Get into the groove, people
The mixed reaction to the Madonna's gigs in Abu Dhabi has been a telling insight into the minds of some people in the UAE.
The majority of those to whom I have spoken said the concerts were great, a real spectacle.
I saw her in 1987 on the Who's That Girl tour and people said the same thing.
This, of course, is what Madonna is good at. The Queen of Pop - one of the sharpest operators in showbiz - has built a career out of being spectacular, which helps cover up her so-so voice and merely adequate performance skills. She is also an expert at surrounding herself with talented people, from writers to choreographers.
If you go to see Madonna, you're not going to get an intimate gig where she croons to the audience. You'll get whiz and bang and flying dancers and explosions... etc. It's a show.
But, interestingly, the bulk of those who have complained have seemingly not been criticising the show. Instead they have moaned about the time it started, the parking, the queues,..etc.
You have to feel this is a sign of how spoilt we can be in the UAE, where everything is served up when you want, how you want and the moment you want it. Such convenience is great, but it does take some of the colour out of life - making a new friend in the queue, the surge of excitement among the crowd as some lowly technician does a sound check, the camaraderie of escaping from the parking lot.
In 1987, Madonna started late, the queues at Wembley were a nightmare and it took two hours to get out the car park - and I loved every second of it.