Sunday, March 07, 2010
Stung by Sting
So we decided to go to the Sting concert the other day...despite me vowing never to go to another concert ever again after the Shakira fiasco. But I figured, what the hell...Shakira was 3 years ago, Mirage promotions is nowhere close to being involved in this concert, so why not...Plus, I mean, this was Sting!
The venue was Meydan, the new racecourse in Dubai which replaced Nad al Sheba. It was my first time there and it looked like we were driving to the middle of nowhere. We got stuck in a bit of traffic at the Meydan entrance but luckily traffic was moving fast so we got there pretty quickly (the cab driver, on the other hand, was psycho...but that's another story for another time).
Meydan is simply HUMONGOUS for lack of a better word! I mean really...HUGE! Once there, we tried to find our way to the area where we could collect our wristbands. We waited in line to get through security (took 12 minutes), then tried to find out way. We walked for a while trying to find the wristband place...we walked and walked and walked....until we FINALLY found it. Did I mention that the racecourse is HUGE?
OK so now we have the wristbands. We wanted to secure some good spots, so we walk some more, grab some drinks along the way...all the time trying to figure out where the stage was. We eventually get to the area behind the stage and we wait. And wait some more. We ask a security guard what the deal was, he says "well, can't you see that the gate is still closed??"...umm...no...We didn't even know there WAS a gate!
The concert was supposed to start at 11:30 and at 11:40 they finally open the gate, which was the definition of a bottleneck. Thousands of people trickling into a tiny space to make it towards the front of the stage. Finally, we make it through! And luckily the concert started around 15 minutes later.
The screen behind the stage was kickass! Really huge and it really made the whole concert. The sound, on the other hand, was lacking...at times, we could barely hear him.
Sting sang all the classics (or most of them anyway) which is great because I don't know any of his recent stuff. The venue was quite impressive but maybe too impressive...a little more intimacy would have been ideal.
We walked out as he was doing his encore, in an effort to beat the masses. I was worried about finding a cab (again, refer to the Shakira fiasco) but luckily this time, there were plenty available. I'm guessing half of Dubai's taxis were there! There was a long queue but again, it moved pretty quickly and 20 minutes later, we were on our way home.
Overall, an OK experience as far as concerts go. Not as bad as I expected it to be. I guess we are spoiled by Abu Dhabi concerts which are always amazingly well organized. And despite the stunning setting that was provided by Meydan, I still prefer the Emirates Palace as a venue. It's close to the city, it's big enough yet not too big, and it has the gorgeous Palace as a backdrop.
But an OK effort for Dubai as far as big concerts go...Dubai seems to be getting back on the concert map and an Elton John and Santana concert was announced for the end of the month. Let's see how that one goes :)