Coldplay in Manila 17 years worth the wait
MANILA — In the year 2000, the British pop-rock band Coldplay announced its arrival in the global music scene with its critically acclaimed and bestselling debut album, “Parachutes.” But it wasn’t until last Tuesday night that Filipino fans finally got to experience the group’s music live, on local soil.
The reason for the lengthy delay? It was just that, the frontman Chris Martin jested, “the group has been rehearsing all this time.”
“Sorry for making you all wait for 17 years. Lots of people were asking why it took us a long time to visit your beautiful country,” the 40-year-old singer-songwriter said to a raucous mix of cheers and laughter. “We have been waiting, so we would have enough good songs.”
The group did arrive armed with ample great music — and then some.
Coldplay made sure to make the show worth the wait, by delivering a two-hour musical and visual spectacle at the SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds: Beams of colorful laser pierced through the air; pyrotechnics lit up the night sky; thick confetti rained down; and with each song, the crowd responded with deafening roars.
In the middle of it all was the man of the night, Martin, indefatigably singing, dancing and playing instruments.
The much anticipated, one-night concert was part of the Asian leg of Coldplay’s “A Head Full of Dreams” tour, which kicked off in March last year, in support of Coldplay’s seventh album of the same title. Tickets to the gig ranged from P22,500 for a coveted spot at the VIP section, to P1,800 for general admission.
Gates were scheduled to open at 5 p.m. But, as expected, fans started trickling in way earlier — not a few people were already camped at the venue’s perimeter as early as 12 noon. Among the local celebrities spotted at the concert were Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Guidicelli, Maine Mendoza, Alden Richards, Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo.
Security was strict, with some 500 uniformed policemen reportedly deployed inside and outside the venue. The concert organizers had also released an extensive list of prohibited things, which included illegal substances, professional video and audio equipment, big bags, and selfie sticks.
After the show’s front act, the Australian singer-songwriter Jess Kent, sang her final number, Coldplay — also composed of guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman, and drummer Will Champion — finally emerged onstage past 9 p.m.
Utilizing the venue’s three-stage setup, Coldplay dished out a packed set list of more than 20 songs, culled from the band’s early and more recent work: “Yellow” from “Parachutes”; “The Scientist” from “A Rush of Blood to the Head” (2002); “Fix You” from “X&Y” (2005); “Everglow” from “A Head Full of Dreams” (2015); and “Something Just Like This” (2017), a collaboration with the electronic dance music duo The Chainsmokers.
Martin likewise dedicated the song “Ink” from the album “Ghost Stories,” to the cancer-stricken avid fan, Ken Valiant Santiago, whom he visited earlier that day at the hospital.
“We’re so happy to be here. It’s such a thrill and honor, and so I want to thank everyone for being so welcoming and kind to us, and making us feel so amazing,” related Martin, who whipped up an impromptu song dedicated to Manila — some of whose lines went: “The crowd’s such a thrilla’ / No filla’”
Toward the end of the show, which was mounted by MMI Live, Martin vowed to return to the country someday. And hopefully, for the fans, it doesn’t take them another 17 years. SFM