The music never dies for Sabina
Today for the very first time, Azerbaijan's Sabina Babayeva graced the Crystal Hall stage in her home town. We watched her first rehearsal so come and see how it went!
Backstage, Sabina Babayeva was very busy preparing for her first rehearsal and unfortunately did not have the time to speak to us. Being on home turf means that the pressure is on so Sabina was concentrating and preparing.
A dress fit for a princess
Sabina Babayeva entered the stage for her first rehearsal in a very grand white frock adorned with silver sequins, feathers and with a long train.
Her backing singers were wearing light grey dresses with white headscarfs and stand to the right of Sabina. She is also joined on stage by Alim Qasinov, a traditional mugam performer to add a more traditional Azerbaijani tone to the performance. He sits on a glass platform to the left behind Sabina.
Sabina's first soundcheck was very impressive, and she received rapturous applause several times during the song by the press and fans watching in the arena. Although we shouldn't forget that she is singing on home turf so there was a lot of support for her in the arena.
The performance starts with a white spotlights shining down on Sabina and the backing acts with an abstract image moving on the LED screens, of paint being splashed. The song has a very sad and passionate story so as it progresses and gains power, the colours turn to deep shades of red and the backing images start to become more kinetic and fiery.
However, the spotlight on Sabina remains white, providing an oasis of calm in the middle of the fiery nature of the lyrics and this passionate ballad. During the song the spotlights reflect the red colours off her dress in an impressive show.
Vocally, Sabina is faultless and manages to hit all the high notes with little trouble. The camera work is also very good with a nice close shot panning away from her.