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Last night: Coldplay covers Amy Winehouse at L.A. Tennis Center

August 4, 2011 |  9:19 am

Coldplay at the Tennis Center

For such a middle-of-the-road rock band, Coldplay sure is polarizing. To some, they're the catchiest, warmest, most comforting band on the planet, whose endlessly singable choruses, magnetic personalities and easy structures are a testament to the beauty of Shaker simplicity. To others, each lonely Chris Martin wail is an argument for punk rock in its most brutal form as a way to wash away the gooeyness. And for this latter group, there's no more fitting venue in the city for the band than the Los Angeles Tennis Center.

A performance to benefit the Grammy Foundation and sponsored by two phone companies (the coverage at the tennis club was great!), Coldplay gigged in Westwood on Wednesday in advance of its  Lollapalooza performance Friday in Chicago, and offered a set of its sing-along classics and new music from its forthcoming, as-yet-untitled fifth studio album -- as well as a cover of Amy Winehouse's "Rehab."

Coldplay performs at the LA Tennis Center

What was the crowd like? Late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel captured it perfectly when he jumped onstage to introduce the band for a forthcoming episode of "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (Coldplay was definitely multitasking the launch of the new album on Wednesday night): "There are a lot of white people here. It makes me nervous," he said, to huge laughter and applause from the Grammy supporters and lucky Coldplay fans who filled the outdoor stadium.

Click on for a snippet of "Rehab."


Conversation with Brian Eno

Amy Winehouse: An Appreciation

Coldplay releases synthy new "Every Teardrop is a Waterfall"

-- Randall Roberts

Images: Johnny Buckland and Chris Martin at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. Credit: Chris Pizzello / AP; Coldplay at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. Credit: Randall Roberts / Los Angeles Times