x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Teen Life: Noise, smoke and dim lights, our natural habitat

Sadly noting the absence of piercings on our eyebrows or tongues, we turned our wardrobes upside down for anything black and vaguely Goth-inspired for last week's Evanescence concert.

Teens like noise. The natural habitat of a teenager is a mosh pit with flashing lights, blaring music and a shortage of breathable oxygen; this is where we are perfectly adapted to survive and thrive.

The music breeds healthy creativity. The squeezing of a thousand people into tiny spaces promotes unity and togetherness. The mass screaming of the crowd in response to the rock star's hollered "Are you having a good time?" is perhaps just plain silly to a dispassionate observer. It does, however, get the message across that we are indeed having a good time, thanks, although said rock star has not begun playing yet.

Rock music fans were in for a treat last week, when the band Evanescence made their Dubai debut at the World Trade Centre. The most enthusiastic Evanescence fans tend to be the tattooed, grumpy-in-a-cool-way types you would feel terrified to meet in a dark alley at night. Precisely the brand of people teenagers like to idolise and emulate as much as possible without getting banned from the house.

Sadly noting the absence of piercings on our eyebrows or tongues, we turned our wardrobes upside down for anything black and vaguely Goth-inspired. Dramatic crystallised fake eyelashes seemed a good idea at first, although we weren't so sure after the quick-dry glue was quickly drying all over our noses and cheeks.

The venue was a cavernous hall filled with young people squashed against each other and clearly enjoying Amy Lee and her fellow band members' angry, pulsating tones, which provided the ideal backdrop to the atmosphere of frenzied camaraderie.

A couple of bearded, blinged-up young men tried to chat up my pretty friends in vain, making things awkward, but they were soon lost in the sea of humanity crashing around us like a tidal wave. A ringleted woman in black lipstick had made it her goal to get through as many cigarette packs as she could, blowing silvery clouds in our faces and hair, annoyingly, where the smell was bound to linger. Obvious coughing fits and declamations of "Hmm, my eyes are watering, I wonder why?" simply earned a few more vindictive smoke attacks.

Meanwhile, we had fought our way to the front of the area we were allowed in, so we could rest against the railing cordoning it off. Gabby and I shoved ourselves between a couple gazing into each other's eyes, who didn't look amused at being separated. They looked even sorrier when Prianka tried to wedge herself in as well.

"Your elbows are in the way."

"Go away then."

"Ouch!" This was because Prianka had poked me in an effort to claim my prime spot.

The couple shot us a death stare and reluctantly shuffled to the back. We smiled at them; it's lovely to see people make sacrifices for the deserving younger generation.

As the drummer brought his drumstick down on the cymbals in the resounding finale of the encore, we trooped home content. The band might not be (in the words of their song) all that I'm living for, but they had served up an interesting evening.