After a botched start that included a round of "Fix You," Coldplay's Chris Martin led his band into their first-ever live performance of "Atlas" last night in London. The song is Coldplay's contribution to the Hunger Games: Catching Fire Soundtrack.
Bathed in blue light, a very sweaty Martin looked relieved as the band kicked into the song together. As he began singing the opening lines – "Some saw the sun, some saw the smoke" – the audience joined in just as loud. As the song built, Martin sang "carry the world" while guitarist Jonny Buckland coaxed some plaintive notes from his instrument. The performance went so well, unlike that of their previous song, that Martin jumped up from his piano with an ear-to-ear smile and did a little victory lap on the stage.
The performance was part of an event Coldplay organized called "Under 1 Roof," and it also featured sets by Lily Allen, Robbie Williams and Ricky Gervais as his Office character David Brent, among others. The concert benefitted Kids Company, a U.K. organization that provides "practical, emotional and educational support to vulnerable inner-city kids."
When the group released the song in August, it was Coldplay's first new music since their 2011 album Mylo Xoloto. Catching Fire director Francis Lawrence praised the song for how it fit into the movie: "I have great respect and admiration for Coldplay," he said, "and we are thrilled with how well they have connected to the themes and ideas within the film."
The song subsequently made it into the Number One position on 43 countries' iTunes charts and won the band the Hollywood Song Award at the Hollywood Film Awards in October. It was also one of 75 songs on a list of possible Best Original Song nominees that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts for Oscars 2014 consideration. The Academy will reveal whether it made the cut at a nominations presentation on January 16th.