows scheduled for this month.

After opening with the new album's instrumental "Life in Technicolor," the group launched into a string of instantly recognizable numbers, including "Violet Hill," "Clocks" and "In My Place." The four band members stayed in theme with the "Viva La Vida" art scheme, wearing their souped-up French Revolution-style jackets, which have appeared in recent photo shoots.

In between tracks, frontman Chris Martin defied his stereotype as a grouch when he cracked a joke apparently told to him by a gloating German interviewer. "What do British people do when they have finished winning the World Cup and the European championships (of soccer)," he said, before finishing, "they turn off the PlayStation."

Throughout the night, Martin switched between keyboards and guitar, or throwing himself about in front of the mic stand. He even appeared at the venue's balcony, where he delivered a stripped-down version of "Yellow."

As the band prepped for "God Put a Smile Upon Your Face," Martin joked, "Even when we're not trying, we still manage to plagiarize Radiohead." Moments later, he retracted his comment, noting that it might not go down so well with the BBC Radio 1 audience who were tuning in to the live broadcast.

The set list included a crowd-pleasing encore of "Fix You," and at one point the band took a brief stab at Girls Aloud's hit single "Call the Shots."

Coldplay moves on to Barcelona for a free concert Tuesday at the Espacio Movistar venue, and will follow up with another at New York's Madison Square Garden on June 23. "Viva La Vida" is released Tuesday in the U.S.

Here is Coldplay's Brixton Academy set list:

"Life in Technicolor"
"Violet Hill"
"In My Place"
"Viva La Vida"
"Chinese Sleep Chant"
"God Put a Smile Upon Your Face"
"Square One"
"Strawberry Swing"
"Death Will Never Conquer"
"Fix You"
"Lovers in Japan"