Wonderful Crazy Night Tour
Autism Rocks Arena Dubai
08 Dec 2017
That’s right. After a year of waiting, Sir Elton John has finally landed in the UAE – for the first time in his half a century long musical career. Of course, I had to go! and made sure we arrived early to avoid the traffic disaster (having in mind the horrific experience we had trying to get to see Guns ‘n’ Roses at the same venue earlier this year). But the place seems to be developing. Driving in was easy and we were kindly guided to the spacious parking area by dozens of traffic controllers with lightsabers. The Venue still looks a bit like a camp in the middle of the desert with sheets of black fabric simulating walls and separating the amphitheater from the dining area, or “snacking area” to be more precise, where you could get some hot dogs and soft drinks (by the way The Autism Rocks Arena is now a permanently dry venue). But the weather was good, and people were cheerful.
So, here we are seated on our chairs anticipating and trying not to set any expectations and just enjoy whatever happens next. I mean, what could one possibly expect from a musician of that magnitude (and of that age too)? But, knowing Sir Elton, I could bet on a shiny jacket and funky sunglasses.
Dubai based Indie-Folk band Vandalye was warming up the crowd nicely. It was getting close to 9 o’clock, people were slowly flowing into the amphitheater and then BAM! 9pm and not a second late, the maestro was on stage in a sparkling green jacket and matching sunglasses. The magic began. The audience was treated to an amazing setlist of all-time favorites like Rocket Man and Daniel as well as some new songs from his latest album “Wonderful Crazy Night” and of course the ultimate rock’n’roll hits like Crocodile Rock and Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting (that’s when security guards gave up trying to keep people on their seats). All of that accompanied by a mesmerizing visual background and stage lights.
Sir Elton John with his grand piano was an absolute powerhouse rocking the arena for over 2 hours. His voice, it seemed at times, was reaching the Orion constellation that was hanging right above us and certainly reaching people’s hearts. What would you expect from a musician who played some 4000 concerts over a 5-decade carrier? Professionalism – definitely. But what really warmed my heart is that he made me, and the rest of the audience, feel like he wasn’t playing just another show among many but he was there with us, real and open, expressing an infinite love for music and I believe each and every one of us was carrying a piece of that love with them when leaving the venue.