The group started off slow before taking the crowd into a climax that saw Isaac climb the steel beams holding the stage aloft. They began with popular hit, You Found Me, and the 10,000 odd people gathered on the sands of Nasimi Beach were only happy to sing along. The song Syndicate saw Slade take to the piano and the crowd moved to the beats.
Our favourite number for the evening was the band’s rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Run, interspersed with their very own Never Say Never. Slade got the crowd involved in every performance with his infectious energy and dedicated their hit Happiness to everyone. The song everyone was waiting for was the group’s most famous hit, How to Save a Life, made popular by the TV show Grey’s Anatomy. And when it came they pushed and they squealed trying to make their way to the front to sing their hearts out.
Slade was the consummate rockstar: he walked through the crowds, got on top of the piano and gave ‘an incredible and epic performance’ according to Maureen Agasen.
One of the partygoers Glenn Carmichael said, “We had to be at the front of the throng to see The Fray perform and they delivered! The performance was incredible.”
Earlier in the day, Mat Kearney enthralled the crowds at sundown with an acoustic performance. The relaxing beats of Ships in the Night saw people gently swaying as the sun set on the sands.
Dizzee Rascal continued to the party late into the night and got everyone ‘Bonkers.’ By then many had lost their footwear but that didn’t stop them from dancing away.
Regional favourite Omar Basaad had quite a large number of fans in the crowd and tweeted after his show ‘Thank you dubai you’ve been amazing!!’ He echoed the sentiments of The Fray frontman Slade who greeted the crowd with ‘Ahlan wa Sahlan’ and left with ‘Shukran’ promising to return.
The organisers deserve a pat on their backs: there were no long queues to get in, toilets were easily accessible and security was on hand to ensure no fights turned ugly. The masses went home sweaty, tired and with sore feet but were all smiles.
By Yusran Farzan