Madonna did all the wrong things in Abu Dhabi
Exceptional professionalism and determination
Madonna did all the wrong things in Abu Dhabi, but proved that the title “Queen of Pop” deservedly belongs to her. Flash Entertainment, the organizer of her show, also did few things wrong, but altogether paved the way for more spectacular shows of a similar caliber to be staged in the capital of U.A.E.
As tens of thousands fans in the U.A.E., we desperately wanted to see Madonna live. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity and only people who grew up with her music or followed her news since the early 80s can understand that. Madonna is an inspiration for determination for few generations.
The concert in Abu Dhabi started at around 10.35 pm last night at the Yas arena. We called Flash Entertainment earlier on the day and inquired what time the show will begin. A female customer service representative told us that the dors open from 7 pm, and the concert will start shortly after. “It is expected to be over by 11 pm”, she said.
Together with nearly 22,000 fans, we lined up to see Madonna in the humid and hot evening, when temperatures were between 32 and 35 Celsius. Standing for three and half hours in one place before the show even started and sweating from head to toe is not enjoyable. Flash Entertainment sold concert tickets even on the door, although a few media announcements from the past months stated that tickets were sold out in twenty minutes or a day. However, the company kept releasing and selling more and more tickets. Madonna’s fans were so tightly squeezed during the show that few fought for space between each other, a couple fainted, and many left early. Even the golden circle crowd that paid AED1,095 (US $300) per ticket was not spared or provided with more comforts.
The material girl either didn’t care much about the peaceful and slightly conservative Middle Eastern mentality, or there was no time to change her show’s choreography. Maybe, she simply wanted to chalenge our minds and provoke controversial thoughts. Her show featured a wide range of religious and aggressive scenes, sexual gestures, and even a striptease like performance. She played mostly a bad girl with a sexual power.
The show opened with Madonna in a prayer scene, with a cross stretched across the background screens. She was fully dressed in a tight black outfit holding a machine gun. Later, the character she played turned aggressive and killed few on stage, with blood spilling over the background screens, while she drank whisky. The second act’s theme was a breathing relief, with Madonna and her superb backup dancers dressed as cheer leaders.
During the first four or five performances Madonna was remarkably energetic and looked fresh, but from a close distance during the later songs, one could note some signs of tiredness, although she is in an immaculate physical condition.
Performing in a hot and humid weather, on an open arena in the middle of a sandy area, surely is not the dream of any artist. But Madonna is a world class performer. She stuck up to her reputation and carried out with her show with an exceptional professionalism. She greeted fans several times mentioning Abu Dhabi and pronouncing it with the right accent, unlike some international superstars in the past. The singer spoke to us and and also noted that “it is hot here”.
During the nearly two and half hours of the show Madonna underwent many different transformations. She changed costumes and hair styles eight or nine times. The breaks between different acts were short and she never stopped dancing and moving on the stage.
The show is a remix of Madonna’s songs and performances during the past years. It screened flash-backs from her previous appearances in the background. The feeling it gives you is not a happy one, but rather grim. The stage decors were mostly dark and the costumes were mostly black, except the cheerleading performance.
There was too much of aggression and sexuality in Madonna’s acts. Maybe in other parts of the world this could amuse the crowds, but yesterday some younger fans wondered why she stripteases to show off her laced bra, while one screamed “crazy”. Well, this is Madonna’s signature style that made her “Queen of Pop” worldwide.
Everyone who knows Madonna is well aware that her performances are not “child-friendly”. On the website of Flash Entertainment is written that you have to be 21+ to attend the concert. On the tickets is written the same and even that you need an ID to prove your age. However, when we called the company and inquired if kids are allowed, they said “yes, but you have to buy a ticket.” Madonna’s concert is definitely not a child-friendly one and the few minors in the public looked exhausted.
Altogether, Madonna’s concert is a remarkable show. It is a once in life opportunity for many fans. It makes you feel as you have accomplished something remarkable on your own.