The title of this concert sure drew the right attention and curiosity, regardless of a half filled Eko Convention Centre. It was an evening of great performances. In the silhouette of beautifully rendered numbers, we were completely serenaded and Eargasms gave way to more. Pure bliss!
Let me tell you about the artistes and performances that wowed me the most:
Yinka Davies – You may not see her every day in front of the paparazzi but she does prove that she’s still got the voice that rings from the core of her being; the very depths of her personality. Sanguine in her performance, it was easy to warm up to her. “I get weak in the knees when at the sight of you” she sang generously but the novelty of that kind of feeling and love appeared to have worn off from the couple who sat next to me. Their grey hairs bore witness. But when they did eventually smile and move slowly to it, it was in confirmation that love is warmth; timeless and ageless.
“I don’t want to be lonely” she sang. Does that not say something to us, especially in this season of love? Ordinarily you’d want to sit still, shed a tear or two and think about your own loneliness, but the magic of her performance would not let you. Instead, you’d want to weave that loneliness she sang about into a crown and wear it proudly and watch her sing about you too. By the time she progressed to “a woman will die for her man”, a vigorous shaking of head from an older lady a few tables away from me also quickly shook me out of that Mills & Boon idea of love that formed in my head for a minute and I wondered what her story could be.
Sir Shina Peters: It was the boisterous sounds of Sir Shina Peters music that further planted smiles on the faces of the older couples and gave dance to the feet of the young. There was something for everyone and it was funny to watch wives and girlfriends literally try to cover the faces of their husbands and boyfriends from staring too much at Sir Shina Peters’ vigorous ‘bum-shaking’ dancers. If only they knew that there was going to be a very erotic performance of Gyptian’s Hold Yuh by about six ladies, dressed in nothing but sexy lingerie; mounted on different tables across the hall and on stage. If only they knew.
Adekunle Gold: Orente. Ah. That song that makes one believe they can give it all (and even be a fool) for love. Orente! His performance was part art – part prayer with songs like “Pick up your call”and it was summarily beautiful to watch. Meanwhile, there is something about the allure of talking drums that constantly woo and win me over. Every. Single. Time.
Styl Plus: Runaway. Call my name. Imagine that. Olufunmi. Evergreen songs; beautifully delivered back to back. It is just easy too fall in love with the group time and time again. Singing along to their songs and enjoying every bit of it, underscored the timelessness of great art. Plus they reminded me of coming of age. I wonder why they are not presently active on the music scene. They bring a lot to the table: great melody, great lyrics and oomph.
Then there was Tuface Idibia: He may not have delivered on the protests, but he delivered on stage – as always. From “Ole” to guiding each person to reaffirm that “my love is here to stay” and raising it a notch with “True Love”; it was easy to see why Bovi introduced him as the “living legend”. My only pain was that he did not perform as long as all the other artistes before him who took their time to entertain. And I wonder why. If the intention was to leave us literally yearning for more, clearly it worked. Like a jilted lover, I kept hoping he would realize he made a mistake by leaving and return.
Tekno: The last time I saw Tekno perform was at a Lauryn Hill concert a couple of years ago when without much fame or clout, he gave away free copies of a compilation of his songs. To see him performing after Tuface was proof of how much he’s grown through the years. From Duro to Diana and then Pana… he surely impressed and just like Tuface before him, left the stage somewhat abruptly at the height of his performance.
The acapella group ‘The Chord’ opened the night with great renditions. Niyola as well as Kelly Handsome also performed. One of the night’s pleasant surprises was having Frank Osodi, the popular designer, perform the classic tune, “I wanna know what love is.”
Though the event started quite late, it was an evening of great entertainment that evoked all shades of nostalgia of the times and moments described in the songs. I was particularly won over by the fact that all the performances were live.
The programme flow aimed at rousing the right emotions; creating the right mood and celebrating love through generations with the right combination of artistes. The evening gradually got fuller, like the late comers needed forerunners to confirm that the night was worth it. Whichever it was; the show did live up to its billing and we were pleasantly entertained!