Seldom do foreign acts, mostly white singers or white bands, at the top of their game come to the Philippines to dazzle Filipino audiences.
If they do because of “insistent public demand,” as pitched by their local promoters, they demand sky-high talent fees and, the suckers that colonial-minded Filipino fans are, these visitors get what they want, and never mind if some of them had been accused of lip synching their way to a one-hour concert.
When, however, the careers of such acts are on the wane, they make a beeline for Manila and, lately, even Cebu.
The British band Coldplay is not among them yet but they are not as red-hot anymore even if they recently came up with their seventh long-playing album.
It was reported recently that the group will “finally” mount a gig at the SM Mall of Asia on April 4, 2017, the fifth stop of their current world tour.
This early, ticket prices for the 2017 concert had been announced: P22,500, VIP; P17,500, platinum; P12,500, gold; P7,500, silver; P3,500, bronze; and P1,800, general admission.
A VIP ticket, in these parts, can buy more than 10 sacks of rice and a general-admission ticket, at least one sack.
This is a fact that the Coldplay promoters probably chose to gloss over but it apparently would not stop them from selling concert tickets at such outrageous prices.
Besides, the masses are not the target of the promoter, Music Management International, but rather the upper middle-class (the middle-class probably would gave to forgo the usual middle-class fare for them to be able to save up enough for even a general-admission ticket).
With this discriminatory pricing, it would seem that Coldplay is a predatory, cold-hearted music makers that it apparently is not.
The band, whose lead singer Chris Martin was once married to Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow (if that adds anything to his credentials), supports advocacies of Oxfam and Amnesty International and there are not many foreign acts that lend a hand to causes that aim to make these troubled times safer for concert-goers, at least.
The problem is not Coldplay or Madonna, who sold out her two gigs in Manila last year, but the businessmen who know the Filipino fan probably better than Social Weather Stations or Pulse Asia.
They know that Madonna, for instance, was over the hill but they also know how gullible the local fan could be, that he could be cajoled into selling his mother for a ticket to a concert of this Italian-American, who is short on musical talent but long on packaging.
It’s not as hard to sell Coldplay, it’s not even necessary to market the group as a sexy British band (has anyone of them ever been “sexy,” Mick Jagger included?).
Probably, Martin and company have the right to charge an arm and a leg because, anyway, they are certified marquee performers who will just take to the stage, sing and pack up after getting their equally outrageous talent fee in dollars, of course.
Meanwhile, the ordinary Pepe and Pilar will have to make do with mediocre foreign or local performers because their measly school allowance can only take them several hundred meters short of the entrance to the ritzy mall where Coldplay will play.
Maybe, they can wait for the Alabama Shakers to come to town.