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The best and worst of Global Citizen’s Coldplay concert in Mumbai

It looked crowded, loud and a lot of fun for some parts and downright boring for others, but Global Citizen’s festival and Coldplay concert in Mumbai was certainly eventful. We take a look at what was great and what was downright boring at the gig.

music Updated: Nov 21, 2016 08:09 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times
Global Citizen,Coldplay,concert
We take a look at the best and worst of Global Citizen’s Coldplay concert that was held in Mumbai on November 19. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)

British rock band Coldplay’s first concert in India in front of an audience of over 80,000 — many more if you would count the spectators who were on duty (the security, the crew, policemen, and traffic constables) — was as star-studded as it could get.

The stellar line-up of opening performances included American rapper Jay Z and AR Rahman.

The audience was tired but got quite excited when Coldplay went on stage at the MMRDA Ground, in Bandra (E) . (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)

Celebrity emcees such as Shah Rukh Khan, Alia Bhatt, Freida Pinto and Vidya Balan, comic relief by the talented group, East India Comedy, and the presence of top politicos including Prime Minister Narendra Modi (albeit virtual) and Amar Singh, covered all the boxes that had to be ticked. But when it came to those standing at the far end of the venue, what did it trickle down to? We look at all the highs and lows of the concert that was held at the MMRDA grounds in Bandra (E).

B-Town performances

AR Rahman started the concert with ‘Tu hi re’ (Bombay; 1995) and went on to sing Dil se’s (1998) title track and Tamil version of ‘Hamma hamma’ (Bombay; 1995). Amitabh Bachchan, with The Shillong Chamber Choir, recited a poem from his film, Pink. Later Farhan Akhtar and Bachchan sang ‘Yaari teri yaari’ (Wazir). Farhan Akhtar also sang some of his popular tracks including ‘Sinbad the sailor’ (Rock On!!; 2008).

While a lot of Indian and International artistes performed at the event, very few received much attention from the crowd. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)

Sonakshi Sinha with her rendition of ‘Har kissi ko nahi milta’ (Boss; 2013), seemed visibly excited, but the crowd was distracted as her show was at the start of the event and many were just walking in. No concert is complete without a dance act, and Ranveer Singh ticked that box with a choreographed piece from his upcoming film, followed by one from Bajirao Mastani (2015).

Moments that stood out

Shah Rukh Khan and Freida Pinto talked about social issues. However, as the crowd had already been waiting for over six hours for Coldplay, they chanted the band’s name. When Freida said that the people should “listen” to what she had to say or Coldplay wouldn’t play, the crowd booed her. The audience was excited when Sachin Tendulkar arrived on stage.

While Jay Z and AR Rahman received their share of applause and appreciation, most people couldn’t wait for Coldplay to come out and play. (Pratik Chorge/HT PHOTO)

In the middle of his performance, Chris Martin, drenched in sweat, changed his T-shirt. The collective screams of his female fans were among the highest notes hit at the concert. Another highlight was when Chris flung his guitar into the air.

Stand-up comedy group East India Comedy did a brilliant job of bringing attention to various social causes — from menstruation to open defecation — through their unparalleled humour.

International acts

Despite the sweltering heat, American pop singer, Demi Lovato hit all the high notes and interacted with her fans effortlessly. The crowd, for the moments she was on stage, forgot how unbearable the afternoon sun was. Jay Z got the crowds to sway in sync to his rapping.

At one point, he had everyone light their cellphone flashlights or cigarette lighters, and the resulting sea of lights was spectacular. Even though the crowd wasn’t familiar with the British band, The Vamps, their rendition of the Simon & Garfunkel song ‘Cecilia’ won several hearts as old and young alike sang along.

There were four international acts at the Global Citizen festival in Mumbai: Jay Z, Demi Lovato, The Vamps and Coldplay. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)

The glitches

The Green Zone, where the winners of a contest that was held as part of the concert’s promotion were standing, left many unhappy. “The speakers stopped working right before the performance. The authorities just shrugged their shoulders,” said contest winner Shiv Arora. Another attendee Pooja Shah said that there was inadequate drinking water in the area.

Many people complained of malfunctioning speakers, poor facilities and garbage disposal and a severe lack of drinking water at the venue. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)

The grand finale

Perhaps one of most special parts of the show was Chris Martin and AR Rahman’s duet. The two sang Rahman’s version of ‘Vande mataram’, after which Chris waved the Indian flag.

— Sapna Mathur, Sneha Mahadevan and Susan Jose

First Published: Nov 21, 2016 08:08 IST