Over 75,000 fans celebrate Coldplay

A memorable evening: Coldplay’s first concert in Malaysia went on smoothly. — Photo courtesy of Coldplay/X (formerly Twitter)

KUALA LUMPUR: Despite protests from certain quarters, Coldplay’s first concert in Malaysia went on without a hitch.

The British rock group’s The Music Of The Spheres World Tour on Wednesday night saw over 75,000 fans gathering at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil, with more standing outside the venue to sing along to tracks like Viva La Vida, Yellow, My Universe and Fix You, among others.

Thousands of concert attendees then made a beeline to the Bukit Jalil LRT station after the event ended at 11pm. Prasarana Malaysia Bhd had announced that it would extend its operations at the station until 1am to facilitate transport for concertgoers.

On social media, fans commended Coldplay for making the effort to communicate in Bahasa Malaysia and delivering an electrifying performance without touching on local sensitivities.

While performing People Of The Pride, frontman Chris Martin waved a white flag with the word “love” written on it.

Martin also recited a pantun (poem) in Bahasa Malaysia, much to the delight of concertgoers.

Prior to Coldplay’s sold-out gig in the city, several religious leaders and PAS members urged the cancellation of the concert out of respect amid the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict. In response to the calls of cancellation, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had pointed out that Coldplay is a supporter of Palestine.The Grammy-winning band has been an outspoken supporter of Palestine and even posted the song Freedom For Palestine on its official Facebook page in 2011.

Several quarters also said that the band shouldn’t be allowed to perform in Malaysia, fearing that it would pull a similar stunt to that of The 1975 during the Good Vibes Festival 2023 in July.

The performance was cut short after frontman Matty Healy went on a tirade against Malaysia’s LGBT laws.

To avoid a repeat of the incident, Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil had said that a “kill switch” would be applied during the Coldplay concert. However, the deployment was unnecessary as the band strictly followed the stipulated guidelines.Despite much fuss over the concert, Martin thanked the government for allowing Coldplay to continue its show in Malaysia and said the country had “one of the best audiences in the world”.

“If it’s OK with you, we’d like to come back quite soon,” the 46-year-old singer said.

The “kill switch” allows organisers to pull the plug on a concert if an artiste breaks official guidelines. It was introduced by the Communications and Digital Ministry in October as a precautionary measure following The 1975’s controversial stunt.

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