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Coldplay turns Philippine Arena into a beautiful universe of its own

MANILA, Philippines, January 24 ------ Imagine floating along with the planets, stars, moons, and other celestial bodies in the universe, with your earphones on, and dreamily listening to Coldplay hits on your playlist. Well, sticking to the space-themed concept of its ninth studio album and the title of its world tour, Music of the Spheres, the British rock band turned the Philippine Arena in Bulacan into a massive sing-along cosmic space filled with a fascinating display of lights, pyrotechnics, balloons, inflatable planets, and confetti showers.


Presented by Live Nation Philippines, Coldplay was in the country for the two-night Manila leg of its Music of the Spheres tour last Friday and Saturday. The Philippine STAR attended the first night and witnessed how the group magically transformed the arena into a universe of its own and captured the hearts of the audiences with spellbinding performances. Before going into the venue, the concert-goers were handed with L.E.D. wristbands and a love pin button. The attendees were requested to return the plant-based wristbands made from compostable materials. The wristband recycling leaderboard showed Manila, Philippines had the lowest return rate of 87 percent on Day 1 as compared to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with 90 percent; Copenhagen, Denmark with 96 percent; and Tokyo, Japan with 97 percent. Being the eco-friendly band that they are, they explained in a video that the show was powered by renewable energy. Coldplay charged their show batteries with solar, wind and other green energy and also used power bikes and kinetic floors to power up the show. The rock group also used renewable fuel for its freight, transport and air travel wherever possible. It also supports reforestation, ocean clean-up conservation, rewilding and soil restoration, direct air carbon capture, green and clean tech, environmental law, and other advocacies.


After the video presentation of its environmental sustainability advocacy, the lights went out, then one by one, bassist Guy Berryman, guitarist Jonny Buckland, drummer Will Champion and vocalist and pianist Chris Martin walked toward the center stage and assumed their respective posts. The wristbands lit up in red, white and blue colors, Chris counted in three, two, one, and there went the first song of the night, Higher Power, from the Music of the Spheres album, followed by Adventure of a Lifetime and Paradise. In between singing The Scientist from the previous album A Rush of Blood to the Head, Chris expressed his gratitude to the fans in Taglish, saying, “Maraming, maraming salamat. Magandang gabi po sa inyong lahat. Masaya kaming makabalik sa Filipinas. Thank you for speaking Taglish with me.” “So happy to be here. So grateful. And ang ganda niyong lahat. You look very beautiful,” he added.


The English singer-songwriter promised to “give the best that we ever played” gig and asked the spectators to sing with them. The quartet subsequently performed the spine-tingling Viva La Vida and Hymn for the Weekend. It was the part where Chris read the fan signs. He told the jam-packed arena, “The perfect audience in the best arena I’ve ever seen. So thank you. Wonderful.” Then he started reading touching messages from fans but one fan holding a sign that read, “In 2017, I was at the very back now I am this close,” was fortunate enough to be invited by Chris on stage. The latter asked the fan named Frances to name a song that he would like to play for her, she then whispered something to Chris, and he played the piano version of Everglow for her. “We got to play this because over Christmas, all four of us lost a few friends. This is a special song for us to play, so thank you, Frances for asking for that song to play,” said Chris. But it wasn’t only Frances whom Chris made more than happy that night. He and his bandmates left four passes for those people sitting in the very back row to come down on stage with them. They had the opportunity to get closer to meet him.


Coldplay went on to perform Charlie Brown and Yellow, the hit track from the debut album Parachutes, as the arena became a sea of yellow lights. The wristband powered up again forming a red giant heart-shaped lights for Human Heart, a duet by Chris with puppet Angel Moon. It was followed by the guitar-driven People of the Pride with some heavy drums, with Chris waving the rainbow flag and the lights switched to green for the sentimental tune Clocks. After which, a phrase that read “If you want love, be love. If you want peace, be peace,” was shown on screen and the band, wearing alien masks, danced to ∞ (Infinity Sign); collaboration songs, Something Just Like This (with The Chainsmokers) and My Universe (with South Korean boy band BTS). Chris encouraged the crowd, “Sing this song for anybody you love, before, now and the future. Sing it for your universe.” A video of BTS members singing their verses of My Universe was seen on screen. Chris paused in the middle of his A Sky Full of Stars act and quipped “OK, thank you, everybody. Goodnight. I’m joking. We are having the best time. Thank you for being so wonderful. It’s so fun to be here.” He, at this point, appealed to the audience to put away their phones and finish the song with no cameras, filming or photographs. It was truly a “sky full of stars” as confetti rained down and fireworks bombarded across the venue, a magical moment for couples, lovers, groups of friends, families, and everyone who watched Coldplay play the anthems that have become a source of comfort for some during rough times and soundtracks during the special moments in their lives.




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