WORLD ACCLAIMED FAIROUZ TO MAKE LAS VEGAS DEBUT AT THE MGM GRAND GARDEN ARENA
One night only performance on Saturday, May 15
These were originally posted on the message board. Arranged according to original dates of posting. If you want to add your review or if you don't want your review to be included, email me. PERSONAL EXPERIENCES Shafik al-Mansur | Nour Chammas | Joe Hilany | Abir | Mustaheel | Amin KhalilShafik: We arrived back at the MGM Grand Arena around 6:30 pm after having walked around the MGM Grand for most of the day amazed by the posters of Fairouz throughout the hotel and especially outside on the two huge Marquis where Fairouz's image could be seen all the way down the street. We waited outside the Grand Arena until 7:00pm when the doors were open for seating. The Grand Arena filled very rather slowly and I was really thinking that the concert did not actually sell that well because even at 8:00pm, there were still many whole sections unfilled. But people were still coming in and taking there seats and by 9pm the whole place was filled I was fortunate enough to have a seat on the left of the stage about half way up and real close. It was, in my opinion, about the best place to have been. Well, around 9pm, the orchestra began to take their seats and then the maestro came out. When Fairouz appeared in a blue gown, the crowd went absolutely crazy. She sang many old songs and a few newer ones. As I am trying to recall as many as possible and this is no particular order: Wa Dawwee ya hal 'andeel Ahwak Keefak Inta Khudni Sanarjaou Yauman 'al hadeer al Busta Ana saar laazem wada3kon Jisr al-Khashibiyya Mouwashihat irja3i ya alf leyla ya leyl as sab. Oudak rannan u lamma al 'amr ghab Ya Ana Ya Ana 'Atini an Nay Nahna wa 'Amr Jiran Ishar I will try to remember more, but this is a few of the songs that she sang. She appeared in 4 different dresses. There was the beautiful traditional thobe that she wears for the Mouwashihat and then there was the angelic white gown with the crown that she wore in the last set. I must tell you, Fairouz looked so radiant and her voice was the best I have heard. There was a very funny incident in the concert. After the second set of songs, fairouz left the stage, then the lights came on and the musicians had also left. People started saying that the show was over and some people got real angry and people were actually leaving and were in disbelief. It was just the intermission! Finally, after about 30 minutes, the show began again. The crowd was tremendous and the seating was almost to capacity with only a few sections at the ceiling level in the back and some seats behind the lighting area vacant. The concert was so well done, the songs were so well chosen and the audience, other than the "obligatory" clapping along to the music, was very well-behaved, well-dressed and the night was beautiful. The performance was filmed with two lift cameras and a mobile unit so I do hope that we will see this on tape one day soon. I can only say that I am glad that I made it to see Fairouz and it was worth every bit of the travel and effort. I can only say that it was like a dream because I was not in this world during the concert. When Fairouz appeared, my heart stopped and a rush of emotion went through my body. Here was the artist that I love so much, whose very face I see every day on this site, on the albums I have, in a painting that hangs in my front room, now in front of me. It was heaven on earth!. The sound of her voice coming through the speakers above the stage was like a direct feed to my soul. The entire audience was in rapture and as soon as the first notes of a song played and the audience recognized the melody, the applause was tremendous. There were whole families, old people and kids, teenagers and couples. It was kind of like a big reunion party too as people were seeing friends and relatives at the show. I felt like I was in Lebanon just listening to all the people speaking Arabic ( or maybe Dearborn!!) Reporting from Las Vegas, Shafik al-Mansur
Nour Chammas: It was the most magical of nights. I don't think that words by themselves can possibly express the magnificence of this wonderful concert. I began to get chills when our Angel first appeared on stage, and when she began to sing "Dawwi Ya Hal-'Andeel", I could not control my emotions and began to cry. Tears were filling my eyes when she sang "Tariq El-Na7el", "A3tini El-Naya", "Ya Jisran Khashabiyya", "Sanarji3ou", and "Khidni". Her voice was absolutely enchanting. Prior to this great night, I had only listened to Fairouz on cassettes and CD's, and of course fell in love with her voice. However, listening to her live felt like a whole new experience. Her magical voice filled every inch of the arena. It was like nothing I have ever heard before. That night I fell in love with Fairouz all over again, and now I love her more than I ever have. I thank her with all my heart for all that she's done for me and the rest of the world. I just wish that everyone could have had the chance to enjoy this heavenly experience. Thank you.
Joe Hilany: Thank you Fairouz, What a spectacular event. This is the first time I've seen Fairouz live. I left Lebanon in 1989. Fairouz is the only singer who can make my heart beat with affection for Lebanon. On May 15, Fairouz added an oriental touch to the ever sleeping city, Las Vegas, with her majestic voice. Fairouz, you will always be a non-disputable symbol of our beautifulcountry, Lebanon
Abir Hi all friends & Fairouz's fans.. I don't know where to start..By now you've heard a lot about the concert & I will be repeating many details but I think I'll tell you my reactions along the story lines.. First of all ,anyone who has read my comments before the concert knows how anxious I was to meet Fairouz in person.The concert for me was THE BIG EVENT but my old dream was coming back to me & that was the closest I could be to make it happen..The night before I left to Vegas I couldn't sleep trying to figure out how I'm going to see her..Then finally I sat in bed & wrote her a personal letter telling her about my obsession with her,my love that started when I was 3&1/2 yrs old when my dad tought me how to sing "Zahret almada'en" & I recited the whole thing ,every word of it on the school theater on mother's day 1969 in front of parents & students.I still have a picture in black & white & it's my favorite picture ever. I also told her about every important period in my life where she was always with me,on our family get togethers singing Zeriab, Kasidet hob..etc to my daily "meshwar" with my love holding hands & singing her songs,to my engagement night when I sang with my honey "ya nwatir eltalj" & made it our promise song, to our wedding night when I sang to my husband "ana la habibi on the stage with the friends & relatives watching....I told her about coming to the states & how her voice was the only connection that stayed stronger than anything else...My little daughter Petra that asked me recently to sing what I alwasy sang to her when she was an infant "Yala tnam Rima"...I was very emotional & I asked her if she would let me see her. I had bought a sweet card that I thought would be appropriate to give to her & I decided to put the letter inside the card & give it to her with some flowers.& I also included a picture my Petra made especially for her.. When we got to Vegas. THAT BIG CITY.I couldn't even feel the excitement about the city ,all I was thinking of was Fairuz..& Maybe meeting her..I finally got to the MGM hotel to pick up the tickets & it only took me 15 minutes to do so. It took me an hour and a half to arrange for a basquet of flowers to come in...I couldn't believe how hard it was.! MGM has a florist located outside the hotel & by the time I got there it was closed,to make arrangement I had to use the phone & it wouldn't take Visa so I had to get a calling card to use the phone .To make a long story short ,I managed to get the flowers ordered (a basquet of little white orcades with blue-purple iris & tiny white star flowers) ,now I had to get someone to deliver the basquet & attach the card I forgot to mention that I decided to sign the card with all our names since I knew every one of us would have wanted to do the same thing,& I wanted her to get something special & find out about people who really love her deeply,& I finally thought that would be the least that I could do to say thank you to Khaled who created this wonderful place for us to experess our love to her.. So ,I had to convince an american bell captain to do the mission & get the card with the flowers to our angel.It took her about 15 minutes just to get the ok to do it. Now I had to wait very impatiently til the next day.The concert day. Before I talk about the concert day I want to tell you all what I wrote in the card..(Sorry if I'm giving so many details I thought some might be interested): The card is sweet colorful one that has on the front a field of white flowers with a little wooden bridge (!) and some yellow butterflies.It says: Those who bring sunchine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves. On the inside there are few flying butterflies & it reads:May your day be bright with sunchine ,touched with warmth & filled with joy.I added something in arabic,& I will write it here in arabic since I think it will loose its depth if I translate it: Kafarashat alhakel sayourafref sawtaki ala masame' koulobina wa yahmilouna ila aalam akhar haysou youhaimen alhob bikoul ashkalihi fawka koulli raoh,wa fi a'mak kouli kalb yanbod. Wa ba'da rihlatou alintizar sayousbeh alholm hakika walamal basma touzher ala kouli wajeh.... Ahlan biki fi kouloubina lam toughadiriha lahzatan rougma albou'ad. The next day,I was up by 7:00am even though I went to bed after 2:30am. Only one thing was on my mind .HOW TO MEET HER...& I decided to call her so I called the operator with my heart pounding like crazy & I asked to speak with someone at Fairouz's party ,they kept connecting me (she was staying at a section called the mansion where every one of her group has his own "villa") so finally I got the mansion's operator & I told her I wanted to talk to someone in her party.The phone rang & my herat almost stopped, I didn't know what to say.Then a male's voice comes on the other line & asks who I am .With a trembling voice I said my name & that I'm the one who sent her flowers the night before He said before I continue that he has a signed picture for me.I almost kissed the phone.I asked him how I can get it & he said to talk to a security guy & he will get it for me. Then I found myself asking him who he was ,he said his name is Fawzi. I asked him if I can see her, he said it was impossible since they were practicing & he had to go. WOW....!!!! By now all I can think of is the arena.Is she there? Can I sneak in ? Can I see her??? I ran to the arena & all the doors were closed but I found finally an opening downstairs that leads to the back of the arena & without even thinking twice I walked in .I've never felt that way before.It was like a movie I was living. Sneaking trying not to be cought & looking for a place where I could see them. From one door to the other I saw dressing rooms, a door that had a handwritten sign on it says:Fairuz production office.I felt so close .Then all of a sudden a security guy bumped into me & I almost jumped. He asked me what I wanted &I said I lost my group (Fairuz's group) & I'm trying to get to them.I felt horrible that I lied,but I couldn't go back now.So the guy called another security person & told him to take me to DR SAADA.I had no idea who Dr Saada was,& there was no sign of Fairouz or the group.We went down in the arena between people putting up the chairs preparing for the big evening to the back part behind the stage itself. It was dark & kind a cold & I was very nervous,What would I say.I totally lost it.Right now I could thing of anything that I could've said,like I'm from Fairouz.com & I'm trying to find Rima or something,but when Dr Saada asked me who I was ,I lacked the words & finally I found myself saying I'm here to see Fairouz. (I know ,stupid ,huh..All the preparation & the risks & now I can't come up with anything more convincing). Well the guy of course said absolutely not not before the concert.She wouldn't even see him now.I almost begged him but there was no remorse ..He said he knows how I felt (NOT one bit.!!! He can never know how I was feeling) ,& that he saw it before so many times ,people who cried & fainted & that I have no chance...Well.Obviously Fawzi didn't tell me the truth ,there was no one in the arena other than DR Saada & the MGM employees so I asked him to deliver her a message that I wanted to meet her & he PROMISED he would !!(SURE). Well,what happened next is not as exciting other than the concert itself which took our breath away. I had all kind of emotions,watching the crowd absorbing every word that came out of her beautiful mouth.Every sweet song that took us back ages & ages....She was there for the people ,only for them.She only sang what they loved from her a long time before they departed...She wasn't there to introduce anything else other than her belongning to them.Not even the new album.It wasn't appropriate. She wasn't there to sell,she was there to be with them & lift up their hearts & take some loads off their tired backs...I can keep going on & on describing how she was & what she did,but I'll let the other fans who were there have some of their own...I will send Khaled the list of all the songs in order including the coral ones (I wrote them all in order during the concert) & have him put it on the concert special site. To end my story,I tried after the concert to talk to someone while the security people were rushing the crowd out .I asked for fawzi & he was on the stage ,I introduced my self & almost begged him to let me see her just for one minute but it was useless. There was no chance .She was gone & I lost my chance again. I forgot to mention that Fawzi did send me the picure through a security guy right before the concert .It's a wonderful picture of her in her blue shiny dress & her signature on the bottoom of it simply Fairouz in arabic.She didn't write a single word, but it was enough, it was from her.. My angel..
Mustaheel well its been a total of 5 days now and i still have not been able to sleep. befor the concert it was the anticpation and after the concert it has been sheer joy of all the songs that fairouz sang in the concert .Im am going to attempt to put into words what i felt while listening to fairouz perform. During the first 2 songs i was just in awe at the fact that i am actually here experiencing this historical event . i found myself taking deep long breaths, sighing and thanking god for giving me this opprotunity.during the concert and her songs i was crying and weeping uncontrollably , these were tears of joy and appreciation.I feel that i am no different than all the other fans that attended the concert ,yes fairouz made me reminace when iwas a child at the age of 4 i remember my mother tucking me in bed, playing fairouz music in the background ,playing with my hair and gazing deeply into my clear blue eyes and mine onto her eyes. There was always the unspoken feeling that was brought about of complete peace and serenity . it was an unspoken feeling that everything was going to be alright. 29 years later i experienced the same feeling while attending this historic concert.that feeling was nastalgic beautiful and priceless .i also found myself to be hypnotizes by the fact that here is an opprotunity where i actually have the ability to listen to fairouz from the pa system directly into my ears.what i experienced was so beautiful a beautiful voice so crisp , yet gentle and warm. the violins and piano playing so melodically that each of these 2 forces were tugging ever so gently onto my weakened heart making me just float with every note that was played and with every song that she sang. i would like to thank fairouz for the humble person that she is , the fans asked her to come out not once twice but three times after her last song and she was gracious enough to accomodate.i will for ever treasure this experience. someone asked me , how was the concert..my reply was that i am truly blessed for i have experienced many wondrful things in my life a wonderful supportive family , a wonderful snd understanding wife who urged me not to miss this opprotunity , 2 beautiful children , and finally seeing fairouz in concert. If i were to die tomorrow as i reflect back onto my life experiences , i would look at all the highlights and milestones that i mentioned above and in the back of my mind wopuld be the fairouz music that i heard at the concert . i would like to take the opprotunity to thank everyone for making this possible god bless you all.
AMIN KHALIL: DEAR KHALED AND EVERYONE,.. I WAS IN PARADISE,IN HEAVEN,OR MAYBE BEYOND. THE CONCERT WAS REALLY HISTORICAL.FAIROUZ WAS THE QUEEN OF QUEENS. MY HEART WAS POUNDING ,RESTLESSLY WAITING FOR HER APPEARANCE,NOT REALISING YET THAT IT WAS REAL,THAT SHE IS HERE ,SHE IS GOING TO SING,IN FEW MINUTES (THAT SEEMED LIKE AGES), THE CROWD WERE TAKING THERE TIME SOCIALISING (SADLY EVEN DURING HER SINGING),... THE THEATRE WAS FULL,AROUND 16000 PEOPLE,THE LIGHTS WENT DIM,THE MUSICIANS AND CHOIR WENT ON STAGE,..MY MIND WAS ALERT,I WAS BREATHLESS,MY SENSES WIDE OPEN, SOME TISSUES IN ONE HAND(READY FOR THE TEARS TO FLOW), AND MY HEART THAT HAS STOPPED BEATING IN ANOTHER. THE OVERTURE WAS (ABOU ALI),BY ZIAD,A VERY GOOD CHOICE AND NICELY PLAYED.THE MUSICAL ENSEMBLE WAS NATURALLY GREAT,CONDUCTED BY MIKE HERO,AND WHAT`S REMARCABLE WAS THE FEMALE VIOLENISTS AND KANOON PLAYER(A RARE SCENE IN ARBIC MUSICAL PERFORMANCES), AND THE QUEEN APPEARED.AS IF FROM THE BEGINING OF EXSISTANCE,SHE CAME,AGELESS,MAGICAL,AND HOLY. SHE APPEARED LIKE LIGHT FROM HEAVEN ABOVE,WEARING A BEAUTIFUL BLUE GOWN,..HER FACE LIKE THAT OF A SAINT OR A PROPHET,SEEMED MELANCOLIC,CARRYING THE JOYS AND SORROWS OF THE WORLD. HER VOICE LIT THE HALL WITH DAWEE YA HAL ANDEEL ALA BYOUT KILIL NASS.HER VOICE WAS BETTER AND MORE SURE THAN EVER.CRISP,PURE AND FOREVER ANGELIC. SHE CHANTED TAREE`EL NAHEL AND THEN OPENNED OUR WOUNDS WITH NASAM ALAYNAL HAWA. SHE WAS MAGNIFICANT.SHE DISAPPEARED TO LET THE CHOIR IMPESSIVELY SING NASRI`S HADOUNI HADOUNI,.. THE DIVA CAME BACK IN A SMASHING YELLOW DRESS AND A TURQUOISE CAPE,AS IF SHE STEPPED FROM A FARY TALE,A FANTASY DREAM,TAKING ME BACK IN A SECOND TO THE FAIROUZ OF NASS MIN WARAK, EMBRACING US WITH YA ANA YA ANA,AATINI NAYA WA GHANI,AND S`HAR BAAD S`HAR, I WAS FLOATING,EVERYBODY WAS,YES WE WERE IN HEAVEN, AMONG THE STARS,BUT IN ANOTHER GALAXY,A GALAXY,ONLY FAIROUZ CAN REACH,BLESSING US WITH THE TASTE OF GODS MAGNIFICANT PARADISE. I STILL WASN`T AWARE OF IT`S REALITY.SHE WAS THERE,FILLING UP THE ENORMOUS THEATRE WITH HER VOICE AND HOLY PRESENCE,TAKING US TO THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF EXTACY, SHE WAS IN FRONT OF ME,NO,.. SHE WAS INSIDE ME. FAIROUZ SANG LIKE NEVER BEFORE,AND GAVE A LOT ,..LAILIYEE BTIRJAA YA LAYL, SANARJIOO,YA JISRAN KHASHABIYAN,AHWAK,AND MANY MORE. THE ANDALOUSIYAT TOOK US INTO A MYSTICAL JOURNEY,AND THE DIVA LOOKED SENSATIONAL,VAILED IN A THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHT,SHAKING US,RECERCULATING THE BLOOD IN OUR VAINS,ENGRAVING OUR PAST GLORY IN OUR LONELY,PRESENT CONCIOUSNESS. THE TYPICAL FAIROUZ RITUAL TRADITION(COMING BACK ALL IN WHITE,AND A CROWN,AND ONLY HER AMONG HUMANS IS FIT TO WEAR A CROWN),WAS ENCHANTING. SHE SANG NIHNA WIL AMAR JIRAN,KHIDNI,OUDAK RANNAN,IZAL ARD MDAWARA,BOKRA BIRJAA BOU`AF MAAKOM, ..SHE LEFT TO COME BACK TO A CRAZY DRIVEN AUDIENCE,..CRAZY BEYOND IMAGINATION. THE END WAS GETTING CLOSER,WE WERE ALL STANDING AT THAT POINT,OR WERE WE FLYING?!! EL BOSTA WAS A REAL (TRIP),AND FINALLY ZOUROUNI. IT WAS OVERWHELMING,TOO MUCH TO BE DESCRIBED IN WORDS,VERY SAD TO SEE HER GO. I FELT EXACTLY LIKE A CHILD CRYING DESPERATLY,CLINGING TO HER SHADOW, HORRIFYED WATCHING HIS MOTHER LEAVING HIM ON HIS FIRST DAY IN SCHOOL. HOW CAN ONE GO BACK,OR DOWN TO THE REALITY OF LIFE AFTER THAT.HOW CAN YOU FACE THE MATERIAL WORLD AFTER LIVING THE SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE AT ITS CLIMAX? GOING OUT (ESPECIALLY OUT THROUGH THE SHOKING REPULSIVE WORLD OF CASINO GAMBLING),WAS TOO MUCH OF A DISTURBING CLASH. I FOUND MYSELF UNCONCIOUSLY WALKING AGAINST THE PROSESSION OF THE CROWD,AS IF REFUSING TO LEAVE,APPROACHING THE BACK OF THE STAGE.I STOOD THERE FOR A WHILE,FROZEN,NOT KNOWING WHERE TO GO,... I AM OUT NOW,TWO DAYS BACK FROM PARADISE,SO GRATEFUL TO GOD,FOR HIS BLESSINGS, FOR HER BLESSINGS,..SO THANKFUL THAT LIKE ETERNITY,SHE IS STILL HERE,STILL SINGING,MAGICALLY BRINGING OUR SENSES AND EMTIONS TO LIFE,.. FAIROUZ,...LITTLE YOU KNOW THAT YOU CAME FOR ME,LITTLE YOU KNOW YOU SANG ONLY FOR ME, AND WHEN YOU LEFT,LITTLE YOU KNOW ...YOU ARE NOT ALONE,...MY SPIRIT LEFT WITH YOU.