Coldplay Xyloband (Light Up Wristband) Reanimated By Concert Video, Comes Back To Life… “Is There Anybody Out There?”

So I was having dinner with a friend last night, telling her about Saturday’s Coldplay concert in San Jose (see “Coldplay at the HP Pavilion | San Jose, CA | 4/28/2012″).  I had mentioned that after the show, I met Jason Regler, the inventor of the “xylobands”, the wrist bands handed out to concert goers to wear during the performance, which are activated over RF signal to light up (and light up with different flashing patterns) for different songs, at different times during the concert.  These were first introduced for the “American Express Unstaged” concert in Madrid, which was directed by Anton Corbijn (see “Coldplay “Unstaged” at Plaza de Toros | Madrid, Spain | 10/26/2011″).  In any event, since my friend has never seen Coldplay in concert, I thought I’d send her a link to one of the videos I shot during one of those sequences, so she could see just how awesome these are when employed during a show.  That’s when a very strange thing happened, which I thought I’d share with the readers of the Rock Subculture Journal…

So I was going through my videos, trying to decide which one best conveys the experience of standing in a sea of multi-colored glowing wristbands, surrounded by 20,000 people…  so I was watching back a video I shot at the O2 arena in London this past December (see “Coldplay at the O2 Arena | London, England | 12/09/2011″), and, sitting on my couch watching the video on my laptop, one of the older xylobands from a concert months ago let out a quick red flash.  I have a number of them from a variety of shows in the past six months, but just the one (older one) flashed.  Funny enough, it did flash (barely), a couple of times when I came home from the San Jose show Saturday night (but, since it was a three hour drive, I actually arrived home at 3 am early Sunday morning).  But it was just a few brief flashes over maybe 10 seconds in total.  Today, playing back the “Hurts Like Heaven” opening song on video, it completely reactivated.

I thought that was odd, and maybe it had something to do with the pink new addition to the groupings of xylobands (which have evolved a bit since the original ones were produced for Madrid, which look kind of clunky compared with the new ones), but it was definitely triggered by the video (well, more likely the audio portion of the video).

Anyway, so I’m sitting here today, watching this video, and this one xylonband starts flashing…  the funny thing being it did so in sequence with how they activated during the concert (“Hurts Like Heaven” is their opening song, wherein, they first activate the xylobands, following the snippet of music from Back to the Future).

Below is the video that I was playing/watching when the xyloband came back to life:

Surprised by this, I set my laptop near it, grabbed my iPhone, restarted the video on my laptop, and videotaped the xyloband reacting to the concert performance…  below you can see the single xyloband flashing again (after many months)…

After I stopped the video, it stopped flashing.  Now it is not flashing at all, and sits dormant like the others.

So obviously I’m completely puzzled by this…

Why did it flash (faintly, just a few times) the night of the San Jose Coldplay concert (3 hours away by car)?

Did bringing home a new (pink and attractive) xyloband have anything to do with it?

Did my video of the London O2 performance record radio/RF waves???

Does the xyloband miss the excitement of Coldplay concerts, and sit dissatisfied in retirement?

Should I bring it with me to the next Coldplay concert I go to, out of sympathy for it longing to be part of the action again?

LOL  I have no idea, but I thought it was pretty cool, and videotaped it as I thought others might get a kick out of it.

If anyone has their own experiences with xylobands coming back to life, let me know.

I’ve now ascribed a personality to this one, and I’ll feel bad when it shorts out – who knows how much life it has left in it, or if something else might excite it and set it off again?

I don’t want to follow Death and all of his friends

And, in the end, we lie awake, and we dream of making our escape

Jason DeBord


  1. That is so funny!  LOL  I got 4 wristbands on Friday, from my “source,” after they ran out at the door.  You took the pink one, I had the green one, and also the 2 white ones.  The white ones didn’t work during the show. At 1:20am, after the show, one of the white ones started flashing.  Not in any rhythm, just flashing brightly.  So brightly I had to put it in one of the nightstand drawers at my hotel.  It continued to flash for the next TWENTY FOUR hours, eventually getting dimmer and dimmer, until the flashing stopped and it was just a solid led light.  Finally, it died all together – probably because the battery ran out. But so strange that it only started after the show.  Another friend had a theory – my hotel was not far from the band’s hotel.  I was told the inventor may have been tinkering with the bands, but I suppose I will never know…  I also shot a short video when it started flashing.  And another video about 8 hours later, and can see it slowing down.

    • Crazy!  I can see how maybe they’d still act “funny” in and around the show (thought that is really weird LOL), but this one is old, and it started right at that point in my video when they came on for the audience – it was so bizarre.  I feel bad for it now – it’s just sitting there lifeless like nothing ever happened…  but at least his spirit lives on via YouTube! 

  2. Simonleeprops says:

    batteries not included circa 2012!

  3. Amanda says:

    You’re both very lucky that you drove to the show vs. flying because something tells me your “funny” albeit very special (given the source) would cause many a fellow passenger alarm.  That is, if you even made it through TSA!

  4. My photo above was used (with permission) in a feature in an Austin American-Statesman article today about the technology supplied by Silicon Labs:

  5. :D my xloband bracelet start shining today, but i dont know why

  6. My xyloband from the Copenhagen concert acted all normal during the concert and “died” afterward. I brought it to the Hannover show, but it never started again. However, the xyloband I got in Hannover is a different story. It worked the complete opposite of ALL the others. When the other 49.999 bands were blinking (first few songs and at the end), mine was off……but in all the songs where they were all off, mine was having a party!!! And it didn’t stop!!!! We drove back to Copenhagen at midnight and arrived at 7AM, my xyloband still going strong! At 3pm, 18 hours after the show started, it stopped and never came back to life……

  7. Seriously ? You were the one who bought Blacky, Jonny B’s guitar?!!


  1. […] and foremost beautiful, and captures the magic of this tour and everything about it (including the awesome Xylobands created by Jason Regler).  Also cool are the behind-the-scenes bits that give further insights […]

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