DJ David Guetta performed in Cairo for the first time at The First Mall Thursday night.
The throngs of eager concert-goers were testament to Guetta’s worldwide popularity, globally launched by his success in 2005 with the chart-topping single “The World is Mine.
Guetta was recognized years before in his native France, and has been ranked in recent years as the world’s number one DJ due to his music and multi-million record sales.
Also, Guetta has a residency at the Pacha Club in Ibiza, the absolute indictor of a DJ’s credibility and popularity.
The First Mall, although never a concert venue, was transformed to a veritable night club Thursday. Store windows were covered and a concert stage was set up below with an elevated platform for Guetta to work and spin music.
The door to the concert was manned by bouncers and heavy security but that didn’t prevent several altercations between underage concert-goers eager to enter the venue, which was meant to be restricted to people over 25. Yet, it seemed that the only thing preventing many from entering was the inability to purchase a ticket at the door, age was overlooked so long as you were carrying a ticket from a designated vendor.
The night started off abysmally with DJ Ouzo spinning music. Lacking any real novelty or talent, he relied on the usual gimmick of a pyrotechnic show to entertain the crowd.
DJ Guetta’s introduction to the stage at around 1 am was met with an uproar of cheers and applause. His enthusiasm helped kick off the night with the flair he’s popular for.
Flames, confetti and smoke were all emitted from the stage below Guetta, but regardless of the show, he directed the attention and very physical movements of the audience.
There was something quite surreal about his ability to do so, a puppet master directing the crowd like marionettes. Unlike many prominent DJ personalities, there were no pretensions about Guetta. He was strictly business on stage, focusing solely on the music. Guards protected the equipment and stage area to avoid any trouble often times caused at concerts by enthusiastic fans.
What Guetta is so talented at is working music sets live. Guetta is masterful at layering music, tracks and vocals over instruments with ease and creating unique musical moments impromptu. He projected an easygoing personality and a sense of sincerity, constantly watching the audience members with a concerned smile – it was quite obvious that Guetta takes his work to heart.
The audience sang along to each track, which must have impressed Guetta. His amusement at the crowd’s enthusiasm for his music created an energy that was palpable in the air.
Guetta also mixed current chart-topping songs, proving he’s equally brilliant at handling his own music as well as that of other artists.
The concert was organized by Fuse Communications and Sunset Events. Ahmed Mahran, managing director of Fuse, should be applauded for convincing the star DJ to come to Egypt; but there are always factors detracting from the experience at any event organized in Egypt.
The usual factor of underage attendees able to gain entrance simply by paying for the exorbitantly-priced tickets (a number of 16- and 17-year olds were able to purchase VVIP tickets that cost LE 1,500) is a perpetual defect of concerts in Egypt. Regular tickets cost LE 500 and VIP tickets went for LE 800.
There were elements beyond the control of security and the event planners, such as the presence of marijuana visibly toted by young attendees.
Despite that, the concert was a success musically. Although the acoustics were best closest to the stage, Egypt has not seen a concert like it in years.