Knowing how us Brits like to kick a man when he's up, Messrs Martin, Berryman, Champion and Buckland must have been wishing for a few heavy suits of armour as they faced the public, over the past weeks. Even the most self-assured man would have been preparing for at least a modicum of a backlash. But the battering never came. Emerging unscathed and indeed revelling in the glorified aftermath of No 1 chart success, Glastonbury and Live 8, this, the final leg of their UK tour must feel like child's play.
From the minute they bounded on stage, and as the audience lip-synched faultlessly through "Square 1", "Speed of Sound" and "Talk", it became apparent the results in this stadium tonight were a foregone conclusion. Martin with his newfound confidence, could have crooned a maudlin cover of Russ Abbot's "What an Atmosphere", and still had the 30,000 strong audience eating out of his hands."Yellow", as ever, rocked as solidly as any anthem should, but this time it was relegated to an early slot, giving top billing to new material and old favourites such as "Everything's Not Lost" and "Don't Panic".
Spectacular visuals, fireworks and rock riffs of U2 proportions had the devotees clapping and screaming in unnerving "Radio Gaga" stylee. Unassuming Martin, on the other hand, managed to erase any godlike persona his surrounds lent him, by pouring forth a multitude of down-to-earth Denise Van Outen, and "baldness" wise-cracks.
Coldplay are not the boys we once knew. Tonight the fire was burning larger than ever and one mother of a phoenix had risen. Johnny Buckland launched into a hyper enthused, front of stage guitar solo, Will Champion momentarily ditched his drums for a keyboard, Martin was a stranger to humility and even Guy Berryman slide out from behind his instrument and had a dabble on the mouth organ.
And as the lights came down on an ethereal "Fix You", the fab four took a bow and departed leaving a stunned and beaming audience. Not a flat "back of the neck" hair in the house, except that is from a few old timers who reminisced of days gone by and Martin's fumbled apologies, a lonesome guitar riff, and a venue small enough to warrant only one front door.