Suvarna Garge (Editor)

A Rush of Blood to the Head Tour

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A Rush of Blood to the Head Tour
Associated album  A Rush of Blood to the Head
Start date  21 January 2003 (2003-01-21) (official tour) 19 June 2002 (2002-06-19) (including 2002 shows)
End date  8 September 2003 (2003-09-08)
Legs  5 (official) 10 (including 2002)
No. of shows  70 (official) 126 (including 2002)

A Rush of Blood to the Head Tour was a global concert tour by Coldplay launched in support of the band's second album, A Rush of Blood to the Head. Officially, the tour ran for almost nine months in 2003, covering five continents in the process. In 2002, Coldplay also performed a series of concerts in Europe and North America to support the album. However, these shows were not advertised as being part of the official album tour. The tour DVD Coldplay Live 2003 was shot at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney, Australia on 21 and 22 July 2003. Supporting acts for the tour included extended appearances by Idlewild and Ash in 2002 and Feeder, The Music, Eisley, and Ron Sexsmith in 2003.



Overall, Coldplay's concerts during this period showcased its progression as a bona fide live act. The band began playing more shows in arenas and amphitheatres, moving away from the club venues that dominated earlier tours. Shows also had more elaborate stage and lighting effects. For example, strobe lighting for the song "Daylight" featured the image of a rotating sun superimposed over the stage. Taking a cue from U2's Elevation Tour and Nine Inch Nails' Fragility Tour, Coldplay also adopted a series of back screens that displayed video footage of each band member simultaneously.

Other highlights included:

  • Lead singer Chris Martin sang with Ron Sexsmith on the track, "Gold in Them Hills" during the headline set.
  • An ambient, instrumental introduction before the start of "Politik" for every show. This can particularly be heard on the Live 2003 DVD. Note: Not the same as the Brian Eno introduction sometimes used before this intro.
  • Guitarist Jonny Buckland regularly played a harmonica solo on the track "Don't Panic". He tossed the harmonica into the crowd after the solo's completion. Buckland also performed an original electric guitar introduction for the track.
  • The aforementioned back screens were unfurled mid-concert, usually during the beginning of "One I Love".
  • At some shows, Martin sang lyrics after inhaling from a helium balloon.
  • Martin usually wore a Make Trade Fair T-shirt during 2002 shows to promote the Oxfam campaign. Make Trade Fair booths were present at venues, where concert-goers could sign petitions and learn about the campaign's objectives.
  • An specially created, ambient introduction for "Yellow", featuring a dark and gloomy tone. Martin sings the lyrics, "Your skin... Oh-oh-oh..." during the introduction, which afterwards leads to the regular start of the song.
  • Setlist

    The 2002 shows contained a rough 50/50 split in material from Parachutes and A Rush of Blood to the Head. The official tour in 2003 focused on songs from the second album, as well as many unreleased tracks. For example, the future Live 2003 song "Moses" and "Fix You" B-side "Pour Me" were introduced during the tour. Other new songs included future X&Y b-sides, "Gravity" & "Proof", "The World Turns Upside Down", which would later become a completely different song called "The World's Turned Upside Down" as another b-side to "Fix You", and an unreleased piano ballad called "Ladder to the Sun".

    Coldplay also made a habit of covering other artists on the tour, often as outros to their own songs. Covers ranged from a tongue-in-cheek excerpt of Avril Lavigne's "Sk8er Boi" to the Louis Armstrong classic "What a Wonderful World". Coldplay also regularly covered Echo & the Bunnymen's "Lips Like Sugar" in its entirety, in homage of Bunnymen frontman Ian McCulloch's role as a mentor during the recording of A Rush of Blood to the Head.

    The musical introduction to the concert featured selections from Brian Eno's Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks.

    The following is a sample setlist, taken from a concert in Hordern Pavilion, Sydney, Australia on 21 July 2003, that is part of the Live 2003 DVD.

    Main set

    1. "Politik"
    2. "God Put a Smile upon Your Face"
    3. "A Rush of Blood to the Head"
    4. "Daylight"
    5. "Trouble"
    6. "One I Love"
    7. "Don't Panic"
    8. "Shiver"
    9. "See You Soon"
    10. "Everything's Not Lost"
    11. "Moses"
    12. "Yellow"
    13. "The Scientist"

    Encore 1

    1. "Clocks"
    2. "In My Place"
    3. "Amsterdam"

    Encore 2

    1. "Life Is for Living"


    A Rush of Blood to the Head Tour Wikipedia