Chris Martin and co. bring out the fireworks at MuchMusic

COLDPLAY at MuchMusic, Wednesday, September 21. Rating: NNN

There’s something odd about being in the audience for a live televised concert, especially one produced by the never-too-subtle folks at CTV.

You might think it was Chinese New Year the way fireworks were being pumped out of the MuchMusic parking lot during Coldplay‘s free outdoor concert previewing their fall-slated new album, Mylo Xyloto.

Colourful fire rockets were blasted seconds into the Chris Martin’s piano chords for the set’s opener – Mylo’s title track – and repacked and re-launched at least five more times during the hour-plus shutdown of Queen West, just to make sure you didn’t forget for a moment what a momentous occasion you were witnessing.

To speak nothing of the confetti cannons and continuous lasers, which by borrowing lazily from their Clocks video it stole the thunder right out of the song when it was finally performed, it seemed the producers would rather not let Coldplay be left responsible for making the night a memorable one.

Not that the band didn’t try their best. Martin and company seemed genuinely appreciative for the thousands who braved wet conditions to see the Brits’ first appearance in Toronto in more than two years. The ever self-deprecating singer said they only expected “three or so people” to be there and that “we’re English, we’re very insecure.”

Those comments came off as endearing compared to Martin’s cringe-inducing “coming to Canada is like taking a bath in greatness” line, which led into In My Place, a shuffling number with Sympathy for the Devil touches of “who oos.”

Fans were taking their own bath as the skies opened up intermittently in the first half off, though it didn’t damper the vibe when Yellow’s driving chords rang out and reminded you of a time when Coldplay were breaking new ground.

Of the new material only a song called Charlie Brown, with its infectious riff (not lifted from Kraftwerk) and big Cure keyboards stood out as the next surefire Coldplay hit.

Martin played a few tribute bars to Amy Winehouse’s Rehab, plunged into Fix You, then Every Teardrop is a Waterfall and again a deluge of fireworks, so much that the band was barely visible through the gun powder smoke. At that point, we’d probably seen enough.

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