It’s the first time for legendary British rock group The Rolling Stones to perform in the Middle East and last Friday, they rocked Abu Dhabi, performing at the du Arena on Yas Island. Abu Dhabi is still a conservative state and luckily the concert, which was attended by 30,000 fans, majority of which are Westerners, was not controversial.
The Rolling Stones, whose members are already in their 60s and 70s are still able to give a rousing performance and make the crowd rock, dance and sing along. Prior to their concert they asked fans to send them the titles of the songs they want included in the set list and many responded.
Foreign fans living in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Israel, Egypt and other areas in the UAE traveled to the venue to watch the British rock group. Most of the fans were seeing their long-time idols for the first time. Some say that this may be the last time that the group will go on tour because of their age, so they want to see them perform live at least once. Many say that they grew up with the Rolling Stones and Beatles music. Some say they inherited the love for the group from their parents and older siblings.
Still the same ol’ Mick Jagger
Those who have watched the concert and critics said that Mick Jagger did not even look like he’s 70. He was the same old Mick Jagger, still flamboyant, still wearing sparkly jackets and bright colored shirts. They had six costume changes throughout the two-hour show.
It is a historical event for some, especially those that have wanted to watch the Rolling Stones live for a long time. The stage set up was huge, with a T-platform that divided the venue into two. Although it came as a shock to many who were more used to the conventional stage set-up, the extended stage allowed Mick Jagger to move around and get closer to the hysterical fans.
The aging group’s voices held up, as they dished out their classic hits one after the other, opening with Start Me Up. The fans sang along with the band, as they sang their hits like It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll, Brown Sugar, Sympathy for the Devil, Honky Tonk Women, and Tumbling Dice. Keith Richards performed two songs, Slipping Away and Before They Make Me Run. Frontman Mick Jagger and band members Charlie Watts, Ronnie Woods and Keith Richards performed a total of 19 songs, to the delight of the huge crowd. They ended the show with one of their signature songs, (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.
14 On Fire Tour
The show in Abu Dhabi is the first leg of their latest tour, which will take them around Asia Pacific. From the one-off show in Abu Dhabi, they will have three shows in Tokyo and one in Macau. Afterwards they will be going to Australia for a six-city show and end the tour with a one-night show in Auckland, New Zealand.
Photo credit: Taken by Michael Borson> under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.