“I don’t do things for the response or for the controversy. I just live my life” Rihanna
Saturday was our first day back in the sandpit and it was Rihanna time at the Du Arena on Yas Island. Now as she has a reputation for being late on stage at her previous concerts on this tour, we didn’t drag our jet-lagged bodies to the arena too early.
What is it about these young stars (how ancient does that make me sound) who think it’s acceptable to make fans wait and wait and wait……..not quite in the league of Bieber (don’t even get me started about him and his late antics) but in true diva fashion party girl RiRi didn’t show until just before 10pm! Now it wouldn’t have been so bad had it not been rammed, hot and humid. The sweaty crowd were booing before her arrival and my hair was expanding into a wiry mess by the second!
Rihanna and her entourage had spent some time at Yas Waterworld here in AD earlier that day and their social media was chugging out photo after photo of her at the park – PR gold! So we all knew she had arrived in the capital in plenty of time, so why wasn’t she on stage on time! Who knows?? But arrive she did, in modest all white attire with an edge of gangster style (ghetto meets demure) which I assume was in respect of local customs and definitely not her usual risqué concert attire as seen during earlier dates in other countries, and so the booing crowd changed to screams of delight.
No doubt by the crowds reaction, that RiRi is extremely popular and her Diamonds World Tour was an explosion of lights and theatrics but controversially I think she was miming or lip-synching, whatever you call it these days! I am certainly no expert so who knows if she was or not, but there was a lot of backing track and not so much singing it seemed! It was however, a good show (not the best we have seen by a long shot, but still good) with lots of her hits including ‘Talk That Talk‘, ‘Rude Boy‘, ‘What’s My Name‘ and the crowd favourite ‘Umbrella‘ among many others, interlaced with tracks from her new album ‘Unapologetic‘. 90-minutes later it was all over, a costume change at the end was followed by the encore of ‘Stay‘ and ‘Diamonds‘, house lights were on and it was time to try to exit the packed arena and flag down a taxi. The other half and the teenager were disappointed by the omission of ‘Love The Way You Lie‘ from the set list.
Controversy follows Barbadian Rihanna, whether she courts it or not and her visit to the UAE was no exception. After a visit to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, she posted using her much-loved Instagram account, photos of herself, although respectably dressed and fully covered (nor sure the bright red lips and nails were as acceptable) photographed in what has been deemed sexy and sultry poses, not suitable in a place of worship. Not acceptable to some, but it ensured her place in the headlines of the news all around the world, with reposts of the photos literally everywhere – PR job well done Rhianna!
All views are my own based on my experience. Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2013. All rights reserved.