The show opened with a performance of Pyotr Tchaikovski by violinist Yuri Bashmet and pianist Daniil Trifonov.
The 15-minute show produced by Russia's state Channel One broke from World Cup tradition, focusing on musical acts including a performance of Pyotr Tchaikovsky in front of full stands at the capital's main Luzhniki stadium.
The 2018 Federation Internationale de Football Association world cup is already upon us.
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If Williams really wanted to protest, he could have performed his song "Party like a Russian", which mocks Russian oligarchs for stealing money from their own people to fund their lavish lifestyles.
"We'd like to invite football and music fans to party with us in Russian Federation, in the stadium, or to tune in their TVs a little earlier for an unforgettable show", Williams said. In all, 64 matches will be played in 11 different cities throughout Russian Federation.
While singing his hit single "Rock DJ", Williams turned towards one of the cameras and smiled as he gave fans watching at home the middle finder. I love Saudi Arabia as well of course, but I would like Russian Federation to at least perform because the past games have not been very good. After so much hard work, suddenly the whole world is gathered in your backyard to celebrate their love for football.
While the opening fixture of Russian Federation v Saudi Arabia isn't exactly the high-profile affair of past World Cups - we were treated to Brazil v Croatia in 2014 - barely anyone could contain their excitement.