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BY MARK WIJSMAN (STAFF MEMBER FROM HOLLAND)
*Photos by Mark Wijsman and Louise Peacock
Most western countries our volunteers come from are spoiled with endless events, concert tours and festivals. With the international melting pot Cape Town has become, you’d suspect the interest of big international artists to be a bit higher. When the announcement was made, a few months ago, that Coldplay was coming to South Africa, Capetonians went wild and the rush for tickets was incredible. Hosted at Cape Town’s own World Cup Stadium, 60 000 people were made the lucky ones to be able to experience one of the world’s biggest bands of the last 10 years.
The excitement really mounted a week before the concert. Radio stations had Coldplay’s albums on repeat and social media sites were flooded with statuses of people either unable to hold back their enthusiasm or fans just making others jealous of the fact they were in possession of a ticket.
Hours prior to the concert, bars in Green Point filled up with passionate fans and the front row junkies already lined up at the stadium from the early afternoon. On the Mediterranean-warm night, incoming flocks of people were kept busy by one of South Africa’s most famous bands, the Parlotones. They played a very entertaining and extensive set prior to Chris Martin and co.’ s arrival, whilst everyone kept busy controlling their nerves and filling up with drinks and snacks.
When the sun set, it was time for the real deal: Coldplay opened their set spectacularly with a massive lightshow and a few of their most famous songs. Despite the magnitude of Cape Town Stadium, slower and more personal songs were kept intimate, and acoustic songs kept the immense crowd quiet and listening. Being a part of a 60 000 people sing-along to ‘Viva la Vida’ and doing a cell phone Mexican wave (with all lights out in the stadium) are incredible experiences, and would even give non-Coldplay fans chills on such an evening. Attending a concert of such a big band in such a massive venue is a perfect night out, fans or not. Let’s hope Cape Town will pick it up and we’ll be treated to many more of those in the not-too-distant future.