Hit me baby one more time

She came, we saw, we were conquered!

Britney Spears was (possibly) the headline performer for the F1 Grand Prix entertainment line up this year. But, let me start at the beginning rather…
We bought tickets waaaay back in May for this year’s F1 race, and even for those (like me) who are not great followers of the sport, the weekend is an exciting one filled with noise, fast cars, entertainment and friends.
We started Friday off with friends coming round for bacon and egg rolls (gotta fuel those tummies for the beer garden!) and then headed down to Yas Island. We got there around midday and headed straight for the beer garden where we found ourselves a nice little spot at a table under an umbrella and settled in.
Throughout the day there are numerous events taking place on the track apart from the F1 cars – such as Porsche GT racing, GP2 racing, Parades, etc. and you can come and go as you please between the stands and ‘common area’.
Once we finally made it onto the stands, our seats were, although great, right in direct sunlight and therefore very warm. So, being Friday and not very busy we managed to go sit around in the shade while we watched the Practice Session and some of the Porsche racing.
At the end of the afternoon, around 6pm, everyone heads over to the concert arena, anxiously awaiting Miss Britney’s arrival. We listen to a local DJ warm up the crowds (around 30 thousand of us I believe) until about 10pm when Britney makes her appearance! The crowd (teenagers, adults, gays, boys and girls alike) go WILD! Through approximately 7 costume changes, Britney owns the stage, swings from the rafters like an angel – and then pokes her bum in the crowds face! It was a total winner :o) Some lucky guy got called up onto the stage to have her tie him to a chair and dance seductively around him. She also then pulled around a dozen other fans onto the stage to dance with her.
She sang many of her hits – Toxic, Womaniser, (her new one) Hold it against me, Don’t le me be the last to know; however her most famous song ‘Hit me baby one more time’ was sung as part of a remixed version of Rihanna’s S&M. Strange, but true. Oh, and she missed out Oops I did it again.
So yes, she more than likely lip-synched her way through the concert, and her songs are very ‘pop’, but she is a great performer and it is great fun to watch her on that stage… if you went there expecting anything other than a show, you would have been sorely disappointed. But we were hugely satisfied!!
Saturday morning rolls around and today we decide to take it a little easier, only having things start at home around 11am with more bacon and egg rolls and then head down to Yas, arriving around 2pm today. Of course, straight to the beer garden, find a table and settle in.
Today was a little calmer than yesterday was – we spent more time just chilling in the (beer) garden and enjoying a day out. We moved across to the stand during the Qualifier and boy oh boy are those F1 cars loud! This year we had to get ear plugs as the stand we were in (North) is kind of enclosed and so the sound just keeps reverberating around the stands.
Saturday nights’ performance was a double-up with The Cult and Incubus playing. I’m not much of a fan of either of them and while I only know a handful of songs (between the 2 of them) I don’t mind the songs that I know… so was looking forward to another enjoyable night of concert-going.
Unfortunately though we were let down :o( The Cult were up first and weren’t bad… fairly calm (which I would assume is their whole ‘thing’) but when the lead singer announced that Incubus were up next and made some comment that they (The Cult) were merely just warming up the stage for Incubus, I was a little saddened by that as it seemed that he didn’t believe his band were good enough to be on stage with Incubus.
Anyway, Incubus came on and played (one of) the songs I know and we pretty much left a short while after that. They were quite boring. I’m sure the fans in the crowd will not share my opinion, but I was not prepared to spend another hour or so sitting there listening to them when I could be getting some extra sleep and preparing for tomorrow – Sir Paul McCartney!
Bye bye Yas for Day 2.
Sunday – and today we play things slightly differently. We decide to stop off at faithful Mc D’s for breakfast… good old sausage and egg McMuffins! So we’re there around 10h45 (as they stop serving at 11am) and then head down again to grab ourselves a table and settle in at the beer garden.
Today was another day of chilling out at the beer garden (for fear of losing our table as it was way more busy today…) and only headed across to the stands just before the race actually started at 5pm.
On our way up to the stands we noticed that there was music and singing coming from the concert arena and so stopped to take a look – and lo and behold there’s Paul McCartney doing a sound check to an empty arena. It was fab to stand there and watch him sing for a few minutes, getting ourselves worked up for the concert later on.
The race was good (as expected) but for the non-fans it was a little boring due to the fact that the title had already been won and therefore there was no real ‘racing’ going on. Yes, 2nd, 3rd place etc are still wide open, but it didn’t feel quite the same, especially when Vettel blew a tyre and didn’t really seem to care about getting back in the race.
Needless to say, it’s always enjoyable watching the cars fly around the track, and I’m pretty sure we’ll be back next year!
So, that’s the racing all done and we now head off the final entertainment act.
But, before we head there, a friend of ours knows someone on a yacht in the marina and so invites us all along for some drinks and snacks. It was quite a different feeling driving into the marina not being part of ‘crew’ as I have been in the past. And this time it was way more fun!!! The yacht we were invited onto was not one of the big momma’s outside, but it was a decent size little guy with free flowing beers and snacks. We grabbed ourselves a beer and then Murray and I headed off for a walk along the jetty to see what else is out there. He has since commented that it was “like Monaco” – fantastic looking boats (and people) everywhere with music going, people dancing and women dressed up to the 9’s.
At some point we had to head off so that we didn’t miss Sir Paul McCartney and so, feeling unsure of exactly what to expect from his show (what will he play – his stuff, or Beatles stuff???) we head down to the concert, find ourselves a spot and chill until he comes on.
I never seem to be able to remember what songs are played at concerts, especially what they open and/ or close with, but for Paul McCartney I do know that he played a lot of Beatles stuff – including Hey Jude! It was an amazing concert and he is fabulous to watch live. He may not have gyrated around the stage like Britney did, but he certainly had us all up and clapping and having a good time. At one point I plonked myself down on the ground and felt like I could have been at some ’60’s rock concert (just needed some of the green-stuff hahaha LOL ) His final song (before encore) was ‘Live and let die’ and for this he was sitting at his piano playing and from the back of the stage came the most epic fireworks! It was superb!!! It really gave the entire weekend an amazing vibe and ensured that his concert will forever be remembered in our minds!

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