22nd of November 2013 was a legendary day, as I got to see rock legends Europe live for the first time in Dubai.
The band is most famous for their adrenaline sky-rocketing song ‘The Final Countdown‘ but also the beautiful Ballade ‘Carrie’ and other great songs. The venue was at the Dubai Tennis Stadium and organized by M Premiere, very central for Dubai citizens but also easy to find for people coming from other Emirates.
The stage set up was great. The sound was pretty good and the light effects – wow. Well-coordinated with the songs being played.
Getting to the venue the only downside was that silver ticket holders were seated, a lot of people who hadn’t been to the Tennis stadium before didn’t expect that or more precisely hadn’t taken that into consideration. And let’s be honest here, being seated during a total killer show? Doesn’t really work. A lot of folks were a bit let down by that. But as the show progressed lots of people stood up or simply went to the edge of the fences and contributed their fan power input from there.
The Boxtones were the first to play for that night. Personally never having witnessed their performance live before, I found it very refreshing to see a female fronted band. Her vocals were great and so was the band’s performance. It was kind of chilled, so the crowd could save up their energy for the rest of the night. It’s the type of band you love to listen to in the background while getting a drink and having an occasional chat with your friends, preparing for a great night. They played for approximately half an hour and then Ascendant rocked the stage.
Ascendant were amazing. Total metal power blasting, great riffs and a great drummer. They heated up the crowd for what was about to come. The vocalist was doing a great job, singing high pitched and mimicking power metal vocals. By the end of their performance everyone was hyped up and so ready for Europe.
And then the main act of the night began: Swedish rock legends Europe took the stage. Their performance left me speechless. Truth be said, Tempest sounded even better live than on records. His energy was contagious. That man would jump around; spin the microphone stand, run from one edge of the stage to the other, all while singing. Without missing a single note.
They topped all my expectations. Their crowd interaction was great too; Tempest had some Arabic words to throw to the crowd, reaching from ‘merhaba & mafi matar’ to ‘kef halkum dubai’
They played with the audience, teasing them, and making sure they never ran out of energy. I knew a couple of songs they played, obviously their best hits including, Carrie, Cherokee, Rock the Night and Girl from Lebanon. But overall, every single performance was just great. The crowd was enthusiastic and jumped, head banged, danced or danced to their songs. Of course after such a long career they were masters with keeping the crowd entertained, knew exactly which buttons to press to make sure we were hyped up and didn’t get bored for longer than a split second.
After having played for over an hour, they went off stage, lights went down. This had happened before. The first time they did that the crowd already started yelling ‘we want more’ but half the people were expecting it’d be a break since it was too early to end the show. Doing that for the second time people were still excited as the killer ‘The final countdown’ hadn’t been played yet, however a lot were afraid to get disappointed. People who attended Megadeth’s performance last year and got disappointed when they didn’t play Holy Wars will know what I mean.
However after around 2 minutes they got back on stage, it was still dark. And there, the first riffs of the final countdown began. After having played the first part, the stage lit up, and Tempest came out yelling ‘DUBAII’, then the stage lit up even more and fire inserts spiked up. They had us all there. Every single person at the concert was now on full excitement mode having every their metal/rock hearts beating faster than ever. It was such a great closing act. I still have the video and whenever I watch it I feel the same excitement I felt that day.
It was truly great seeing these legends rock live and prove that rock n roll never dies, never even get’s old. I truly hope I’ll get to see them along with other legendary bands again in Dubai.