Time Out went along to the Sting concert at Meydan. Was it any good?
After the Super Thursday races at the all new Meydan racetrack, Sting bounced on stage in black jodhpurs to give the crowds what they had been hoping for – energetic, passionate renditions from his backlist.
He kicked things off on the dot of midnight (an hour late) with Message in a Bottle and kept them coming, one past hit after another, barely pausing for water. He may be approaching 60, but the man has clearly still got it, belting out the crowd-pleasers and ballads with unfeigned enthusiasm and mixing things up with the occasional vocal riff and acoustic aside. A few more up-tempo songs wouldn't have gone amiss, but the old favourites were all there, from Roxanne and Walking on the Moon, to Fields of Gold and Englishman in New York.
It was a surprisingly chilly night, and the hand-over from horse racing to pop act was always going to prove a feat. Golden Circle ticket holders were corralled through a tunnel beneath the race track and into a holding area behind the stage where they waited in their thousands, drinks in hand, for the race track to be cleared and prepared. It was an orderly process in the end, but there were no announcements and delays were inevitable.
Once the act was under way, a vast screen offered fans across the race track a chance to see some of the action. Meydan is no bespoke concert venue, that's for sure, but the grandstand makes for an incredible backdrop – a goliath of a building which stretches almost as far as the eye can see (just under a mile, to be exact).
In our pre-concert interview Sting told us, ‘It’s my job to stand up there and sing songs I wrote 35 years ago with the energy and commitment and sense of discovery as if I’d written them that afternoon.’ It's the kind of sound bite you don't take literally. Watching Sting perform Meydan on Thursday night, it was clear he meant every word.
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Mohamad Jomaa Mar 25, 2010 05:16 am
This concert was a disappointment to every Sting fan!! The organizers did an extremely bad job, we had to wait for 2 hours standing on our feet in an overcrowded waiting area. The sound system was an absolute disaster, no proper distribution of instruments and although we were at the golden circle, we could not hear sting...
We expected alot more!!!!!
Harald Mar 09, 2010 02:46 pm
Yes, Sting's songs were great, but for the money that you have purchased the gold card, I expected something more. No show of the band, just playing the songs and then still far too short. I also found the organization is defective, how can you let hundreds of people piled in the tightest space and then wait for over an hour the people. The people who bought a ticket for 150AED were best off. You've heard the music, could be seen on the big screen and as the musicians do not see anyway to show was probably not been so crowded. Conclusion, the cards were too expensive. Timeout, more effort next time.
I was very dissatisfied.
Marja Mar 09, 2010 08:06 am
I cant agree that it was amazing. The setup of the stage was so low, that you could hardly see Sting on the stage. Great were the screens. The acoustic was lousy, especially with the backdrop due to the grandstand. And I dont think that Sting performed that well. His voice was weak!
The organisation was the worst I ever experienced in a concert in the UAE. Especially when the crowd moved from the holding area to the stage area. No security guys to show the right way for the circle. I can only hope that they will have some professional companies with them for the concert with Elton John.
I saw many people leaving early, being upset like me and my friend. I hope that the organisers see what went wrong and they will move the stage or at least turn it around that it is not facing the grandstrand. You couldnt see very well from the grandstand seating. So why do you need it?