June 15, 2022

Photos: Coldplay dazzles Tampa's Raymond James Stadium on 'Music of the Spheres' tour

Photos: Coldplay dazzles Tampa's Raymond James Stadium on 'Music of the Spheres' tour
Photo by Phil DeSimone
Wrapping up the U.S. leg of its worldwide Music of the Spheres tour, Coldplay drew thousands of fans to Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium Tuesday night.

And while the show was a spectacle, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin had something very important on his mind. Two years ago, he told BBC News, “We’ve done a lot of big tours at this point. How do we turn it around so it’s not so much taking as giving?”

After two years of planning, Coldplay found a way to cut CO2 emissions by 50% compared to its last tour in 2016. This time the alt-rock band turned to concert-goers for renewable energy to fuel their shows in its most sustainable tour yet. In fact, Coldplay pledged that for every ticket they would plant a tree in California, The Andes, Brazil, Romania or Haiti, supporting reforestation on a global scale.

Fans were given compostable wristbands as they trickled into the stadium. As everyone settled in, the band’s mission to go cleaner and greener was evident, with kinetic tiles all throughout the general admission floor and stationary power bikes which would help power one of the stages for the next show. Energy was literally being harnessed from those in attendance.

Attendees were also encouraged to download an app which featured a carbon footprint calculator.
Photos: Coldplay dazzles Tampa's Raymond James Stadium on 'Music of the Spheres' tour
Photo by Phil DeSimone

Opening acts for the Grammy Award winning band were Gigi and sensational guitarist-songwriter H.E.R. Dressed in her signature round shades and long curly hair, H.E.R. performed original hits like “Best Part” and “Hard Place,” all the while switching from guitar, drums and piano. She even covered the classic, “Are You Gonna Go My Way”, which she recently performed with Lenny Kravitz himself at the Grammys.

Working its way to the stage Coldplay transported the stadium into a cosmic frenzy with intergalactic backdrops and stereo-mixed beats over the PA. As they walked through the crowd, Martin and his bandmates—Guy Berryman, Will Champion and Jonny Buckland—made a humble entrance giving fans a warm hello from the floor.

The wristbands lit up in red, prompting a roar from the crowd which realized it was now part of the show. Thousands of people turned into pixels as the production team created images and swirls of color through the wristbands as the band kicked off the two-hour set with “Higher Power.” Fireworks went off in the background and there was no longer a crowd, just a sea of lights flashing in different colors. “This is gonna be the best Tuesday night of our lives,” Martin declared.

And that it was.

Coldplay classics, “Adventure of a Lifetime”, “Paradise”, and “Viva La Vida” were performed, each track just as memorable as the last. Getting into cuts from its latest, and ninth, studio album, Music of the Spheres, Coldplay performed its latest hit, the BTS collab “My Universe.”

H.E.R. even joined in on “Let Somebody Go.” Angel Moon from the puppet band The Weirdos also appeared for a couple of songs.

“Fix You'' was the pinnacle of the catharsis, with the stadium illuminated in deep yellow as Martin sang, “lights will guide you home, and ignite your bones, and I will try to fix you!” The singalong was pure magic, and Martin responded with, “How amazing humans can be when they sing together and dance together.”

And while Martin was locked into the oneness of everyone—even doing part of "Something Just Like You" in sign language—he let a few individuals get some shine by composing a Tampa jingle about Tom Brady and the Bucs, plus letting someone propose on stage while playing Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You". 
Scroll down to view images

Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

At a time when local-based reporting is critical, support from our readers is essential to our future.


Photos: Coldplay dazzles Tampa's Raymond James Stadium on 'Music of the Spheres' tour
Photo by Phil DeSimone
Photos: Coldplay dazzles Tampa's Raymond James Stadium on 'Music of the Spheres' tour
Photo by Phil DeSimone
Photos: Coldplay dazzles Tampa's Raymond James Stadium on 'Music of the Spheres' tour
Photo by Phil DeSimone
Photos: Coldplay dazzles Tampa's Raymond James Stadium on 'Music of the Spheres' tour
Photo by Phil DeSimone
Photos: Coldplay dazzles Tampa's Raymond James Stadium on 'Music of the Spheres' tour
Photo by Phil DeSimone

Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

At a time when local-based reporting is critical, support from our readers is essential to our future.