This tradition started back in 2007 on a late Monday night, when my brother and I saw this ad on Mtv’s Head Banger’s Ball. Thus, it became an annual trip. Every March, we would travel to Dubai to attend the desert rock festival. The line-ups of bands kept getting better every year with greater excitement and louder music. Though this story happened in 2008.
As I boarded the plane, I heard this loud noise, it was my first time experiencing engine rumbling, oh no wait…that was just some guy farting.
I mean if there were a geologist near by with a seismograph, he would have been convinced that there was an earthquake going on. We were five friends riding economy; with one friend riding first class because it was the last seat available. The first class friend kept rubbing it in our faces that he was in luxury by telling us that he was being served seedless olives. As for us, We were so far behind in the plane, that we were literally last row and this close to holding on to the tail of the plane. And to make things worse, the continuous sound of the toilet flushing didn’t make our flight any more pleasant. We reached Dubai in an hour and ½.
We were staying at the Crowne Plaza, which meant more points for my loyalty card OH YEA! My brother Abz, friends and I only stayed there for 5 nights. On Thursday we went to Jumeirah private beach. It was a blast! But we could not Jet Ski do to high winds and big waves that day. As the sun was going down I stayed with Lil Moe and Rakan in the Jacuzzi while everyone else were passing rounds at the bar. We started joking around so they decided to play this silly game of who can hold their breath the longest. Drunk as I was, I immediately submerged myself under water. Little did I know they were tricking me! A few minutes passed by so I decided to open my eyes. To my surprise instead of seeing two pairs of white legs I saw a dozen pair of brown legs!! As I lifted my head from the water an Indian family stared me down as an intruder. I smiled and jumped out to find the little motherfuckers laughing their heads off at me. By that time everyone has left before us to Mall of Emirates to buy the concert tickets. To meet up with them I had to use a pay phone because I ran out of credits. Abz forgot his phone in a cab so we didn’t see him that whole night. The day started out well, but ended as a disaster. All in all, the next day was the concert!
The clock hit noon, and we were on our way to the festival. Surprisingly it had less people than last year, but of course so many teenagers and kids that it was impossible to differentiate between a guy and a girl because they all looked the same! They all had long hair, gothic makeup, optional mosquito bites “as in emerging mango boobs” or flat chested, and pimples. We were first row as usual. The line up for Friday which was metal night, consisted of killswitch engage, Korn, Machine Head, As I lay Dying, Prodigy, and others just to name a few. Waiting excitedly in the Cue, the press were filming people and taking pictures of fans for the tabloids. I couldn’t control myself so I dragged Superman with me to the first cameraman we saw. We jumped in with the group of people he was taking a photo of, he tried to explain something to us but we kept insisting “We are ready!” “We are ready, its ok!”. He took the photo obediently and we left satisfied. As I looked back I realized they were just a bunch of fans taking a photo by the giant banner. So that explains the expressions on the photographer’s face.
The venue was completely revamped. Also many distractions were available other than just varieties of food, beverage and fan merchandise stands. There were cranes that lifted dance floors into the sky, a cable swing, tents for relaxation, and tents that included consoles to play video games.
The smell this year was NASTY! You know when you walk into a pub and accidentally slip on freshly puked vomit, so you go back home to take a shower and find out your dog shat all over the lawn, and just when you thought you’ve smelt it all a homeless guy burps in your face. Well, the concert’s aroma was nothing like that!
Fans were squashing us against the bar so I had to really push back with all my strength, it was crazy, even the girls who endured this with us must’ve developed bicep muscles bigger than Pamela Anderson’s. As we waited with anticipation and excitement the first act of the day appeared on stage. It was killswitch Engage! The crowd went wild as the vocalist took the mic and the other members appeared side by side rocking it out. They played hit after hit. Then the lead singer came off the stage into the audience and I touched his hand! I was this close to being one of those girls who scream and lift their shirts off to flash their nipples!
Than this awful band took the scene. So Superman and I decided to get food and drinks for everyone while they stood their ground; this is what we like to call in concerts “saving place”. We literally tried everything! We first went to this crepe stand, and to my luck the vendor was Asian! Me “hi, what crepes do you have?” Vendor “excuse?” Me getting frustrated “what types of crepes do you offer?” Vendor “no…!?Mm hhh...no” Superman “ok! So do guys serve any kind of CRAP in this place!?” Vendor “ah yes!! We hab chocolate crap, cheese crap, banana, tunaaa” We laughed so hard; I sounded like a raped hyena.
It was so good, it was the best crap I’ve ever tasted in my life. I ate 3 on our journey of pigging out and killing time. We then moved to KFC, king Fahad Chicken you say? Wrong cause it was no other than Kentucky Fried Cruelty. I boycotted it years ago but ordered like half the restaurant for my group cause they wanted it. So the guy gave us coupons to win tickets to Akon’s concert, which was also happening that week. I scratched the first one, Superman scratched the second then we gave the third to this stranger who won! I was so upset!
After that I got corona and Smirnoff ice for myself while I got everyone else Heinekens (psst Budweiser is the best! Who’s with me!?) We head back to the crowd stuffed! It was much harder to struggle through with beverages in my hands so I started yelling to Superman “go on without me! ... Save yourself!” but we managed to pull through and meet up with our friends. To our advantage, there was a break going on between band performances while the stage was being reset. As my friends just finished their food, all of a sudden As I Lat Dying slid on stage! We went wild for two songs but when I jumped up for air it was like O2 where have you been all my life!
As the band wrapped it up, a new one came on called Machine Head We over-rocked Noticing how tired we were, the security guards started distributing water bottles, and the crowd became even wilder! We were like gorillas on cocaine.
Soon after that Korn came!! Throughout their songs The mosh pits were awesome. For those of you who don’t know what a mosh pit is, well it’s a swarm of people slamming into each other for the fun of it. I tried to sustain myself in one but it was no use. In half a minute I was shoved out falling to the ground. I was left alone and surrounded by raging Satanists and dykes. Unfortunately one of my friends Fuzz busted his nose, so we had to take him to the first aid trailer. When I just thought that was the end of our troubles, I find out that Abz lost his shoe in one of the mosh pits. So Fuzz and I went hunting for Abz’s shoe while he hopped on one foot to a safer location. The pyramids in Egypt were nothing in comparison to what we stumbled upon! We found mountains of shoes I feel sorry for the people with feet the size of my hand, may they rest in peace. We managed to bring back with us a pink puma and a flip-flop. By the time we reached him, he was back between the mosh pits looking for his shoe. We waited for 10 minutes and he emerged from the mass with proud scars of war; Vans, and Adidas prints all over his arm. He found his missing shoe being kicked around in the crowd.
As prodigy started, my gang ran away as if they were running from the Brits. I was left alone with my fellow Brits losing it to prodigy. I met this Indian girl called charlotte, and we went together to the cable swing. We were the only ones in the cue to rock out to Prodigy’s last hit of the night “Smack My Bitch Up”. The people around us must’ve thought we were hyped on energy drinks. I wanted to hook her up but the age difference was too much. She was 7 years older than me; I started to question myself if I had mommy issues like Ashton Kutcher. When I was finally up on the tower ironically Lil Moe’s words started ringing in my head! What timing! “What if it breaks…” “What if you die…” So I took a deep breath and jumped off the edge despite the horrible words echoing from Iron Maiden on stage “As I plunge on into certain death...”. The rush and view were amazing you can almost say a natural laxative if I were experiencing constipation. As I swung over the crowd I was heading towards the left side of the stage where I am supposed to land safely. Little did I know that there was this small clutter of metallic triangles that the hook of your harness slams into, to slow you down. The minute I hit it and heard a loud bang I thought this was it! I’m either a goner or by some miracle I flew to china. I landed safely, and temporarily deaf.
Saturday was rock day. I sounded like an alcoholic news reporter from the 1940’s much like that girl from the film Exorcist because of all the yelling I did the day before. We were all too tired to attend the entire concert so we planned to go at 7:00 pm just to catch Velvet Revolver and Muse. Unfortunately, traffic jams that night were hectic. So, we split up to look for taxis. After 30 minutes of running up and down the street I finally catch one, but I wasn’t alone. As easily as I spotted it, another woman to my left saw it too. We had a death stare that lasted a few seconds, which felt like forever. All that was missing was tumbleweed rolling between us. I took a cautious step, so did she. I took another step, so she took an even further one that made my conscious start yelling in my head “Run For Your Life!” I must’ve run faster than a Jew with a coupon. Surprisingly we both reached for the door at the same time! I wanted to push her but me being a gentleman and all I tried to negotiate with her. You think the bitch even gave it a second thought! After that, it took us another hour to find a taxi. Inevitably, by the time we reached the concert, we have missed Velvet Revolver’s performance and a chance to meet Slash. However we did manage to watch Muse play. Abz took a picture with the lead singer of the Ramones who supposable invented punk rock. You should’ve seen them they are so old and I think the drummer had an ivy and an oxygen mask while performing! They looked pretty pre-historic. We also had a friend who had his picture taken with the lead singer and guitarist of korn. We ended the night at TGI Friday’s, and we were off to Riyadh the next day.
Knowing us by now, there is no way we could have gotten things right for our flight back home. I wish things went smoothly and according to plan, but without a doubt we missed our flight, and caught a later one.