Coldplay’s Request Segment: What We Want to Hear

(Photo courtesy of Wikimedia user Madchester)

Coldplay has just wrapped the Latin American leg of their massive A Head Full of Dreams tour, where they implemented a new feature for their live show: a song request segment fueled by fan’s Instagram videos. Prior to each night’s performance, the band asks fans to film themselves requesting a song along with a reason why they want to see it live. The “winning” entry then gets their video played on Coldplay’s jumboscreens before the coveted live performance. Some deep cuts from across Coldplay’s career have been selected as requested songs, with tracks such as “A Rush of Blood to the Head”, “Don’t Panic”, and “A Message” all seeing the light of day again thanks to the segment. As Coldplay takes a short break before embarking on the European and US legs of their tour, we check out some songs that should also get request treatment:


“Amsterdam” is a track that’s stereotypically Coldplay: a slow burning piano ballad that builds up to an emotional final verse that features the whole band. Though it is relatively unknown when compared to A Rush of Blood to the Head singles like “Clocks” and “The Scientist”, “Amsterdam” is a fan favorite amongst Coldplay die-hards and would make for a highly memorable moment if chosen as a request.



Considering they have bought back tracks like “Shiver”, “Don’t Panic”, and “Parachutes” throughout their Latin American run, it seems Coldplay lean towards cuts from their debut album Parachutes when choosing each night’s song request. “Sparks” seems like it could be a likely request song at some point on AHFOD tour. Parachutes has been around long enough that most concert attendees would be familiar with any song off the album, while the simplicity of “Sparks”’ lyrics and instrumentals would allow Coldplay to easily relearn the song before it’s time to perform.

Lovers in Japan

A staple of the past two Coldplay tours, “Lovers in Japan” has been left off the AHFOD setlist, leaving “Viva la Vida” as the only song remaining from 2008’s Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends. “Lovers” may have rightfully run it’s course for regular performance, but that doesn’t mean the song can’t be bought back as a request every now and then. It’s worth noticing the song’s gorgeous acoustic version. Coldplay tend to perform requested songs during the stripped-down “C-stage” portion of their concerts, where they venture into a section of the crowd that’s set up with a few guitars, a piano, and a drum machine. A performance of the acoustic “Lovers” would be a roundabout way of bringing the song back without returning to the original version that many fans have already seen live.

Swallowed in the Sea

Before Coldplay embarked on their Latin American tour, someone slapped together a fake “official” setlist for the tour that resulted in a lot of crushed hopes and dreams. Though the setlist seemed pretty fake from the get-go, I wanted so badly to believe it was real since it included “Swallowed in the Sea” as part of Coldplay’s regular set. “Swallowed in the Sea” has always ranked among my favorite Coldplay tracks, so it stung a bit when that setlist was proven to be fake after all. My only hope of seeing “Swallowed in the Sea” now is through the request segment, where it would most definitely be a great fit. A C-stage performance would be perfect for “Swallowed in the Sea”, as the song’s relaxing, simple melody and stunning buildup would pair beautifully with the more chilled-out and informal vibe of the C-stage.

True Love

Coldplay’s tour for A Head Full of Dreams is technically the first time the band will be touring material from 2014’s Ghost Stories as well, since Coldplay chose to forgo an international tour in exchange for working on AHFOD instead. Just under half of the Ghost Stories tracklisting is represented in the current Head Full of Dreams tour setlist, but one notable absence is “True Love”. Despite Coldplay frontman Chris Martin once declaring the song the band’s “most favorite song ever written” (granted, he’s said this about quite a few Coldplay songs), “True Love” has yet to be performed outside of the handful of intimate shows Coldplay performed in support of Ghost Stories. “True Love” may not fit the bombastic light show a Coldplay concert has become known for, but the song’s heavy Timbaland-crafted beat coupled with delicate synths and a straining guitar outro would nicely contrast the high energy found throughout the rest of the set.

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