Following a bumbled line during Coldplay’s climactic performance of “Fix You” at their free Madison Square Garden show on Monday, Chris Martin improvised a couplet to acknowledge his occasional lapse in memory: “Lyrics to old songs that you don’t know/And you embarrass yourself at MSG/But it doesn’t matter one bit, everyone got in for free.” At least one reviewer, The New York Times‘ Jon Caramanica, isn’t sure it was done on the fly. “On first blush it was a clever save. But you couldn’t avoid the creeping sensation that even this seemingly spontaneous trick was little more than a neatly executed, contrived stab at humility in a show measured to the last second.” Did Chris Martin actually plan his screw-up? Say it ain’t so, Chris! Check out video of the performance and decide for yourself.
His initial stumble happens a little before the one-minute mark, with the new lines coming at 1:40, to the delight of those actually paying attention.
Martin’s delivery doesn’t sound particularly poised, and the song is slow enough that he could plausibly have come up with that bit of self-mockery. If I’m going to be offended by anything in this performance, it’s his prancing, which starts at 2:35 and can also be seen at the beginning of this clip.
Now that’s inexcusable.