ACL Music Fest Live Shots
Photo By Gary Miller


Zilker Park, Sept. 25

Coldplay doesn't quickly come to mind when confronted with scenes from the Old West: the landscape shrouded in a dust cape denser than fog, citizens wrapped in handkerchiefs with only tired eyes peaking out. After enduring the hottest day of the year, even Chris Martin was soaking through his black button-up. As X&Y opener "Square One" burst into its tumultuous chorus, so did the blazing light show. Then the Old West came full circle. After divvying out well-deserved props to Franz Ferdinand and Arcade Fire, the latter of whom was name-dropped in no fewer than three songs, Martin & Co. dove into a tribute to the Man in Black. While it's a little odd to hear "Ring of Fire" sung with a British accent, it's lovely to know that Coldplay respects its elders. "Yellow" became only one of myriad sing-alongs – "Speed of Sound," "In My Place," "Everything's Not Lost" – before Martin shimmied up scaffolding and teased the screaming crowd. Pausing only to apologize for the band's sweaty garments, Coldplay put on one of the best performances of the fest. It's safe to say that the biggest band in the world really is the new U2. With or without spurs.

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