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Rolling Stones Rock Abu Dhabi in First Middle East Show

  • VOA News

Mick Jagger (C), Charlie Watts (L) and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones perform during a concert in Abu Dhabi, Feb. 21, 2014.

Mick Jagger (C), Charlie Watts (L) and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones perform during a concert in Abu Dhabi, Feb. 21, 2014.

Vintage rockers, the Rolling Stones played their first-ever concert in the Middle East on Friday on Yas Island - a gig to 30,000, mostly Western fans in culturally conservative Abu Dhabi.

A swaggering Mick Jagger, dressed in black sequins and red satin - later donning a red feather boa - strutted across the stage, showing little sign of his advancing years as he sang hits including It's Only Rock 'n Roll, Honky Tonk Women, Brown Sugar and Sympathy for the Devil.

But unlike an appearance by Madonna in the Gulf Arab state in 2012 - which featured erotic dancing, provocative outfits and bare-chested monks - the concert passed off without controversy.

The band - all in their late 60s and early 70s - delighted fans who had traveled from around the United Arab Emirates for the only Middle East show at the start of a tour that moves on to Japan, Macau, Australia and New Zealand.

“For their first gig in the Middle East, it was magic. It's history,” said British expat Lisa Ball-Lechgar after the two-hour concert during which Jagger, guitarists Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood and drummer Charlie Watts performed 19 songs.

Information for this report was contributed by Reuters.
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