Aug 12, 2005
Volume 33
Issue 32

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Where It's At
Coldplay lands at White River Amphitheatre, Natalie MacMaster fiddles at Marymoor Park
by Albert Rodriguez and Lorelei Quenzer SGN A&E Writers


Tuesday, August 16 - 8:00 p.m. White River Amphitheatre - Tix through Ticketmaster / $34.75 (lawn), $48.75 and $69.25 (general admission floor)

When 2005 comes to a close, it would have been a banner year for British rock group Coldplay. The quartet's third album X & Y has sold two million copies in the US alone since its June 7 release. They earned four MTV VMA nods two weeks ago, were listed among the finalists for the UK's prestigious Mercury Music Prize last month and are shoo-ins for Grammy nominations when they're announced in December. They'll likely vie for Album, Record and Song of the Year.

What's the fuss about? First and foremost, the sound. Coldplay's music is deep, melodic and gorgeously arranged. It's like a rock symphony. The fast songs are emotional and inspiring, the ballads are lyrically astounding and atmospheric. One song is enough to reel you in. Second, there's the fact that Coldplay has been billed the next U2. And with three critically acclaimed recordings under their belt and a worldwide audience paying top price for their shows, it can be said that they're right on the Irishmen's heels. Third, these boys are hot. Lead singer Chris Martin, husband to Hollywood A-lister Gwyneth Paltrow, is responsible for increasing heart rates among Gay men of all ages. My personal fantasy with Chris Martin includes an English castle in the countryside, a vacant classroom, he dressed in teacher's clothes, I in a student's outfit, a big unoccupied desk and a lot of ooohing and ahhing. Strangley, Gwyneth is away on holiday.

Lastly, Coldplay's stateside and global success is largely attributed to high praise from critics, who've devoured the ensemble's previous standout CDs Parachutes and A Rush of Blood to the Head (SGN's Top Ten Albums/CDs of 2002). Both offerings garnered Grammy Awards in the Best Alternative Music Album category, and the single "Clocks" was the surprise Record of the Year winner a couple years back. The accolades double as soon as you cross the pond. The UK music industry has showered Coldplay with a variety of honors, including Brit Awards for Best British Album (A Rush of Blood to the Head) and Best British Group.

Coldplay returns to the Seattle area for the first time since headlining 2003's Sasquatch Music Festival at the Gorge. They perform at the White River Amphitheatre on Tuesday night for what will be one of this summer's most memorable concert experiences. Sure things on the set list are "Speed of Sound." "Fix You," "What If" and "Twisted Logic." But expect to also hear "Politik," "Clocks," "Don't Panic," "Shiver" and two huge hits in their portfolio, "The Scientist" and "Yellow." I'm crossing my fingers for "White Shadows" and "The Hardest Part" off the new CD. Driving directions and details for the venue can be found at A free shuttle, for those wanting a no-hassle entrance and exit to the show, is available at the SuperMall parking lot in Auburn.

A. Rodriguez

Pre-concert CD recommendations: Parachutes, A Rush of Blood to the Head and X & Y, featuring "Speed of Sound", "Fix You" and "The Hardest Part."

Natalie MacMaster

Saturday, August 13 - 7:00 p.m.

Marymoor Park - Tix through or at the gate /$20 (general admission, lawn), $29.50 (reserved seating)

Grammy-nominated Natalie MacMaster, who packed McCaw Hall at last year's Bumbershoot, is back in the Seattle area, this time playing to the picnicking set at Marymoor Park. MacMaster is well known - among fans of Celtic music, at any rate - for popularizing the fiddling style of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. All right, so that's a pretty gender-specific kind of fame, but most folkies (that's fans of folk music), especially Irish folkies, know that MacMaster's fiddling kicks major ass.

MacMaster isn't just a must-see for the folk and fiddle crowd. (Oh my, I just conjured up an image of Birkenstocks, gauzy skirts and, oddly enough, corduroy vests. Sorry.) I personally think her energy and exuberance have a more universal appeal. She's shared the stage with luminaries from all walks of music, including Carlos Santana, Faith Hill, Paul Simon and Luciano Pavarotti. Of course, she's also opened for people you'd expect, like Alison Krauss and The Chieftains. Her full band, which includes guitar, piano, bass, drums, pipes and whistles, and a banjo, is sure to put a smile on your face and a jig in your, uh, jig. Remember: Marymoor Park will let you bring in your cooler, but you'll need to buy your alcohol at the beer & wine court. Of course, you could also grab a bite from one of the vendors. The ice cream stand is sure to be popular before the sun sets.

L. Quenzer

Pre-concert CD recommendation: the bluegrass-tinged Blueprint, featuring "Appropriate Dipstick," "Eternal Friendship" and "Bela's Tune."
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