Coldplay kicked off its U.S. stadium tour with a colorful show that included fireworks, confetti and balloons, mixed with American pride, sympathy for France, moving words from Muhammad Ali and audio from President Barack Obama.
The British foursome led by Chris Martin performed for feverish fans Saturday at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. They started their two-hour show on a bright, high note — jamming onstage as fireworks burst to the sky — matching the glowing, multicolored wristbands fans received walking into the venue.
Martin worked the stage playfully throughout the night: He ran up the long aisle enthusiastically, rolled on the floor like a child, rocked on the guitar and crooned on the piano.
He held the American flag at one point while the audience roared, later putting it in his back pocket and keeping it there throughout the band's electrifying set, which included songs such as "Yellow," ''Speed of Sound," ''Viva la Vida" and "Fix You."
Martin even joked that he and his band mates — Jonny Buckland, Guy Berryman and Will Champion — may be moving to the U.S. following Britain's vote to exit the European Union.
"We'll probably be refugees here at some point," he said.
Though most of Coldplay's concert played like a lively dance party, there were serious moments onstage, too. They played audio of Obama famously singing "Amazing Grace" and showed video of the late Ali offering wise words during a 1977 interview in England.
Martin laid the flag of France across his piano during one song in tribute to the 84 people who died Thursday in a bloody truck rampage in Nice, France.
"It's a very confusing time to be alive," Martin said. "The only response is to send love and good thoughts."
The band went on to finish the night with a cherry, upbeat set. They covered David Bowie's "Heroes" and Tom Waits' "Jersey Girl," a song also covered by Bruce Springsteen. The latter performance earned roaring cheers from the audience, and Martin called The Boss "the greatest artist in my opinion."
Martin ended the night by kissing the American flag and placing a sign above it that read, "Love."
"We as a band want to thank you for coming out, not just tonight but for all the nights," he said toward the end of the show. "(And) for taking all the (expletive) you get for being into Coldplay."
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