Rating: 3.5 stars
“It’s exciting when you’re 15 and you throw a party and people come,” Chris Martin says during Live 2012, “so imagine what it’s like, on a daily basis, to have 20,000 people coming.” Equal parts concert film and tour documentary, Live 2012 shows you exactly what that’s like. Directed by Paul Dugdale, it captures Coldplay’s sold-out Mylo Xyloto tour with stunning shots, from black-and-white candids of the guys backstage to vibrant footage of their paint-splattered, confetti-covered stage show. There’s one scene where the boys finish their encore, leave the venue before the applause dies out, and check into a hotel twenty minutes later. Each bandmate gets his own room, and it looks uncomfortably different — small, solitary, sanitary — from the messy stage they occupied just a half hour before. Minutes later, the camera switches back to a slow-motion clip of Martin leaping across a stadium’s stage, his hands outstretched, while canons shoot streams of colored paper into the air. Those are the two extremes of Coldplay’s life on the road, and Dugdale pays attention to both, balancing anthemic performances of “Clocks,” “Hurts Like Heaven,” and “Charlie Brown” with offstage interviews and voiceovers. The highlight: a gorgeous, imperfect performance of “Up In Flames,” shot in stark B&W and gradually illuminated by full-color footage.