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In defence of Chris Martin and Coldplay at the Super Bowl: It could be so much worse | One Herald
Home / Entertainment / In defence of Chris Martin and Coldplay at the Super Bowl: It could be so much worse

In defence of Chris Martin and Coldplay at the Super Bowl: It could be so much worse


OPINION

Super Bowl: Beyonce steals half-time show

Beyonce and Bruno Mars face off for the Super Bowl half-time show.

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So Coldplay were outshone by Beyonce and Bruno Mars in the Super Bowl half-time show. Well, smack my arse and call me Darryl, but was that ever in doubt?

Beyonce can out-dance, out-dress, out-cool, out-hip pretty much anyone on the planet. And Bruno Mars is a rather talented, mini-me Michael Jackson with the moves down pat and no English reserve/two left feet to overcome.

Beyonce, Coldplay singer Chris Martin, and Bruno Mars perform at the NFL Super Bowl on Sunday.

Beyonce, Coldplay singer Chris Martin, and Bruno Mars perform at the NFL Super Bowl on Sunday. Photo: AP

Put them next to Barack Obama or Pope Francis and B & B would still outshine them. Not by much, sure, especially if Obama did that little dance he put on for Ellen or Francis rocked the papal red slippers (or sent George Pell home on a slow boat) but enough.

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Put them next to just about any other performer, let alone four slightly dorky, somewhat gawky Londoners, three of whom have instruments to deal with, and it would be very hard to see beyond Beyonce. And this despite that great cultural commentator and music man, Andrew Bolt, saying of her that “Beyonce is no Wagner”.

Whether Bolt meant composer Richard, bionic woman Lindsey or swa-vey actor Robert was not clear but it’s a safe bet that none of them could do that Beyonce four-ways-to-the-chiropractor thing with their hips, or get suburban Australian racists talking about police action in New Orleans while also claiming they love Michael Jackson who at least knew how to behave. Well … let’s not go there.    

And tell me this, do you think Coldplay didn’t know very well that Beyonce and Bruno Mars, with their dancers and showbiz were going to take over and steal the limelight? And it didn’t worry them.

The cast-into-the-shadows situation though did open up a can of, if not worms then certainly some wriggly, slimy stuff that looks and tastes a lot like semi-solid bile that was then poured over the band and, especially, frontman Chris Martin.

It featured lots of p words: from pompous and preening, through pissweak and pusillanimous*, to painful and pathetic. Oh, yes, and “boring shit”.

Now I’ve been known to call Coldplay, at different times and about different songs or albums, limp, derivative, lyrically weak and naff. They are clean and earnest, eager to please and for all their attempt at a Rihanna-style song on one album or their friendship with Jay-Z – or maybe because of those – about as street-sharp and on-trend as a dancing Bill Shorten.

But watch them in concert and you’ll also see a band who know how to create a spectacle and then back it up with songs 60,000, 70,000 or 100,000 fans in the stadium can sing along with. Proper biggest band in the world, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Rolling Stones, ahem, Bon Jovi, style.

You know that thing Taylor Swift did on her recent tour with the wristbands for audience members that lit up during the show? Coldplay did that a few years ago. You know the songs Paradise, Fix You and Viva La Vida? Even if you said no, the chances are when they were sung in the half-time show, you recognised and maybe even hummed along with at least one of them. They weren’t hits by chance you know.

As for Chris Martin, whatever you say about his singing, his dancing, his songwriting, his marriage, his child-naming or whatever else gives you the irrits about him, let’s note a few things.

He hasn’t made a parallel career serial philandering and rampant fathering with young, old and then younger still, while making unlistenable solo albums, a la Mick Jagger. Or reconfigured his face, paid off potential lawsuits and drugged himself harder and more lethally than Keith Richards, a la the aforementioned M. Jackson.

He hasn’t turned into a knob who put the rest of the band on salaries and declared that he and his songwriting partner were all that mattered, a la the recently dead and latterly lauded Glen Frey of Eagles, a band once as universally loathed by the cool kids as Coldplay.

And he hasn’t come out for fox hunting, performed at birthday parties for former soviet bloc dictators, made songs with Will.i.am or appeared on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. Instead he and his band have given millions to charity, promoted fair trade, made a fair few people happy, annoyed some critics and been in every sense the anti-Shane Warne.

Ok, there was that Rihanna song, but on balance, there are far, far worse things in the world than Coldplay playing 12 minutes at half-time in a football game.

*Actually, it’s unlikely any online trolls or lifestyle media commentators have ever heard of, let alone used, pusillanimous. Consider this a gift for their next round of vitriol. 



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