This was one of the hottest concerts that I’ve ever been to. Not just people-wise, but also climate-wise! If Global Citizen taught me anything about supporting a cause yesterday it is that I’m going to plant as many trees as I can, now. Because the organizers may have put a smile on our face, but they taught us a huge lesson by not putting a roof over our head, yesterday.
There was initially no water at the venue. And I don’t know if they were trying to teach us the importance of water or just trying to kill us, but it worked. I’m sure the 80,000 people present at MMRDA grounds yesterday have all “fixed” their leaking taps by now.
Either way, Silver, Gold, Yellow, or Green zone, all I know is that it was all fun zone. Irrespective of where you were standing, if you could hear Coldplay sing and look at fan’s emotional faces, you had THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE. But there was a lot that happened before these connoisseurs performed. Now, let’s first start with the heaty experience that preceded Coldplay.
Also, there’s gonna a smattering of statements reminding everyone how bad Sonakshi Sinha was at the concert. So, if you are a fan, well! tell her to be better, or something.
It all started with Arijit Singh and while he has a crazy fan following, he kindaa showed why he shouldn’t have one. There were a lot of expectations from this opening act, but it didn’t quite live up to them. The second act after this, the most undeserving act of all, was Monali Thakur’s! I’m sure many of you don’t even know her, and there’s no reason why you should, she is a pointless singer who CANNOT possibly handle a crowd of 80,000! Also, I still cannot figure out why would Ananya Birla come, dance, and fake-sing her way on the stage? What was all that about?! I am still wondering.
Parineeti and Arjun as hosts were doing okayish, but I think they should have rehearsed more on it. For Godsakes! it was a crowd of 80,000 humans, be engaging for a while. Especially when there is tons of heat already breaking people’s spirits! While they were a bit too disappointing, Ayushmann was itsy bitsy better. At least he was cracking some good punchlines. The whole concert picked up from Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s act. I thank the Lord! They sang their usual couple of songs including ‘Breathless’ and it did leave us, yes, BREATHLESS!
That was the beginning of magic, or so we thought. Until Sonakshi came to sing. *why oh! why?* That’s right she SANG, and not just one but three songs and if the hot sun didn’t make people want to blow their brains out, well there she was. She sang, rapped, and did something which was too stupid to be done in front of 8 people, let alone 80,000.
Then came Shraddha Kapoor, who was a…… I can’t even explain the disappointment. I guess as the sun grew hotter it somehow made the performances of these Bollywood celebrities go to the unsavory side. It is very difficult to please a crowd this huge and equally easy to disappoint. And some performers went the easy way for all these people.
As a part of Global Citizen’s endeavors, a lot of Managing directors and CXOs of various companies came to speak on various issues like sanitation, quality education, and gender equality. It was important but let’s not talk about that right now. Let’s rather scope ourselves to things when the sun went down and the concert started looking up. The first international act was Demi Lovato’s. And bravo to us! Even though 80% of the crowd didn’t know any of her songs, it didn’t stop them from enjoying her performance. This is why only artists who do what they do, should do what they do. She could manage to capture the audience who didn’t even know her songs, so beautifully. Unlike some of our Bolly stars. (Talking to you, Sonakshi).
The only thing that attacked our eyes about Demi’s act was the golden swimsuit she was wearing.
Then came Malaika-Ritesh, and Alia (who too, was wearing a horrible outfit) to introduce someone and we couldn’t care less. Later came Sonam Kapoor being her usual, lame, appearing-on-the-Hymn-song-for-2-second self. so bad was she on stage that Karan Johar had to turn up to make up for her presence on stage. Maybe it was GC’s way of apologizing? This was followed by a performance of Farhan Akhtar, who was a breath of fresh air with his ‘Sinbad the Sailor’, and all the songs that he literally rocked on!
After he was The Vamps who much to my dismay, didn’t sing ‘Sun Beliya Dil’, but that’s fine because their performance was almost a blink and a miss. This was followed by some crass cum wannabe and heavily repeated comedy by East India Company. Though the jokes were funny they definitely weren’t anything that we haven’t heard before.
The terribly tatty tales were quite evident, Sahil Shah!
But then came A. R. Rehman and he sang ‘Dil Se Re’ and ‘Tu Hi Re’ which was the highest point of the whole day till that time, and just when we thought that it was over, he sang ‘Humma Humma’ and no one, I repeat, NO ONE could control their emotions. Although he sang it in a different language (possibly Tamil), people continued to sing it in Hindi. How awesome! And the words ‘Humma-Humma’ echoed all over the MMRDA grounds! By the way, the 5-minute solo of the young, lead bassist, who was a part of Rehman’s team had him and all of us in complete awe!
Amitabh Bachchan came and gave everyone the goosies with his dialogue, and even performed a song with Farhan Akhtar wearing a very awkward kurta (if that’s that)! Then came Shahrukh Khan with his charisma but he too was sorta boring, but with the amount of stuff that he was given to do, he was doing his best, that we could see. He introduced Sachin and the rich but poor, Mr. Ratan Tata, and the crowd just couldn’t stop yelling, “SACHIN, SACHIN!” followed by the three clap routine. Sachin was unable to speak because of all the cheering. Later, Ranveer Singh came and performed all his over-energetic numbers, which was a lot of fun to watch. You see, if Bollywood stars could just do what they do best, things would be so easy on the eyes.
Take a hint, Sonakshi!
While the fun meter was already high as of that time, it felt like it soared 10 times more when Jay-Z came and rapped like the cool and sexy homey he is! He outperformed everybody! He rapped in on ‘Chhaiyyan Chhaiyyan’ which already had the crowd grooving and when he sang ‘New York'(the only song of Jay-Z’s that I entirely knew, by the way), it was simply FANTASTIC!
After this, came the CM of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, and video-conferenced-in Modiji, and because I love him so much,(Namo Bhakt forever), I was the happiest to see him there. Stuff like ‘I know I stand between you and Coldplay’, and all his money jokes, just made me love him even more!
After this, there were a couple of more speeches followed by two female DJs playing some music only they both seemed to enjoy. People were getting antsy because it was almost time for Coldplay and it felt like time had stopped when they played their DJ for 20-Freakin’-Minutes! They were cute and everything, but the timing couldn’t have been more wrong!
But then the lights turned off and the crowd went silent. A colorful board appeared, the lights came back, the music began at a very slow but nerve-racking pace, and then came COLDPLAY. They have been in India plenty to know how to give the drama people seek here! Suddenly the heat, the crowd, the suffocation, the lack of water, and everything that seemed wrong and annoying till that moment, didn’t seem to matter.
They were worth everything that we had to go through to get the tickets and later, to get to see them. They started off with ‘Head Full of Dreams’ and people could just not stop moving in whatever little spaces they could find!
The magical time kept getting better. It was followed by Yellow, Scientist, (where people just couldn’t hold their tears inside), Viva la Vida, Hymn for the weekend, Adventure of a lifetime, (where we just couldn’t stop dancing), Up and Up, In my place, Everglow, Always in my head (where we just couldn’t stop singing), Fix you, Paradise, Ghost stories, God put a smile on your face, Every teardrop is a waterfall, (where we just couldn’t stop feeling), and while we thought that it wouldn’t get better than this, Chris invited A. R. Rehman and they sang ‘Vande Mataram’ together.
And if that didn’t goosebump you all over the place, I don’t know much else that would. It was THE BEST! All it took for Global Citizen was to put Chris and Rehman together on stage, to make 80,000 people feel so much at the same freakin’ time! If there were people at the concert who didn’t know much about Coldplay before, they surely will know now why people love them so much, especially Chris.
The way he cheekily introduced his other band members (sock-wearin’, lovin’ and carin’, remember?), the way he would deliberately mix up the lyrics for the Mumbai (Indian) audience, and of course, the way he sang effortlessly and with all his sweat, emotion, and heart, no one could feel better than what they did at that moment.
He was also talking in Hindi a lot which was too cute for his already cute attitude! And he ended the concert with a Sky Full of Stars. They performed their entire set for almost 2 hours and every second that I was there, I could feel myself slip into heaven. The best part was that there was no favorite song of mine except for Amazing Day, which they did not perform. And while they didn’t sing that song, let me tell you, that this experience was nothing short of an AMAZING DAY!
“Give us everything you’ve got, and we’ll give you everything we’ve got”, said Coldplay. And damn, they did! They delivered to everything they’d told us and everything we’d heard elsewhere.
This was living over and above our expectations.
And while there are always complaints, that there could have been more water, better management, and arrangements, closer view, comfortable shoes, better people, etc., don’t forget that there is always the next time. Until then, I hope lights do guide you home And ignite your bones. 🙂