Coldplay rock Brisbane with a neon light spectacular
COLDPLAY know how to put on a good show, a really good show.
I just wanted to get that out of the way first up.
I was the tender age of 21 when I first saw Coldplay perform live.
They were christening the new Convocation Centre at the University of Miami, now known as the BankUnited Centre, in Florida where I was studying.
My friend had a spare ticket and it was only going to set me back $30, so I said "why not".
At the time I only knew two Coldplay songs - Yellow and Trouble - thanks to their domination of the airwaves.
Chris Martin alternated between acoustic guitar and a beat-up piano.
Screens projected black-and-white footage of the band strumming and pounding away on their respective instruments.
It was a simple set-up compared to the lavish production values of the band's latest Australian shows.
Packing out Brisbane's 52,500-seat Suncorp Stadium last night, the British four-piece were set against a bright and colourful backdrop of lasers, confetti, glow-in-the-dark balloons, spinning screens and spectacular show-opening and closing fireworks.
After priming the crowd with Jay-Z's 99 Problems, the band opened the show with Mylo Xyloto/Hurts Like Heaven.
It was a visual spectacular that threw me into overload as the tens of thousands of neon wristbands handed out to the crowd created a moving, pulsating blanket of light.
Between the graphics, firework, lasers and enigmatic front man Chris Martin, I didn't know where to look.
"From where we're standing it sounds like you might be the best audience on Earth," Martin said.
"We're very grateful to you.
"We promise to play the best (expletive) concert of our lives."
Oh gosh Chris, I'm sure you say that to every crowd (cue blushing).
The two-hour show included crowd favourites In My Place, God Put A Smile Upon Your Face, Clocks, The Scientist and Fix You.
It was a foregone conclusion that the band would reemerge for an encore.
Popping up on a small stage near the back of the stadium, Martin apologized when he had to pause the song to "burp" and offered punters their money back.
"I'm sorry I forgot riding in a golf cart at 15kmph from backstage to the front sometimes makes you burp," he said.
I'm certain no one took him up on the offer, instead cheering as the band walked back to the main stage to launch into a confetti-soaked Viva la Vida.
As the encore built to the final crescendo, with everyone's wristbands blinking away, the entire crowd was on its feet for Every Teardrop is a Waterfall, complete with a last hurrah of fireworks.
Once again showing off his prowess of local knowledge, Martin dedicated the show closer to "all the guys taking part in Movember".
One of the many things Coldplay have honed in their 17 years as a band is making every person in a 50,000-strong crowd feel special.