Surrounded by screaming teenagers, I started to question my decision to see Christina Aguilera live in Abu Dhabi. When she was an hour late starting, after leaving the crowd to be warmed up by a seeming karaoke winner, followed by reggae from the local DJ, that sinking feeling just grew and grew. But, when she finally did appear she belted out the tunes and all was forgiven.
She danced and pranced in an array of outfits, from tasteful white suit to spray on leopard-print leotard. During the costume changes the audience got to watch videos of her. My favourite was the one where she was all but having sex with what looked like a hookah pipe. You've got to love a woman with the guts to show that in a Muslim country!
It wasn't long before she screamed 'It's hot in Abu Dhabi'. Funny 'cos we were just commenting on how nice the weather was. But then again, I suppose she couldn't feel the nice breeze under all those lights. After a short break to introduce the band and amazing backing dancers, she followed on with 'Hurt', hitting every note perfectly and facing a sea of raised lighters. She carried on with hits from her current and past albums and even treated us to a preview from her upcoming album, which I'm sure she mimed. In fact, the more time went on, the less she was singing, relying instead on belting out occasional words. It didn't make 'Fighter', the finale, any less brilliant with silver bits showering down all around. But with no encore I think it would be fair to say Christina Aguilera came, sang and melted.