Saturday, May 3, 2014

Local music shines at Sheraton Open Mic

Sheraton Open Mic is set among the palms in the large alfresco bar, B-Lounge, of one of Abu Dhabi's oldest and most iconic hotels. I only just found out about it, but it has been going on for many months now (first Saturday of each, usually), and I was fortunate to have found out about it just before they suspend for the summer, to continue in September.


The weather was still generally pleasant, although we were interrupted momentarily by a freak one-minute burst of rain. The menu is limited as far as eatables are concerned, but there's a good bar, and the seating -- which includes amphitheater steps at the back -- is very comfortable. The whole place has a very relaxed atmosphere. A large number of people turned up to support the local artists, so there was plenty of energy at the venue.

(L-R) Larry and Max Langs; Shannon

I got there in time to hear the amazing father-son duo of Larry Langs and his seven-year-old son, Max. Langs sang a few rock songs while playing the guitar, while Max did a pretty impressive job at the drums for someone so young. They were followed by Shannon, who played acoustic guitar and sang some ballad pop covers, as well as a song that she herself wrote. A vintage vocal duo, Maxine and Nour, sang acapella next, including covers of "Hit the Road, Jack" and "Wrecking Ball". For this kind of music, though, it would be much better if they used a supporting instrumental track, or even another singer doing instrumentals vocally.

(clockwise from top left) DaisyGrim; Behold the Locus; Sound Block; Physical Graffiti

Next up was a sequence of some rather prolific bands from Dubai and Abu Dhabi. First, DaisyGrim's alt rock performance -- in which they also jammed with a couple of guest artists -- followed by rock/pop band Behold the Locus' great sound and their talented lead singer. Physical Graffiti played their folk music next, and Sound Block mixed things up with a little metal.

BlueZero (I think that's how it's spelled)

A cajon-guitar duo, BlueZero (sp?), closed the (by now, nearly 4-hour-long) event with versatile use of their instruments for reggae and blues rock.

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