A Coldplay concert (Brussels): music for the Ears, the Eyes, the Heart and the Mind

Last week my family, some friends and I had the pleasure to attend one of the two, within 30’ sold-out, Coldplay ‘A Head Full of Dreams’ concerts in Brussels. Two full house concerts attended by 100,000 generation X and Y (Millennial) fans.

My daughter and I promised each other our mission was to attend a concert of Coldplay and this especially after having seen their Blu-ray Coldplay 2012 Live concert on the big screen at home. Months ago I got pinged by my daughter that the moment we were waiting for had come. They were visiting our country as part of their latest World-tour. On the day of the ticket sale a friend and I had three screens open three hours before the sale started. Through our ‘perseverance’ we managed to acquire 12 tickets, 8 normal and 4 Early Access cards to see this iconic band. They are after all the biggest band of this generation and probably the best of this generation.

A four-player band that saw the light of existence 20 years ago.

Many business people and especially marketers should study the Coldplay phenomenon on how to feed customer journeys, tell a creative story, be authentic, be context-aware, stay connected, to surprise and to engage. The future is about context aware personalized content adventures based on emotions and behaviours by leveraging technology and hands-on connections.
Coldplay stroke, after two decades, a balance that gives people the sparkle in their eyes by creating an end to end colourful experience full of emotions.

A true gift for the ears, the eyes, the heart and the mind. Storytelling at its best.

The sound produced by this band and Chris Martin’s voice are astonishing, just as good as their studio recordings. Despite being called ‘a Head full of Dreams’-tour the two-hour set covered all the best of Coldplay. So many of them. Music from their latest album along with previous hits were played seamlessly choreographed to keep the old and young engaged and energized.

A show full of mastery where you let the songs do the talking, let the story bring people together, let the visual and sound effects create amazing vibes and let hits like ‘Fix You’ bring the audience in a singing unity.

Coldplay redefines the entire experience for music fans around the world by bringing a kind of fairy-tale magic to a music gig: large stunning quality screens, art work from flowers to amazing video’s, special effects, fireworks, flame jets, magnificent colorful decors, millions of butterfly confetti’s and gigantic rainbow color beach balloons.

Everyone was part of the show by their singing and dancing on the musical waves. 50,000 LED wristbands were distributed flashing and changing colors in full synchronicity of the music and video’s. The crowd was truly part of the show.

People in today’s troubled world are on a quest for their identity, in need for inspiration, in hope for serendipity (surprise), in finding a sense of community and in pursuit for mutual respect.

Making it so personable and engaged, Coldplay succeeded in shooting for the heart and keeping the audience’s full attention.

Playing a solo-number, Chris Martin introduced his next guitar song as one of his favourite songs ever by playing Formidable from the well-known Belgian artist Stromae. Wearing the Belgian flag on multiple occasions while injecting sentences in French and Dutch reminded us of our identity and our sense of community.

Coldplay opened their concert with a soundbite of Puccini: Gianni Schicchi, Act 1: O mio babbino caro to set our minds for what was coming.

The band managed the energy so carefully and made it personal. ‘You are looking great and we will play the best concert of our life’. ‘You see us, but we see you too. We observe every single one of you. You with the long black beard, you with the yellow dress, …”. They engaged with the audience as if they were talking to us and they got closer to each of us with their 3-stage podia.

They included sound bites from famous speeches that talk about the challenges and the opportunities of our world, like a clip of Muhammad Ali how each of us can influence for good, Charlie Chaplin’s final speech in The Great Dictator and an audio clip of Barack Obama singing ‘Amazing Grace”. A message of love, respect and peace for those troubled times. The whole concert became one of positive bites and vibes.

You, the people have the power. The power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. From the Final Speech in ‘The Great Dictator’

Coldplay put its fans at the heart, responding to the needs of the younger and older generations, and connecting the world as its playground to the people of today and tomorrow. With this mind-blowing career-spanning song selection to the flashing light show and audience engagement, Coldplay understands its music fans and is dedicated to giving them a fully immersive live act.

This emotional rollercoaster did what it had to do: leave you with A Head full of Dreams.

And for the record: the Ticketmaster.be Early Access tickets (105 Euros more than the normal tickets!) was not worth its money at all. Beyond a small bag with futile gifts the early access became access defined as ONLY 10’ before the main crowd entered. And this after sitting hours in advance in an encaged setting with 200 people being exposed to the heat and full sun (+33°). But Coldplay made us forget this trickery.

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Olivier Van Duüren

As international Public Speaker, Trend Sensemaker, Executive Whisperer and Author, I help businesses to take the pain out of their personal and business transformation, leaving them with a regained sense of spark.