On the 24th of Feb the phenomenal band Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox wowed us on stage with their amazing performance covering great pop songs in 20’s style jazz, swing, and other popular styles from that time. With songs like ‘Bye Bye Bye’ and ‘Only one’ they introduced the crowd to Aubrey Logan, who made our jaws drop to the floor with her rendition of ‘Bad Blood’. It was Aubrey’s first time in Dubai and she definitely got the crowd dancing and laughing as she cracked jokes on stage, then performed ‘Give it away’. She also took off her shoes at the end and did a one hand cartwheel – I know crazy, right? 😀 – what a performer! Not to mention, Aubrey also played the Trombone, so we started wondering is there anything this woman CAN’T DO. Postmodern Jukebox got their awesome Tap Dancer Sarah Reich after their 7th song, where she got in a battle with the drummer which blew everyone’s mind away, then the cellist and the entire band joined in to play all the different themes to Star Wars including the main theme, ‘Imperial March’ and ‘the Cantina soundtrack’. While playing ‘All about the Bass’ the cellist performed a solo that was both inspiring and oozing with greatness, he had the crowd bowing down. At the end of their performance they all stood and took a selfie with the crowed.
While waiting for the next band to set up on stage, I had a small chat with Jad Abi Haidar who was very excited to watch Toto play. Surprisingly, Jad was also one of the contestants in The Voice who happened to reach the finale and now he travels around the region from Egypt to Morocco to Dubai and many more performing with “8eart’’ a company based in Lebanon. I asked Jad what was his favorite song for Toto and he said, ‘I will remember’.
The English rock band from Manchester James is finally ready to get on stage after facing a bit of technical problems that led to a small delay till about 9:15. Before I start talking about the performance I need to say that I had never heard of them before, and I honestly thought it was a weird name for a band, but after watching them I went home and downloaded the entire discography – which doesn’t happen very often by the way. They started with ‘Rain’ which was a very chill song the kind that makes you wanna wave your arms in the air and sway left and right, what really caught my attention is how the front man was dancing in the most random fashion, it was like the music had strings attached to him and was moving him without any control from his side whatsoever. I soon learned why he is this way when he started to tell the story behind their second song ‘Moving on’.
‘’The next song is about my mother who died in my arms 2 years ago, it was a beautiful death which is something that you don’t hear a lot of people say nowadays that death can be beautiful, it was more of a rebirth’’
With those chilling words he went on to say that there is a video clip done by BAFTA award-winning animator Ainslie Henderson and it is now used in Hospices – a home providing care for the terminally ill – for children who ask about death in order to ease their passing, safe to say I felt Goosebumps all over and my eyes started to water, this is when I realized he was one of those people who are in tune with nature and had a beautiful soul. One of the funny things that kept happening was that they were discussing on stage which song to play next, ‘’We just make this up as we go along’’ they finally chose a sappy romantic song while the entire band was singing as backup and playing Harmonica beautifully, and this was when James jumped off stage, went past the fan pit and the golden circle and went to the middle of the general admission crowd and started singing his heart out. This was breathtaking and a very nice touch if you ask me.
The moment we’ve been all waiting for was here. Toto made their way to the stage performing their first song ‘You supply the love’, I think the reason this event was held outdoors was because if it had a roof, the crowd’s cheers would’ve blown it off to ‘Kingdom Come’. After some thank you’s and some witty jokes they introduced their long time friend Lenny Castro on stage with them to help them pay tribute to all the friends they lost this year in specific Maurice White from Earth, Wind and Fire who tragically passed away earlier this month. The pianist then plays while singing which completely blew the crowds mind away but before that he asks the crowd which hat suits him better while he switched hats which was quite funny. Fun doesn’t end here because then their great guitarist plays an amazing solo that melted the entire crowd’s faces. The drummer gives the crowd a glimpse of his awesome talent by playing a solo on his drums. To end this beautiful night with a great song Toto then does an extra Encore the crowd was asking for ‘AFRICA’, they played a prolonged version of the song with each member taking time to play a special solo and they also did an awesome crowd chant ending the night on a very high note (pun intended :D)