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The music stars teamed up for a noble cause at Audacy’s eighth annual We Can Survive concert on Saturday night, which included a stacked line-up with Saweetie, the Kid Laroi, Shawn Mendes, Black Eyed Peas, Maroon 5, Doja Cat and Coldplay belonged to.
The star-studded show, presented in partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, filled the 17,500 seats at the Hollywood Bowl – and provided fans with a night of non-stop hits from every performer. With set times averaging around 30 minutes and the bowl’s efficient rotating platform eliminating pauses between acts, the audience had little time to digest before starting the next performance – for better or for worse.
Although the fast pace of the concert gave a slightly rushed feeling, it delivered some magical moments – from the energetic set by Kid Laroi to Coldplay’s many stage guests. Read on for all the highlights.
The vocal power of the Kid Laroi
Maybe it was the studded leather jacket he was wearing, but the rap-pop dynamo, the Kid Laroi, had big rock star vibes during his set. Concert recordings of Larois floating around on TikTok didn’t always do justice to his singing, so it was refreshing to hear Larois singing in all of its pitch-perfect but gritty glory. 18-year-old Laroi really seemed at home as he hopped across the stage and interacted with his band members who brought more rocky instrumentation to the clean melodies of his songs. Outstanding tracks are “Go”, Larois song with the late Juice Wrld; “Lonely and F * cked Up” which was accompanied by some pyrotechnics; “Always Do”, during which he climbed a towering stack of amplifier booths; and of course “Stay”, his chart-top record with Justin Bieber, about which he happily proclaimed: “This song is currently one of the greatest in the world!” Before finishing his set on “Without You,” the track that earned him international acclaim earlier this year, Laroi pondered his own journey into mental health. “That’s what I’m doing and a lot of people around me,” Laroi said before starting the song the crowd sang to him.
Shawn Mendes call-and-answer
After Laroi, Shawn Mendes started his performance with “Wonder”, the title track of his latest album. Without his signature guitar on stage, Mendes seemed a little out of place until he held it back in his arms for his 2017 hit “There’s Nothing Holdin ‘Me Back,” which then went straight to “If I Can’t Have.” You “passed over. With the audience shouting every word on these two tracks, Mendes almost didn’t have to sing – and he used that to his advantage, often just filling in the gaps or riffing out his own familiar choruses. In fact, Mendes was at his best singing the songs that made him famous, with newer tracks like “Summer of Love” and “Monster” falling flat with the audience. Mendes ended his set heavily, however, with an energetic rendition of “Treat You Better” and a piano-led “In My Blood,” which he dedicated to those struggling with mental health.
Party start energy of the Black Eyed Peas
After two consecutive singer-songwriters, the bowl was ready for a group and Black Eyed Peas – now consisting of Will.i.am, Taboo, Apl.de.ap and the new member J. Rey Soul – obligated to compulsory set opener, ” Let’s get started. ” But not everyone was on the group’s roster when a nearby participant asked, “Where’s Fergie?” Soul soon added to the trio as the foursome merged into “Boom Boom Pow” (noteworthy: Fergie’s iconic “so 2000 and late” verse was cut out of the mix). After playing another hit, Pump It, the Peas switched to their newer Latin cuts, including Hit It, Girl Like Me, Mamacita, and RITMO. Like Mendes, the Peas were better received when they played the hits – which gave way to one of the night’s most memorable songs, “Where Is the Love?” and asked the audience to hold up their cell phone flashlights and sing along. The Peas’ set with a mega mash-up from “I Got a Feeling” and “The Time (Dirty Bit)” as well as some solo works by Will.i.am, such as “Scream & Shout” with Britney Spears and “OMG” with Usher.
(LR) Taboo, apl.de.ap and will.i.am from Black Eyed Peas. (Photo by Amy Sussman / Getty Images for Audacy)
Getty Images for Audacy
Maroon 5’s hit heavy, no-nonsense delivery
To kick off the set with “Moves Like Jagger”, Adam Levine and Co. served successive hits throughout their 40-minute set and hardly paused between tracks. This resulted in some impressive transitions, including the end of “Moves Like Jagger,” where the band cut the pace in half and transitioned into the 2002 hit “This Love”. Levine wore a light green jumper with a pixelated unicorn and was also surprised when he took a minute to play a guitar solo – a clue for more. After Levine sped through Stereo, One More Night and Animals, Levine reunited with a pink guitar to prove to the audience that he can do more than hit falsets. But the real highlights of the set were when the band slowed down to play “Sunday Morning” and only guitarist James Valentine stayed to accompany Levine on an acoustic version of “She Will Be Loved”. Maroon 5 got the energy going again and concluded its performance with the 2015 hit “Sugar,” with Levine serving up a few more high notes for the street.
Adam Levine from Maroon 5 (Photo by Amy Sussman / Getty Images for Audacy)
Getty Images for Audacy
Doja Cat’s Nu Metal Infusions
Doja Cat, by far the most entertaining set of the evening, took a break from the festival to bring their much-talked about “Planet Her” set into the bowl. Accompanied by four dancers and a tight live band, the production value of their set was unbeatable. Doja opened with “Rules,” and immediately impressed by keeping up with some high stakes choreography, including rapping in a back bend – no backing track required. Dressed in an expertly torn outfit, as if she had just escaped an alien abduction, Doja brought the craziness the evening needed with her exaggerated facial expressions and side comments, and at some point signaled to the mothers and fathers in the family-friendly audience that they “don’t often to see ”.
After crossing out hits from her latest album – like “Get Into It (Yuh),” “Kiss Me More” and “You Right” – Doja danced to an electric drum kit to hit the opening bar of “Tia Tamera”. her 2018 track with Rico Nasty. With the established rhythm, Doja again showed her masterful rap skills – complete with perfectly timed breathwork – and then promptly left the stage to the beat of an epic drum solo. Doja’s set certainly had a hard rock note embodied in its long haired guitarist alone, but also became famous when she sang “Say So” over a Nu-Metal-infused instrumental to complete her set. But of course, despite the new vibe, you could still see people doing the song’s TikTok dance all over the bowl.
Coldplays set full of stars
Anyone expecting a gentle Coldplay set got no delay, as frontman Chris Martin brought an unexpectedly silly energy to the stage. He danced with swinging arms as the band opened the set with “Higher Power”, held the energy up with “Viva La Vida”, then fell dramatically to the stage floor and crawled to the piano to sing “Fix You”. Though the bowl’s video screens were flawed throughout the set, the neon visuals of Coldplay carried through the crowd as wristbands for everyone pulsed a different color with each beat and put on their own light show.
Fortunately, the video projection problem was resolved when Coldplay brought out its first guests of the evening – Grammy-winning musician Jacob Collier and R&B duo We Are King, who sang a scaled-down version of “Human Heart.” The cheerful mood continued with “Yellow”, which Martin dedicated to the late Benjamin Storm Keough and played solo with an acoustic guitar while the stage was flooded in the color of the namesake. After the intimate sing-along, Martin asked the crowd to make a wish for him and said, “Wouldn’t it be great if a Spice Girl appeared out of nowhere?” In fact, Mel C – aka Sporty Spice, who was just out of “Dancing With.” the Stars ”- and caused screams from the crowd. Then the two sang the love song of the famous girl group “2 Become 1”. Although the rendition was not without lyrical glitches, it cemented Coldplay’s set as truly star-studded. To top it off, Coldplay played his new song “My Universe” (with the K-pop supergroup BTS, whose members were absent) and ended the show with “A Sky Full of Stars,” with fireworks lighting the night appropriate.
Coldplay’s Chris Martin and Melanie C. (Photo by Amy Sussman / Getty Images for Audacy)
Getty Images for Audacy
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