DAMMAM: American rapper Akon captivated a packed crowd at the Asharqiah Music Festival on Friday, opening up the second night of musical festivities at Sharqiah Season with a special shout-out to Saudi Arabia.
“You have no idea, I’ve been waiting to get to Saudi for years, man,” Akon said, before launching into his song, “Gunshot.” Later, he told the crowd: “I’m seeing a tremendous change in Saudi Arabia here tonight."
At 8 p.m., under a bright moon on a beautifully cool night, Akon began his set, delighting fans who had spent over 10 minutes chanting his name in anticipation of his arrival.
He entertained the crowd with some of his most popular hits, including “Smack That,” “Mr. Lonely” and “Sorry: Blame It On Me.” And he wrapped things up with “I love you, Saudi... thank you for making me feel at home."
Backstage before the concert, Akon told Arab News how excited he was to be in Saudi Arabia for the first time. He was especially excited to visit one Saudi city in particular.
“First thing tomorrow morning, I’m headed to Makkah to perform Umrah.”
After Friday's concert in Dammam, #SaudiArabia, @Akon plans to travel to #Makkah to perform #Umrah, he told Arab News backstage #sharqiah_season#SharqiahSeason #Dammam #Dhahran #Alkhobar #AlAhsa #Jubail #AlKhafji #Nairyah #HafrAlBatin #Qatif@ep_events_sa https://t.co/xrcOTAxfaO pic.twitter.com/CYPElrN2d7— Arab News (@arabnews) March 23, 2019