Coldplay made their Middle East debut in Abu Dhabi Saturday night in a carbon-neutral concert that coincided with Earth Hour and earned them a reported £1.4 million ($2 million), report Al Arabiya.
Lead singer Chris Martin, who is married to Hollywood heartthrob Gwyneth Paltrow, did not let the unseasonable rain dampen his enthusiasm and sang impromptu renditions of Singin’ in the Rain and Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head to a delighted crowd.
In the last performance of their worldwide tour the band, nominated for a whopping seven Grammy Awards, performed what they billed as a carbon-neutral concert at the glamorous Emirates Palace.
Coldplay committed to offset the energy consumed in putting on the event, estimated to be about 600 tons of carbon dioxide, by funding a wind farm in New Zealand and offer recycling bins at the venue. The concert opened with a video about Earth Hour and the palace turned off the lights to mark the global-warming awareness campaign, during which landmarks across the world turned off their lights for one hour at 8:30 p.m. local time to promote energy conservation.
"Coldplay's debut performance in the Middle East is set to attract one of the biggest attendances in the UAE,” Gig promoter Elissa Murtaza told Rolling Stone magazine, which reported the rockers earned for the one-night concert. “Regional fans of the band have waited a long time for this show and they won't be disappointed."
Coldplay’s producer gained support among Arab audiences for his support of Palestinians during the Israeli war on Gaza. Brian Eno, who is also a producer for U2, criticized Israel in January for its offensive in Gaza, asking how a people who experienced the Holocaust could act in such a way and condemning the Jewish state’s “experiment in provocation.”
The concert was part of the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Festival. The band’s Grammy-nominated Viva la Vida album was last year’s worldwide bestseller and won Song Of The Year for the track Viva La Vida.