And I honestly don't know why it's a problem for you that U2 chooses to meet the demand by playing bigger gigs. I don't know how many times we can go round and round with this, but here it is again: Coldplay can't even completely fill the arenas they play across the U.S. Arenas usually hold 40,000 or so, oftentimes less depending on the arena. How in the world can anyone expect them to get stadiums (which generally hold at least 50,000, if not way more than that) even 2/3 of the way full? Answer: they can't.
If Coldplay were really about "intense," "intimate" gigs, then how come they aren't playing smaller venues than arenas? I'm sure the fans would love to be closer to the band, and in my experience, the smallest venues generally provide the best show.