Coldplay's Chris Martin turned Mercury Lounge into his own private elevator last night when he performed a surprise solo show for Manhattan homeless shelter the Bowery Mission, and it happened to be the most mind-blowingly basic music experience in NYC history.

Before we go any further, we must establish a few things: 1. Performing for charity is always a good and honorable thing, and Martin is nothing if not a charitable musician who does a lot of good for people; 2. At some point in your life, you heard a Coldplay song softly strummed in the background of a commercial or a hotel lobby and you didn't run away, you actually lingered there a moment longer, because even the most vehement Coldplay-hater has one Coldplay song they secretly enjoy (FULL DISCLOSURE: mine is probably "God Put A Smile On Your Face" or "The Scientist," because nobody said it was easy to be alive); 3. Chris Martin loves Game Of Thrones, doesn't trash talk his exes, and generally seems to be a likable and well-adjusted human being and father.

HAVING SAID THAT. Let's say you are musician Chris Martin, the guy with a voice like fuzzy slippers who vacations with Jay Z. You are rich, you are successful, you wear a lot of bracelets, you are musically-talented (enough)—you can play any song you want for charity from any band you love (including your own). What do you choose?

Motherfucking "Yesterday."

You want to deliver a tribute to Leonard Cohen, awesome! Just don't play "Hallelujah." No one wants to hear yet another version of "Hallelujah." Pick literally any other Cohen song, it would be amazing. We know you can play other Cohen songs. Don't do it Chris. Don't do it.

God damnit.


"Amazing Grace?" Check.


"White Christmas?" Check plus.

I'm dreaming of... Chris Martin!!❤️ #swoon

A video posted by ..:ellen:.. (@ellen.hwang) on

Okay, you're gonna throw in a "wacky" and contemporary hip-hop cover to show you have range. That's your prerogative! Just pick something interesting, something..............you're gonna just play "Hotline Bling," aren't you? Sigh.

You also played David Bowie, Otis Redding and Prince covers? That sounds really interesting... oh, "Life On Mars?", "(Sitting On The) Dock Of The Bay" and "Purple Rain." How surprising. Tell me you at least pulled out a few Coldplay album tracks and gems... no, that was silly of me to suggest, I agree, just play "Fix You," "Yellow" and "A Sky Full Of Stars," that's fine, that'll do just fine.

I know none of this should be, or is, surprising. Chris Martin is a basically good person, and also the platonic ideal of basicness.

[h/t Stereogum]