Its official, the Rolling Stones played their first ever concert in the Middle East and getting satisfaction was what it was all about. As part of the 14 on Fire Tour, Mick Jagger and the guys played on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi on Friday to a crowd of 30,000, apparently mostly Western, cheering and excited fans.
Jagger, clad in red satin and black sequins, and even a red feather boa later in the show, strutted the stage like he always has, showing little sign of his advanced age. Guitarists Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards along with drummer Charlie Watts kept up with him as always.
The band blasted out the favorites, including Honky Tonk Woman, Brown Sugar, and Sympathy for the Devil, to the cheers and applause of the audience in their two-hour gig. In total the band played 19 well-known and well-loved songs.
Unlike Madonna’s trip there in 2012, which featured some controversial and provocative outfits, the concert was accepted and enjoyed without any problems in the ultra conservative location.
Reportedly the mostly Western fans had traveled from all over the United Arab Emirates to enjoy the only show in the Middle East, as the Rolling Stones tour now moves on to Japan, Macau, Australia and New Zealand.
One British expat, Lisa Ball-Lechgar, was heard to say that “for their first gig in the Middle East, it was magic. It’s history.”
According to a review in The National, some people might not have been getting satisfaction and may, in fact, have been a little disappointed as the Rolling Stones played their first concert in the Middle East. Apparently the band didn’t play those classic numbers, Get Off My Cloud, Ruby Tuesday and Wild Horses, which was disappointing indeed. However, in general the report said that the Rolling Stones’ Abu Dhabi show was “a solid performance” and the band, all in their late 60s or early 70s, didn’t fail to impress.
A review in Time Out Dubai seems to agree, saying that the band gave an incredible two hour concert, “ brimming with bluster, groove, spirit, hits” and apparently great enthusiasm.
According to the reviewer, Jagger even attempted to drop in a bit of Arabic in his between song banter. Apparently, the band made a couple of mistakes and Richards even laughingly sang the line “am I losing my touch?”, after messing up the line before, but even this didn’t matter to the fans. Said reviewer also said that Jagger’s vocals have apparently “lost clarity with age,” but that he still trounced around the stage like a man half his age.
According to a commenter on the video rendition of I Can’t Get no Satisfaction at the Abu Dhabi concert featured below, he really enjoyed himself, saying, “What a blast! A once in a lifetime experience with the ‘greatest rock n’ roll band in the world!'”
While the next step in the 14 on Fire Tour is in Asia and Australasia, it has recently been announced that the band are planning on taking the tour to Europe in Summer 2014. According to a Pollstar report which was published on February 4, the European tour dates and locations are yet to be announced, but this is exciting news indeed for European fans of the Stones.
Referred to in one review as the “wrinkly rockers” the Rolling Stones have definitely been getting satisfaction of their own, both at their first concert in the Middle East and elsewhere on tour.
By Anne Sewell