British band Coldplay performed to 50,000 fans last night at the National Stadium, putting on a rousing concert, the first of two in Singapore.
The quartet's two-hour-long gig featured a carnival-like atmosphere, with pyrotechnics, confetti showers and multi-coloured laser light shows.
Tickets to the concerts were snapped up in record time when they were released last year. Thousands of fans yesterday queued up for hours outside the National Stadium for good positions in the standing area. The first person in line started queueing at 6.30am for the 8pm show last night.
More than 100,000 tickets to both concerts have been sold. The second concert was added after the first sold out in a matter of hours.
Many who were unable to get tickets resorted to online resellers. Earlier this week, two men were arrested for their suspected involvement in a scam involving the concert tickets - they became uncontactable after money was transferred to them.
Speaking to The Straits Times yesterday straight after their soundcheck for the first of their two concerts at the stadium, lead singer Chris Martin and guitarist Jonny Buckland said that since they arrived here on Thursday, they had been rehearsing, playing and "attempting to sleep, mostly".
Martin, 40, said: "It is very meaningful to us that people show up anywhere, but particularly when it is on the other side of the world from where we come from. We never take it for granted."
Coldplay are more than midway through their Head Full Of Dreams Tour, which kicked off in Argentina on March 31 last year. After Europe and North American dates, it will wrap up in October.
The touring has not stopped them from putting out new music.
In fact, with Martin based in the United States and the rest of the band in England, their time on the road together is also proving to be a chance to jam and make new music together.
Buckland, 39, said: "We have just brought a studio on the road with us for the first time, and we are quite excited about using that every day while on tour."
They will be releasing a five-track EP called Kaleidescope on June 2.
Two tracks have already been released, Hypnotised and Something Just Like This.
The latter, a collaboration with The Chainsmokers, an electronic dance music duo, broke YouTube's single-day streaming record with nine million views.
However, it has drawn ire from critics, saying that their music is "too commercial".
But the band are unfazed by the criticism. Martin said: "If you just judge us on our singles, you could say they have done a song with The Chainsmokers, that is very pop, but the truth is we love that. We accept that whatever we do, someone won't like it, and that is okay."
Buckland believes in change: "It has been important to us throughout to try not repeating ourselves. If we tried to copy any one of our past albums, it would be a disaster."
Ultimately all their songs have to go through an "American Idol-type process" within the band, Martin said, half in jest, and it is not always about formulating smash hits.
"We don't 'design' our music. It is hard to explain because it sounds so pretentious, but songs just come from somewhere else, so we just do what they say. I know it sounds weird and crazy, but it is true."
Correction note: In our earlier story, we said the second show to be held on April 1 was added after the first sold out in a matter of hours. This is incorrect. The show that was added was the one on March 31. We are sorry for the error.