As night fell over Auckland, a kaleidoscope of colour filled Mt Smart Stadium as Coldplay kicked off their Head Full of Dreams tour, delighting more than 40,000 fans with a show full of fireworks, confetti and over-sized balloons.

The show, which marks the band's fifth visit to New Zealand since 2001, launched with an explosion of colour as special wristbands set the stadium alight and confetti rained down on the crowd.

Opening with title track A Head Full of Dreams, the band were quick to break out their classics, following up with Yellow and The Scientist, with Chris Martin bringing his trademark bounding energy to proceedings.

"This is show number 70 of our tour. As far as we're concerned that's 69 rehearsals for Auckland," he declared.

Anyone who has ever attended a Coldplay show will know the band's curious, almost magical, ability to evoke joy; to convert even the most world weary of cynics into fans.

But never has Coldplay been more joyful, or more bombastic, than on this tour. Listening to Paradise performed live (remixed to become the ultimate club super jam), suddenly the world doesn't seem such a terrible place anymore.

Even their most maudlin songs become lighter and more hopeful when performed live, as Martin bounces off his piano stool, encouraging everyone to sing along.

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And while the twinkling wristbands and swallow-shaped confetti can't help but delight, the band proved equally captivating just on their own, moving from the main stage to centre-field for a down tempo interlude.

Dedicating the haunting Everglow - with the lyrics "so if you love someone, you should let them know" - to the people of the South Island, the band delivered the night's most poignant moment, before Martin raced back to the main stage for the next explosive number.

And just when you thought you'd seen it all, Neil Finn arrived on stage as a special guest, performing the Crowded House classic Four Seasons in One Day.

After a year of doom, gloom and Donald Trump, Coldplay might just be the most effective antidote to 2016. A soothing shot of happiness.