Music / Travel

A Head Full of Dreams: The Coldplay Experience

19 weeks ago, Coldplay released that quick GIF of a sneak peek of their first few cities for the 2017 leg of their #AHFODTour. I saw the silhouette of the Philippines among other Asian countries and immediately knew I had to get tickets. There are very few artists I would spend good money to buy concert tickets for. But seeing Coldplay live? People who’ve been lucky enough to see them say it’s priceless.

What would’ve cost us ₱22,500 (the price of VIP tickets in Manila), only cost us ~₱8,000 each for Standing Pen A tickets in Singapore. That’s a huge difference. Our tickets weren’t the most expensive (VIP tickets cost around ₱3,000 more than ours) but we didn’t need the merchandise or priority entrance anyways, and this was already the front-most part of the National Stadium. The Standing Pen A tickets were also slightly cheaper than the nearest seats, which were actually quite far from the stage already.

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Another big factor of choosing to watch in Singapore instead of Manila was that we wanted to see Coldplay in a stadium. I’ve seen videos and photos of Coldplay concerts in other countries and I saw how different a stadium-type concert and a field-type concert were. The Singapore National Stadium had 60,000 people that night but it didn’t feel tight at all. They weren’t strict about IDs or cameras, and entering was incredibly organized and quick. Oh, and when Singapore says that the gates will open at 6:00 PM, they will open the gates at exactly 7:00 PM, not a minute later. Singapore is the best, they really are!

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The merchandise booth outside the stadium! Shirts went for S$50 so expect the same prices for the Philippines.


The view of the stadium from the line entering the concert

When we finally got into the stadium at 6:30, we were amazed. It was my first time being in an event venue of that size and I was kind of blown away just by the arena. A part of it opens up to the sky so we were able to watch the sun set during the opening act Jess Kent’s set.


Although we were in line for only an hour and half, we still got a really great spot near Stage B at the end of the ramp. We stood behind some pretty tall people but it wasn’t so bad towards the end of the night and we got great shots in.

If you can bring a camera, DO IT. The Sony RX100 V compact camera is the most ideal (because the zoom is ah-freakin-mazing), but if you can’t get your hands on one, a mirrorless camera should do. The photos I used during my trip were all taken using a Sony a6000 with a kit lens and I was honestly really surprised with how many decent shots I got in! The super speedy 11fps and quick start-up came in handy for taking those blink-and-you-might-miss-it shots. Also, the camera did pretty well autofocusing considering the conditions were so difficult to shoot in. Five stars!

Concert photodump incoming! (Click the individual photos to see the photos up close!)

Yeah. Wow. Photos can’t even capture how beautiful it was in person. The watch out screens were so clear and the visuals were gorgeous. The confetti flew at exactly the right moments and the balloons were a still a big surprise even if I knew they’d be coming out. The concert was pretty long — more than two hours — so it’s definitely worth the money. I don’t wanna spoil anything but their set list was perfect! I’m pretty sure that the Manila crowd will go WILD tomorrow night!

But the most amazing part of the concert for me were the Xylobands. These wristbands with radio-frequency receivers are what make Coldplay concerts extra special. There were times I wasn’t even watching Chris Martin and just watching the Xylobands of the seated audience members pulsing to the sound of the bass drum. It’s SOOO TRIPPY and unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I can’t even describe what it’s like, you just HAVE to be there! How they synchronize all the bands (or have them all sparkle in different colors) should be the eighth wonder of the modern world. Seriously.



Singapore can host the Olympics — I swear they’re amazing. Leaving the concert was a breeze, with several ushers holding signs about which train to take, how many minutes it would take to walk there, the best place to get an Uber, etc. I was expecting the Stadium MRT to be bombarded with 60,000 people but there were hardly any lines and we got on the first train we lined up for (with so much space to spare!).

All in all, watching Coldplay was a really thrilling experience. I remember looking at my friends several times during the concert and we would just shake our heads in disbelief with how beautiful the visuals were and how freaking great Chris Martin sounded live. I cried like a baby during Fix You, and you probably will too. The best way to describe it would be that it was the adventure of a lifetime.

It was one of the best things I have EVER spent my money on. If you ever have a chance to watch Coldplay, grab the opportunity. They’ll be in Frankfurt at the same time I’ll be in Germany in June so I’m considering watching them again! (Yeah, it was THAT good.)

Living in Manila, we’re used to incredibly expensive concert tickets. Madonna charged a steep Php 57,750 (over $1100) for front row tickets to her show at the Mall of Asia Arena, so our standard for ticket prices is completely different from the rest of the region. My friends and I spent several days waking up early in the morning to try and catch the ticket releases for the April 1 Singapore date and still didn’t get any tickets. But fortunately, they opened another date — March 31, their first concert for 2017 — in Singapore. We were lucky enough to buy our tickets during the first day of the release and bought our flight tickets not long afterwards.

Our plane tickets cost us ~₱12,000 each (including travel tax) on Philippine Airlines, plus we get miles. Choosing Singapore over the other Asian countries (which were just as cheap) was a no-brainer to me because I got to stay with my aunt, and even if my friends chose to stay in a hotel, they spent less than ₱5,000 each for three nights. It was also the closest for us to go to, next to Taiwan. Not bad at all.

I’ll be up with a blog post soon about what we did in Singapore for the weekend! We only had two full days (Friday + Saturday) in the city but I feel like we squeezed in a lot! I’ll be releasing the post later this week so stay tuned for that!


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