Twenty-two-year-old American singer-songwriter, dancer, rapper and actor Chris Brown rocked a Middle East audience with an extravagant performance on Dec. 9 at the Dubai Festival Centre, the award-winning retail resort of Dubai Festival City, as part of his F.A.M.E. tour.
By RIMA AL-MUKHTAR, RIMA.ALMUKHTAR@ARABNEWS.COM
It was the first time for Brown to perform in Dubai. The tour began in Australia and Brown headlined 37 concerts in North America, Oceania and the Middle East. The started on April 20 and ended on Dec. 9.
Event organizers 321 Events put up a gigantic set for the show, with large LED screens, displaying a countdown to Chris Brown’s arrival onto the stage. The 44 m stage itself consisted of 200 lights, larger than life Roman pillars and platforms with lion statues that captured the attention of the audience’s before Chris Brown walked onto the stage for his first performance.
Around 10,000 fans attended the Dubai concert with his core audience of teens and 20-something males and females. The audience were very much mesmerized by Brown’s performance and signing; he managed to keep his fans entertained, happy and excited.
“It’s pretty much amazing how you see thousands of people singing along and dancing to Chris Brown’s music especially the young ones who look up to him,” said Carl Naveed, a 27-year-old fan. “I came here with my friends and I have to say I wasn’t Brown’s biggest fan, but after this show, I can see what people like in him. He is such an energetic young man who lives to please his fans.”
Brown changed his outfit for each performance, which made the fashion lovers look forward to the next look. “Every time Brown left the stage, I cannot stop thinking of how would his next outfit would look like,” said Damini, a 22-year-old fan from India. “As soon as he comes back to the stage, you can literally hear people gasp, especially for the glow in the dark suit that his crew wore in the last performance. It was literally breath taking.”
For 24-year-old British student April Lukas, it wasn’t the first time she sees Brown in concert, as she attended his concert in Sydney back in 2008. “I very much enjoy his video clips but watching him dance live is just another story. He always manages to wow the crowd, even though Rihanna accompanied the Sydney concert and this is just a solo. He also managed to amuse us,” said Lukas.
“After attending the 2008 concert, I thought to myself that I have to go to the Dubai one too. He never let his fans down, and this is even better that the other one,” she added.
Armed with a highly talented and energetic dance crew, Brown unleashed his dancing and singing gifts, with beautiful renditions of some of his most popular tracks, including “I Can Transform Ya,” “Run It,” “Look at Me Now,” “Yo (Excuse Me Miss),” “She Ain’t You,” “Deuces & Ballin,” amongst several others.
His performance finished with one of his most popular songs, “Beautiful People,” which was a stunning display of glow-in-the-dark costumes and apparels that had the crowd enthralled.
Haya, a Kuwaiti mother who flew to Dubai with her 12-year-old daughter, especially to attend the concert, thought the event was not organized well.
“We bought the fame lounge tickets because I wanted to make sure that my daughter was comfortable and able to see the concert from a good place. We were promised good service and better seating than everybody else, but that’s not what happened. We did not have a special entrance, so we ended up waiting for two hours in line with every other class even though we paid triple what they did,” said Haya.
The fame lounge was supposed to be in front of the main stage but the people who paid around Dhs 1,000 ended up standing in a high cubicle in front of a large screen.
“I was very disappointed with this treatment and I couldn’t help myself but wonder: ‘why did I pay that much money just to stand in front of a screen?’” said Haya. “On the other hand, my daughter and I had a blast with Chris Brown’s performance. He did everything he could to entertain his fans and everyone was happy with his music, dancing and even his costumes.”