Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion, Guy Berryman (and Phil Harvey) have been on top of their game ever since they introduced themselves to the world in 1996.
From their humble emergence as Starfish to breaking ground as Coldplay, even revealing their alter ego Los Unidades, whatever persona they have chosen to embody, they always create a certain sound that is loved by different generations.
While they were already coming out with chart-topping songs in 2000, it wasn’t until 2008 when they took things to another level.
With the release of their album Viva La Vida, the four-member British rock band took their creativity a step further through their clothing.
Viva La Vida, or Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, takes inspiration from the French Revolution. It is also the band’s way of “putting symbolic objects in their art to capture some of life’s more absolute truths” says an MTV article.
That era was also when Coldplay started to reflect their music visually, in this case, choosing the nouveau French revolutionary look as their uniform throughout the Viva La Vida experience.
In the same story, Chris revealed their intention to do so was to give importance to change.
“…because it keeps us really hungry and excited, and we always sort of felt we never deserved the job we got given, so we’re always trying to improve and validate our position,” the lead singer said.
In 2011, they released Mylo Xyloto with its vibrant spray paint, graffiti theme.
The general theme for this album is “freedom from oppression and the power of creativity” and also “love conquering all.”
There are comic books included in this album and that’s really the only way one can decipher Mylo Xyloto’s theme.
While the overall theme of Viva La Vida was evident in what they wore, they downplayed their costumes for Mylo Xyloto and focused on the set design instead.
Still, with the extravagant stage and the little details on their shirts, pants, guitars and, for Chris, the drawings on his hands, the combination was not short of extraordinary.
Lowkey yet meaningful
For the Ghost Stories (2014) tour, the band opted for an intimate concert with only nine shows in lowkey venues.
Their outfits for this tour were quite casual as well, but this was also the time Chris started wearing the Love Button.
It is from the nonprofit organization of the same name as part of a global movement that aims to “ignite a global conversation in healing our world,” according to lovebutton.org.
Repetitive leaves a mark
Similar to Mylo Xyloto, the era of A Head Full of Dreams (AHFOD) (2015) played with a lot of hues.
Bouncing back from their solemn Ghost Stories tour, AHFOD tour went global with the Philippines landing a spot on 4 April 2017.
Coldplay’s tour outfits were unpretentious during this period but significant was Chris’ cycle of wearing the same white long-sleeved shirt under a purple t-shirt that sometimes had the kaleidoscopic insignia of AHFOD on them, the Love Button, black pants and
high-cut sneakers to almost all the shows that he appeared on to promote the album.
They really focused on the set design to show their statement and the overall theme of the album.
Highlighting things that don’t make sense
Everyday Life (2019) was the complete opposite of AHFOD, concept-wise.
For one, its concept was gray with hints of gold. Another was they didn’t have a world tour.
Everyday Life tackles aspects of poverty, touching base with talks of gun violence, discrimination, police brutality, parental abandonment and religion.
“Everyday Life is our reaction to the perceived negativity that’s everywhere. And there is a lot of trouble, but there’s also so much positivity and so much great life happening. So in a way, it’s just trying to make sense of things, saying what we feel and what we see,” Chris said during his interview with BBC Radio 1’s Future Sounds.
The reason they didn’t hold a global tour was to cut back on carbon footprint and the negative impact of live shows to the environment.
Still, they were able to showcase the album’s tracks at London Natural History Museum, with their instruments carrying sun and moon logos that adheres to the album.
‘Everyone is an alien somewhere’
It has not been released yet but it’s already evident what the theme of Music of the Spheres (MOTS) (2021) is — aliens and outer space.
The band highlights the phrase “Everyone is an alien somewhere” and that, despite everyone’s differences, music is the binding aspect.
While the album will only be coming out today (15 October), Coldplay already held a live performance of their old and new songs at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London, England.
Similar to their previous live performances, their outfits were simple but their shirts, jackets, belts and pants all bore different prints and symbols pertaining to the theme.