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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 October 2018

Review and observations: Paris Hilton’s DJ set at Legends in Abu Dhabi

Paris Hilton performed at the capital’s newest club Legends at the The Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel and Resort on Thursday night. We made a stop to sample the venue and to see whether she can cut it behind the decks.
Paris Hilton DJing at Legends Night Club, Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel and Resort. Vidhyaa for the National
Paris Hilton DJing at Legends Night Club, Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel and Resort. Vidhyaa for the National

Paris Hilton is establishing herself as the go-to person for celebrity launches in the UAE.

Only six months after appearing as a guest at the opening party for the glitzy DIFC restaurant Clé Dubai (alongside fellow reality star Khloé Kardashian and rapper Akon), Hilton returned to the UAE in her lucrative new role of EDM DJ.

This time, she performed at the capital’s newest nightclub Legends, at the Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort, on Thursday night. We stopped by to see whether she can cut it behind the decks.

The arrival

Legends pulled out all the stops for Hilton: Batman-like spotlights illuminated the night sky and a lush red carpet was rolled out to greet the 34-year-old, who arrived with her entourage at 1.30am.

The only thing missing from the big welcome were fans. With the club staff working hard to ensure every one was inside by the time Hilton arrived, her entrance will surely go down as one of her quietest ever. The only people in attendance behind the ropes were this bleary eyed journalist, a youngster who proudly announced that he had “bluffed my way” onto the guest list and another fan holding a yellow Polaroid camera.

Not that Hilton seemed to mind. The only hint of emotion displayed was when the heat became unbearable two minutes into her red-carpet appearance.

“Hold on, I am too hot,” she said before palming off her gifted bouquet of flowers to an aide. “Put this in my room.” With that, she entered the club to huge applause and headed to the DJ booth.

The club vibe

It takes a lot of nerve to project an air of cool when eating a chicken nugget. Such was the case on one of the VIP couches, at which one guy and his crew tried to look laid-back – one was wearing shades – while polishing off a hot plate of fried poultry.

A relaxed atmosphere is perhaps the only welcome legacy from Legends’ predecessor, Zenith. While the sketchy characters of that era have been replaced with a more upmarket clientele, the non-judgemental attitude that was Zenith’s stock-in-trade remains in place with Legends.

The end result was a sea of people in colourful club garb, ranging from camo T-shirts, B-boy wear to elegant cocktail dresses with pearls.

The performance

Ever since Hilton returned to the music industry in 2012, this time as a budding DJ, the reaction from the EDM community can be best described as divisive.

Club owners, from Cannes to St Tropez, love booking a Hilton gig because it generates press, fans and thousands of hashtags. Fellow DJs, however, led by EDM kings Deadmau5 and Skrillex, view her less favourably – as someone who has racked up huge performance fees without paying her dues.

That said, Hilton’s constant gigging schedule has paid off, in that she seemed at ease on the podium with a near two-hour set of pop-dance tunes.

The mixing was solid enough and we even got a costume change in the middle of the set, when Hilton decided to don her sunglasses, which stayed on until the end of the performance.

The only let down was her penchant to nearly stop tracks to make bland declarations of “I love you” and “Come on, dance”.

The new song

Hilton’s Abu Dhabi gig also doubled as a launch party for her new, dance-inspired single High Off My Love.

When appearing as part of a set that includes shiny commercial fodder such as Icona Pop (I Love It) and David Guetta (Bad) it seems decent enough. However, when you listen to it on its own, it simply doesn’t hold up – particularly Hilton’s vocals, which sound alarmingly anaemic.

Not that the clubbers cared, especially when they had the chance to party with celebrity royalty and had all those chicken nuggets to feast on.

• For reservations and bookings at Legends, call the Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort on 02 672 3321

ssaeed@thenational.ae