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Chris Martin‘s greeting was warm yesterday at New York City’s Beacon Theatre. “I’m so happy you made it so early,” he said just after a few stretches prior to stepping front and center towards the microphone for the first of two evening shows. It being just past 5 p.m., many in the sold-out audience left work early to watch Coldplay rock.
The missed time on the job was worth it. Coldplay jumped right into fan favorites, Martin thrusting and bouncing on his piano stool while singing 2002’s “Clocks” and 2011’s “Paradise.”
Martin was a comedian of sorts at times too, at one point promising that because the show was so early, there’d be “a lot less swearing.”
Coldplay’s a huge band, used to performing at stadiums. Which means the Beacon’s sub-3000 capacity made the night’s show about as “intimate” as one could be for a band of their stature. Their usually elaborate stage design and production was toned down immensely, and there were a few technical difficulties. Makeshift stars dangling from the ceiling didn’t light up until halfway through the hour-long show. “Oh, they work!” yelped Martin when he realized they were, at last, flickering.
He also mentioned that being in a group when you’ve known the members since age 18 definitely helps during off-kilter moments on stage. “We have each other’s back,” he said before passing off an out-of-tune guitar to a stagehand and switching up the set list to play their new single “Magic” from their forthcoming Ghost Stories album instead of “God Put a Smile Upon Your Face,” which came later along with that once-wonky guitar.
The evening’s highlight was their run of “Viva la Vida,” which made the Beacon feel like a European soccer game with its euphoric, harmonious chants towards the end. “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” followed with confetti raining, marking the end of the night. Saying goodbye, Coldplay dropped the instruments, gathered together and took a bow.
And hours later, they’d do it all over again.
At the late show, Martin dedicated “Fix You” to Mick Jagger, whose longtime girlfriend, L’Wren Scott, committed suicide in March. A memorial was held in New York last week.
The British quartet closed their shows with “True Love,” which Martin asked the crowd not to film, calling the track “the best song off our new album that no one has ever heard yet.”
Ghost Stories, its first album for Atlantic Records since Parlophone was divested by Universal Music Group after its acquisition of EMI, comes out May 19.
This piece originally appeared on Billboard.com.