Arenas & Sheds Concerts featured

Coldplay @ Verizon Center

Coldplay Perform at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON, DC - July 9th, 2012 - Coldplay perform as confetti cannons spray at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The band's 2011 album, Mylo Xyloto, reached number one in thirty countries. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson/For The Washington Post) (Kyle Gustafson/For The Washington Post)

Somehow I had never had the chance to shoot Coldplay until their recent show at the Verizon Center. I tried to get credentials a few years ago but they didn’t give credentials to blogs back then, oh well. I know the cool kids don’t like Coldplay at all but I was generally excited about covering this show. I watched some videos of the first few songs of the band’s current show and couldn’t wait to see how I fared during the confetti cannons during “In My Place.”

WASHINGTON, DC - July 9th, 2012 - Chris Martin of Coldplay performs at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The band's 2011 album, Mylo Xyloto, reached number one in thirty countries. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson/For The Washington Post) (Kyle Gustafson/For The Washington Post)

WASHINGTON, DC - July 9th, 2012 - Coldplay perform the first of two shows at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The band's 2011 album, Mylo Xyloto, reached number one in thirty countries. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson/For The Washington Post) (Kyle Gustafson/For The Washington Post)

Honestly it was a bit of sensory overload. The confetti is flying around EVERYWHERE and Chris Martin is running up and down the stage ramp jumping and twirling in the air…It’s a lot to keep track of. Plus, guitarist Jonny Buckland makes his way down the ramp during that song and the two of them end up at the end of the ramp together. So many things to keep track of!

WASHINGTON, DC - July 9th, 2012 - Coldplay perform as confetti cannons spray at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The band's 2011 album, Mylo Xyloto, reached number one in thirty countries. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson/For The Washington Post) (Kyle Gustafson/For The Washington Post)

WASHINGTON, DC - July 9th, 2012 - Chris Martin of Coldplay performs as confetti cannons spray at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The band's 2011 album, Mylo Xyloto, reached number one in thirty countries. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson/For The Washington Post) (Kyle Gustafson/For The Washington Post)

WASHINGTON, DC - July 9th, 2012 - Chris Martin of Coldplay performs at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The band's 2011 album, Mylo Xyloto, reached number one in thirty countries. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson/For The Washington Post) (Kyle Gustafson/For The Washington Post)

Songs 1 and 3 were a little less hectic, with Martin playing guitar and sticking mostly to the middle section of the stage. There was a bit of dancing around but that’s it.  Lights were better during the first song and very red in the third. Our photo restrictions were first three songs (I’m counting the opening medley of “Mylo Xyloto and “Hurts Like Heaven” as one song) and a restricted shooting area of the right side of the stage ramp out to the end of the platform. Lots of room to move around actually, but it was a bit hairy at the end of the ramp due to the lights hanging off the ramp. I would imagine quite a few people have bumped their heads trying to hurry back and forth.

WASHINGTON, DC - July 9th, 2012 - Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland of Coldplay perform at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The band's 2011 album, Mylo Xyloto, reached number one in thirty countries. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson/For The Washington Post) (Kyle Gustafson/For The Washington Post)
 The band was fantastic and was really concentrating on putting on a show, something I can definitely appreciate. I had a great time shooting this show. So much so that I wanted to come back on the second night and do it again, but alas, no photogs allowed on night #2. Fair enough. I also got a great photo to add to my “greatest misses” collection. My goal for this show as to get a kick-ass shot of Martin in mid air during one of his leaps, and I got it, but they pulled the spotlights off of him when he was jumping about (and it’s pretty obvious to see why – wouldn’t want him to get blinded in mid air and miss the landing on that narrow ramp) so this shot, while framed pretty well, doesn’t really work because of the lighting. So close! 

WASHINGTON, DC - July 9th, 2012 - Chris Martin of Coldplay performs at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The band's 2011 album, Mylo Xyloto, reached number one in thirty countries. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson/For The Washington Post) (Kyle Gustafson/For The Washington Post)

As I said earlier, this was a great show. I wish more arena shows were like this. Coldplay definitely gave it their all during this show and the fans reciprocated. It’s refreshing to see a band come out and perform for their fans, really give them their money’s worth. That’s how you build a career. 

WASHINGTON, DC - July 9th, 2012 - Chris Martin of Coldplay performs at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The band's 2011 album, Mylo Xyloto, reached number one in thirty countries. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson/For The Washington Post) (Kyle Gustafson/For The Washington Post)

WASHINGTON, DC - July 9th, 2012 - Coldplay perform as confetti cannons spray at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The band's 2011 album, Mylo Xyloto, reached number one in thirty countries. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson/For The Washington Post) (Kyle Gustafson/For The Washington Post)

Full photo set below. Click on any image to purchase prints.
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Coldplay @ Verizon Center – Images by Kyle Gustafson

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Joe Justice
    July 12, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Kyle, jut wanted to say these are fantastic images; I attended the following night, sadly sans camera. Completely stunning visuals – the confetti, the big balls, the 25,000 twinking writlights … not to mention the more standard stuff like lasers, varilights, flood lighting, strobes, huge projection video, etc. I fervently wished I had my D700 and a wideangle, even from my seat in the 211 section!

    Great work!

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