OK here we try again. Last Thursday Night.
Dubai Tennis Stadium is our "oldest" and pretty much only fixed stadium veue for concerts. It's been open about 20 years and used to seem REALLY BIG. I guess it takes around 3,500 for a gig.
The show was due to start at 9pm but this being Dubai the audience didn't bother to turn up until 9:15 and, to be fair, it was about 80% full (vs 40% for the last gig we saw there - The Happy Mondays"
90% of the crowd were clearly not locals, and the average age had to be around 45 pushing 50, it was also bloody cold.
The band came on stage at 9:15 and set straight into one of their classic #1's. It seemed to be played at a slower tempo, strangely, the lead vocals seemed to be in my vocal range.. they did their greetings and we all noted that the (Glaswegian) commented on how bloody cold it was and was wearing a Jacket & Scarf...
They morphed into some pleasant "album track" stuff that (surprisingly) a good 50% of the crowd knew, for me I found myself really liking the music, they kept their signature sound and tone and yet the songs managed to not be repetitive like some old bands. The singer did start to grate a bit, perhaps he had been to the Phil Oakey school of stage presence? WALKING from side to side, waving at each and every part of the audience.
They slid slowly through another smash hit, by now I had realised that YES every song was in my vocal range. Then I consulted Mrs D_P (who knows about music stuff) and she said yes, it seemed to her that they had taken all their songs "Down One" as we say in Karaoke Land. And off we went again with some La Lalalalala Laaa Laalaa La laaas.
The original members were still there, especially the lead guitarist, who I must say was AWESOME - not in a Slash way but in constantly changing Guitars to produce different styles and sounds yet still somehow even if you had entered the stadium blind & heard their most obscure song you would have known instantly who you were listening to. The keyboard player created an almost Gary Numanesqu sound, Ms Davis (from almost in Wales) filled in on the really high notes & some keyboards - her voice was not strong but clearly she got the gig as she sounded like / covered the old fart in the scarf.
About half way through, a random Amazonian woman with BIG HAIR came out and did all that WOO WOOOOOO WOOOOOOOOOO ing stereotype backing vocals and then nailed a solo and a duet with Ms Davis, she stayed on to the end.
At 1 hour 40 minutes they buggered off, drank their Sanatogen, gulped Oxygen and returned to finish with 4 of their greatest hits.
IF the Tennis Stadium had had a roof, it would by now have been lamding close to that Malaysian Plane out in the Indian Ocean. They blew the Goddam Roof off. Nobody, not one VVIP look at me obnoxious git was still sitting down. That NEVER happens in Dubai. The place rocked so much it set off the local Seismic Detectors.
Me? I was sober, 1st Gig in 23 years where I did not touch a drop before during or after (Meds Harumph).
So yes the tempo of all the songs was slower, yes the vocal range has diminshed. But you know what? It now makes them THE best singalong band on the planet. I fooking LOVED it.
You bloody rocked the house guys.
Go see them before they get too old as well and wind up on your FB Newsfeed