Coldplay - Live 2012

After five studio albums, more than a decade's worth of live performances and the challenges of maintaining critical relevancy in an era of flavor-of-the-moment fleeting fandom (and increasingly short attention spans), Coldplay continues to soldier on. Worldwide tour on the heels of 2011's Mylo Xyloto found the stadiums and arenas packed and the disciples hanging on every word and note though we have to wonder if the gadgetry and bombast (the Xyloband wrist bands, laser light show, confetti) are more about the spectacle than the music. But, hey -- it's 2012, not 1972. The bigger question is can a band that staked it's reputation on melodic, un-ironic grand-pop music deemed heartfelt and sincere connect amidst the mayhem, the endless crowd sing-a-longs and the accepted stage posing ("You're incredible, thank YOU!"). Well, one answer would be yes, absolutely. At some point the music celebrity stratosphere only accepts so many applicants -- and Coldplay, bless their earnest little hearts, are in that realm. Like it or not, the stakes are higher, the approach simply has to be bigger and slicker. Impressive new DVD film Live 2012 (November 20, Capitol), directed by Paul Dugdale (Adele Live @ Royal Albert Hall) gets the sights, sounds and backstage conversations right, bringing the viewer into the moment without distracting gimmickry or pretense. And the music's pretty good, too. Watch the "Paradise" video below...

Coldplay - "Paradise" (from Live 2012)

Coldplay - "Us Against the World" (excerpt) (from Live 2012)