TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – British rock band Coldplay opened its first of two concerts at the Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) Taoyuan Station Plaza Tuesday.
The band started with the song "A Head Full of Dreams," followed by a firework display. This is the first time for Coldplay to perform in Taiwan since the lead vocalist and keyboardist Chris Martin formed the band in 1996. "20 years! Taiwan! We've waited 20 years to come!" said Martin, after singing its signature song "Yellow".
According to the organizer, the two concerts are expected to attract a total audience of nearly 80,000, setting a record for the largest outdoor concerts by any foreign performers in Taiwan over the last two decades.
(Crowds queue to get into Coldplay's concert. Photo from CNA)
The rain began falling on Tuesday morning, sending the mercury down to around 16 degrees Celsius. Martin thanked the audience for coming through the traffic and the rain. "Some of you have been waiting down here for hours and hours outside in the rain. We send you all our love." Fans from all around the world came to Taiwan for the concert. Some fans from Singapore even flew to Taiwan to listen to Coldplay live again after they attended its concert in Singapore.
During Coldplay's Asia tour, fans were invited to send in a video telling the band which Coldplay song they would like the band to play, which has become the most suprising section of the concerts. Songs like "Amazing Grace", "In my Place" and "Don't Panic" were chosen by Chirs Martin to perform in Taiwan. At the end of the section, he suddenly held a two-minute meeting with the other team members on the stage, and decided to sing an impromptu song dedicated to Taiwan. In the song he promised to all the fans "We'll play here again".
In the past concerts, Coldplay used to film the local fans holding their national flag as the opening video. However, Taiwan's national flag was not shown on the video, but a flag with a 'love' logo instead. Chris Martin didn't wave Taiwan's national flag during the concert as he used to do in the concerts, either.
After the concert, the THSR Taoyuan station was crowded with people waiting for trains to head home. THSR authorities arranged 11 extra trains to relieve the congestion. Traffic control measures were drawn up to help manage the countless showgoers.