Coldplay’s concert may have been titled “A Head Full of Dreams”—named after the British band’s latest album—but for the estimated crowd of 35,000 fans at the Mall of Asia concert grounds on Tuesday night, it was simply and utterly a dream come true.
Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland, Guy Berryman and Will Champion performed in front of their Filipino fans—comprised of millennials, couples, singletons, and even celebrities like Maine Mendoza, Alden Richards, Sarah Geronimo, Matteo Guidicelli, Marian Rivera, Dingdong Dantes, Julia Barretto, Angel Locsin, Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla, and Anne Curtis, among many others who set aside their stardom—for the first time since catapulting to fame in 2000.
“Sorry it took us 17 years to get here. We’ve been waiting till we have enough good songs to come to Manila,” Martin said in one of the lighter moments of the concert.
To say that they earned a string of hits through those years is an understatement. The band, formed by then University College London students Martin and Buckland, has sold over 90 million records from seven studio albums and numerous singles.
As such, it was no surprise that tickets to the Manila leg of Coldplay’s world tour sold out in just a little over 24 hours back in November 2016.
‘Best concert ever’
For those who lived their dreams of seeing and hearing Coldplay in the flesh, it was—to use the title of one of their best-selling records—“an adventure of a lifetime.”
The band opened the two-hour concert with the carrier single “A Head Full of Dreams,” from their latest album.
The upbeat tempo, pyrotechnics, lights, and the band’s surprise light-up wristbands set the mood for the entire show.
The crowd went crazy when they sang the first single that broke them into mainstream consciousness, “Yellow” (2000) from their debut album Parachutes.
“Magandang gabi, Manila!” screamed Martin at the end of the song, and the mammoth crowd responded with deafening cheers.
They then segued into “Every Tear Drop Is a Waterfall” as Martin waved the “love” flag that he has been carrying throughout Coldplay’s tour in support of the Love Button Global Movement.
Calming the crowd down with a slower beat, Martin sang the hit that arguably cemented their superstar status in “The Scientist” (2002) from the sophomore album A Rush of Blood to the Head.
In between catching his breath, the lead singer acknowledged, “At this point, I just want to say thank you to all of you who’ve come through the traffic and the ticket prices… from all of you here in the front who have been standing in sweat for hours and hours… and all of you there all the way from the back…”
“Look at that crowd, people, that’s how you do it,” he exclaimed.
“I hope you’re having a great time. We’re so happy to be here. It’s such a thrill, it’s such an honor, and I wanna thank everyone who has been so welcoming and so kind to us for just making us feel amazing.”
Martin reportedly biked around the concert grounds in the afternoon, catching fans by surprise before preparing for the concert.
In a single night, Coldplay proved that they can please both new and long time fans with a good mix of earlier and later hits.
The band played songs from their first three albums, during which time they were considered as an alternative rock music group. This set included “Don’t Panic” (2000), “Clocks” (2002), “In My Place” (2002), and “Viva La Vida” in between their current zesty pop and anthemic tunes like “Paradise,” “Magic,” “Hymn for the Weekend,” “Adventure of A Lifetime,” “Something Just Like This,” “Sky Full of Stars,” and “Up & Up.”
They also threw in David Bowie’s “Heroes,” among the 21 songs they played in the show, as a tribute to the late British music icon who passed away in 2016.
Moreover, Martin proved why he is one of the most adored front men of his generation. He had a masterful command of the stage as he ably emphasized the mood of every song. Just as easily, he enjoined his audience to dance, jump and raise their mobile phones whenever he asked them to.
As such, the charismatic musician impressively shifted audience’s mood from lively to melancholic like he did with “Everglow” [their tribute to Muhammad Ali who also passed away in 2016, and to a huge fan of Coldplay whom they call Ely]and “Fix You” [said to have been written for Martin’s ex-wife Gwyneth Paltrow when she lost his father in 2012].
The tributes did not end there as Martin shared with the audience how he met with Filipino fan Kenneth that Tuesday morning before the show. Kenneth is a huge Coldplay fan who was barred from watching the show because of his ongoing battle with Stage 4 cancer. He dedicated “Ink” to his new friend.
Coldplay’s was also a visual feast with pyrotechnics, bursts of confetti, lasers, stadium canons, and flame on stage.
The antics, including Martin’s impromptu song for the Philippines, made the audience feel special.
“I love Coldplay! It’s definitely worth the 17-year wait,” one fan exclaimed at the tailend of the concert.
“I cannot watch another concert after this one. No, I am not going to be as excited with any other concert after Coldplay,” a teary-eyed fan declared.
In ending, an overwhelmed Martin, speaking on behalf of his bandmates promised, “We’ll see you next time! Good night!”
And so another dream began for their fans in the Philippines.