What is even more puzzling is that such a large section of Coldplay’s fans are made up of young people. Other musical acts could be held guilty of overwhelming artistic arrogance, such as The Beatles and Kanye West, both of whom compared themselves to Jesus and invited massive outrage. Express photo by Prashant Nadkar, 19th November 2016, Mumbai. Written by Pooja Pillai
Updated: November 22, 2016 1:58 pm
Coldplay’s Chris Martin Performing during the Global citizen festival India at Bandra Kurla Complex on Saturday.
And it isn’t just India that is nuts for Coldplay. Coldplay is possibly one of the most non-controversial bands of all times (unless we count the “conscious uncoupling” of Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow). Of course, any arguments of this sort would have been a hard sell to those who waited in the queue at the MMRDA Grounds in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex, waiting to get into the Global Citizen Festival India which Coldplay was headlining. This is rather puzzling given that despite the massive commercial success of the band, its music is most often described as “middle of the road” and “inoffensive”. Everyone and their Snapchat buddy has an opinion about the recent Coldplay performance at the Global Citizen Festival that took place in Mumbai. Despite the presence of one of the music industry’s most powerful, pioneering artistes – Jay-Z – all the attention had been riveted on the British band, which was last relevant in 2008, when it’s one truly great album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, was released. Now that reports have come in that tickets for the band’s A Head Full of Dreams Tour in Singapore sold out in less than two hours, we know that denizens of the island city-state are just as crazy about Coldplay as us here in India. Of course to all those who, on Saturday, braved the searing heat, erratic availability of drinking water, the earnest speeches of celebrity guests and a painfully awkward performance by Ananya Birla, the whole point of the evening was Coldplay. Aside from his typos (Rabinder Sangeet) and questionable moral policing, Chandra should have known he was barking up the wrong tree, anyway. That includes Subhash Chandra, media mogul and Rajya Sabha MP, whose sanskari lament about “youth smoking, drinking and dancing” during the Coldplay concert was properly trolled on Twitter. These are people who are supposed to be rebellious young firestarters, who take their political and social cues from their musical idols, like all those youngsters who once upon a time shocked older fuddy duddies by emulating the likes of Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Madonna, Michael Jackson and Bob Dylan. Never Coldplay, though. Not even the staunchest fan could take these words as a strong commendation. After all, Indian Twitter had been buzzing excitedly with speculation about the British pop rock band’s performance in India at least for the last three months.