June 18, 2021 By Michael Dorgan
Coldplay played live in front of thousands of adoring fans on the Long Island City waterfront Thursday evening in a performance that culminated in a colorful fireworks display.
The internationally-acclaimed rock band took to the stage at Hunters Point South Park – in front of the Oval and to the backdrop of the sun-setting Manhattan skyline – as part of a pre-recording for the Macy’s July 4th celebration.
“I think it’s probably our first time playing in Queens,” lead singer Chris Martin said to the cheering fans.
“Please, we are not doing you a favor, you are doing us a favor by giving us our jobs back,” Martin said, noting that the band had not been able to perform to a large outdoor audience for more than a year due to the pandemic.
The vibrant and uplifting gig was recorded by NBC and will air during the network’s July 4th fireworks celebrations show.
Around 300 spectators, many wearing Uncle Sam top hats and waving glow sticks, were ushered into a special restricted area in front of the stage before the gig kicked off. The lucky fans had scooped exclusive free tickets online earlier in the week and were required to be fully vaccinated to gain entry.
However, the lawn at the Oval and other surrounding areas were not restricted, and, by the time Coldplay took to the stage at around 8:30 p.m., thousands of revelers had descended on the park to catch a glimpse of the Grammy award-winning band.
Police did not provide an estimate as to how many people were in attendance. The lawn at the Oval appeared to be at full capacity.
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Martin introduced the band and said that they were surprised but very grateful to see such a large turnout.
Coldplay then proceeded to blast out its hit songs Rule The World, Yellow, Clocks and Sky Full of Stars.
LIC residents were also treated to the British band’s latest release Higher Power as a finale. Coldplay played the song twice and the second version included a short fireworks display. The firework shells were set off from barges on the East River while the Empire State Building was lit up in the colors red, white and blue to symbolize July 4th.
The band left the stage at around 9:20 p.m.
Coldplay had also been on stage earlier in the evening. The four-man band first took to the stage shortly after 6 p.m. to a much smaller crowd and rehearsed some songs as part of a soundcheck.
Footage of the band’s main performance Thursday will air on NBC on July 4th, starting at 8 p.m.
The July 4th fireworks show will take place on the East River, with Macy’s firing off a total of 65,000 shells from five barges in the vicinity of Midtown Manhattan.
The 25-minute extravaganza will begin at roughly 9:45 p.m. and Long Island City residents will get a front-seat view.
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