There were screams, roars and ecstatic cheers as thousands of Coldplay fans succumbed to ‘Higher Powers’ as the British band kicked off their ‘Infinite Nights’ concert at Al Wasl Dome, Expo 2020 on Tuesday evening.

The translucent projection dome glistened as though the stars had left their abode and descended on the screens. The night sky erupted with fireworks as the lead singer Chris Martin launched into an unforgettable night with a solo song from the band's new album, Music of the Spheres.

“So happy to be here. So happy to see people,” Martin said to his cheering fans.

The one-hour long concert that began at 9pm threw the crowds into a frenzy as “I will try to Fix You” and “Viva La Vida” left them wanting for more.

“I did not expect you to sound that good. It is wonderful,” cooed Martin as thousands of fans hummed and sang alongside him.

While the world is torn with violence and killings, Martin said it is great to be in a place like Expo where 190 country pavilions have come together to promote peace and togetherness.

It was a double treat as Martin sang his BTS collaboration “My Universe” while apologising for never singing in Korean. “That is horrible,” said Martin.

The band, made up of lead singer and pianist Chris Martin; guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman and drummer Will Champion, have produced some of all-time chartbusters like ‘Higher Power’ ‘Something Just like This’ ‘Yellow’ “Fix You”, and “In My Place”.

The band also showcased songs from their new album, Music of the Spheres, at the Expo concert, ahead of their world tour that kickstarts in March.

Coldplay had earlier played at New Year's Eve concerts in Abu Dhabi in 2011 and 2016.

Early birds

The Al Wasl Dome was sealed off hours before the concert. As early as 5pm, fans started thronging the venue and queues of ticket holders were seen lining up in front of the Al Wasl Dome to secure the best spots to watch the performance.

“This is a dream come true. I am pinching myself ,” said a fan.

“All I want is to listen to Chris Martin. I can walk the earth for that. Waiting a few hours in the line is nothing,” said Celine, another Coldplay fan who had come to the concert with her boyfriend.

Those who could not get tickets to the concert gathered in front of huge screens at Jubilee Park, Festival Garden and Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre where the show was being streamed live.

“I did everything to get a ticket but was unlucky. I still want to see them play on the big screen. This is not a bad option at all,” Kevin Sebastin, a Coldplay fan said.

Free tickets went like hot cakes

Free tickets to the band’s concert were snapped up in just two hours on the Expo website on Saturday night. The website crashed repeatedly as hundreds and thousands of fans logged in and plunged into a feverish online battle to win free tickets, prompting organisers to post messages that the site was under maintenance.

In no time, tickets were up for sale illegally on online platforms like Dubizzle for as much as Dh600, prompting Expo authorities to issue a warning about scamsters.

Each ticket had a unique QR code and once scanned it was not reusable.

The concert was also live-streamed on, Expo TV on YouTube, Expo 2020’s Facebook page.

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