Nelly Furtado fine, but Guns N' Roses are tops
ABU DHABI // Hard-rock fans were practising their air-guitar routines last night in preparation for the gig they've all been waiting for – Guns N' Roses.
The legendary American rockers are receiving top billing in a series of weekend concerts scheduled for Yas Island this winter.
Waleed Shah, 23, an engineer who has lived in Abu Dhabi all of his life, said he was amazed that the band, one of his favourites, would be coming to the capital.
"Abu Dhabi has really stepped up its game in the last two years," he said. "We are seeing all kinds of acts, from pop stars to rock legends. I am going to buy my ticket as soon as possible."
Michael Dahdal, 33, an Australian sports director, also said he was looking forward to seeing the rock band perform.
"If you are in your thirties you grew up with Guns N' Roses," he said. "This is music from my era."
He said the band should have been billed to play in November. "Then they could have played November Rain," he joked.
Mr Dahdal's wife, Natalie Dahdal, also 33, said she was most excited about Nelly Furtado, whose gig was also announced last night.
"She is awesome," she said. "I would have like the chance to see her in a smaller venue, though, maybe playing an acoustic set."
Furtado will perform in the Yas Arena, the open-air arena adjacent to the Yas Marina circuit, on November 26, two weekends after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix wraps up.
Teen boy band the Jonas Brothers rounded out last night's announcements.
During the F1 race weekend there will be three late-night acoustic performances - from Gabrielle, Sugababes and Corinne Bailey Rae - in the Longitude Bar at The Yas Hotel, which holds around 250 people.
Promoters announced earlier that Prince, Kanye West and Linkin Park will be headlining after-race concerts during F1 weekend.
Abdullah al Baker, 24, an Emirati financial consultant, said he was impressed with the entire month's line-up, which was organised by Flash Entertainment.
"They are really doing a good job. They only started recently and they are getting some really big names. It is going to be a good month."
The newly announced acts will take the stage during five consecutive weekends following F1 weekend.
The event, called Yas Island Show Weekends, is designed to prolong the entertainment and excitement of the Grand Prix and give as many people as possible the chance to see top-quality musical acts.
Industry experts said the acts cater to all musical tastes.
"The three acts they have at F1 are already pretty big," said Edward Bagnall, the marketing and communications manager of Music Master, an online music store. "And to have a band the size of Guns N' Roses as well is very impressive."
Fahad Dama, a 24-year-old Briton, said that although he wasn't a fan of the Jonas Brothers or Guns N' Roses, he was planning to attend Creamfields, the popular dance event.
"I can't wait for that," he said. "I've been to a few in England and they are really good."
"We designed the Yas Island Show Weekends in a way that meant people of all ages and tastes could come and get involved," said John Lickrish, the managing director of Flash Entertainment.
The best thing about the line-up, said Zahra Soar, a DJ on radio station Dubai Eye 103.8, is its strong appeal to families.
"They really have the demographic for children and families nailed," she said.
* With additional reporting by Megan Detrie
Published: October 21, 2010 04:00 AM