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Record Rating: *****

Coldplay - Live 2003 After releasing two great studio albums (Parachutes and A Rush of Blood to the Head), winning two Grammy Awards in 2003 - and being nominated for the Record Of The Year for the 2004 awards –at the moment front man Chris Martin and his boys are on top of the world. And hopefully this live release is not a sign that Coldplay is in the waning phase of its career.

For more often than not, when a band releases a live album, it is either fulfilling its record contract obligation or is in the twilight of its popularity. It is rare form these days for a band to release a live album while in the prime of its career. Ungrateful boredom aside, this concert redeems the band completely. Its intensity and emotions run high from start to finish. Recorded at Sydney’s Horden Pavilion in July, Live 2003 captures Coldplay in all their globe-conquering glory. Politik gets the gig off to a rousing start, and for the next 70 odd minutes or so, you know that you are going to enjoy yourself thoroughly. In between songs, Chris Martin pulls a typical rockstar move, mumbling things to the crowd that are virtually indistinguishable unless you rewind and hold your ear to the speaker. Most times, it is simply, "thank you very much." But before the band plays its international hit Yellow, Martin promises that if everyone stands up, he will buy everyone an ice cream. One of the most heartfelt pieces Coldplay performs during the show is the rare song called See You Soon,- previously available on Coldplay’s very first Parlophone release, The Blue Room EP. The silence and respect of the crowd seems to say it all. Trouble, In My Place and The Scientist continue the pace, and you come away feeling that this could be the greatest band in the world.

Plus as a bonus here, we get most of the live performances & a rather excellent tour diary on the included VCD - allowing us mere mortals a look into the lives of one of the biggest rock groups in the world today. And if that’s not enough, a new track Moses was specially done for this set, so that should get Coldplay fans to sit up and take notice. A smorgasbord of jangly delights, Coldplay Live 2003 is superb and the band (especially main man Chris Martin) have a real "live" spontaneity which gives this set that emotional force occasionally missing from their studio material. This one gets two thumbs and a big deserved recommendation to any and all fans of good rock music. Get yourself a copy for sure.

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