To see a Nigerian artist fill up a prominent venue like the Indigo2 made me smile. It was a real treat to have the opportunity to attend this concert and my expectations were high.
The warm up acts were good time-fillers though our MC Eddie Kadi always kept the crowd buzzing; on top form as usual (it's only a matter of time before he gets his own show). With a rather long prelude including video testimonials from his cohorts in the music business; including Wyclef, Sway, Ice Prince and D'Banj; as well as a group walking on stage wearing t-shirts spelling out world peace the atmosphere was filled with anticipation.
2Face arrived on stage promptly at 9pm and gave the crowd more than just a concert - he gave us a show. Two models dressed in black held, an orange prison suit wearing, 2Face in chains as he sang "Free Like a Bird"; an obvious yet effective physical metaphor for the song. I have to say that 2Face is a true performer - he was on stage for at least 90 minutes which in my opinion sped by.
Promising his audience that we would go through three stages during his time on stage "Spiritual, Sexual and Craze" (basically to "go wild" as opposed to crazy in Pigeon English). He delivered on all fronts; his conscious sound expressed political and social messages through an afrobeat reggae style. You did not need to know all his songs to know that the importance of his message and to enjoy the beauty of his sound - I particularly enjoyed "True Love". The "Sexual" portion of his show included a silhouette sex show and, of course the key message to use a condom.
His most popular song of course is "African Queen" and special guest Yolanda Brown made the song even more enjoyable with her exceptional skills and talent. 2Face has a great list of floor fillers which made the crowd go wild and "Implication" was probably the highlight of the "craze" segment; the atmosphere was electric. My only criticism was that there was no encore - instead the audience was invited to The After Party (not ideal for those of us with early starts).
2Face Idibia is a true showman; an entertainer and a philosopher through his music. The Nigerian music scene is blowing up at the moment and though many may come and go it's clear that 2Face will always be one of the forefathers of the movement - make sure you get yourself his album for Christmas.
Philly Driven Riddim
Jill Scott, The Light of The Sun
Rototom Reggage Sunsplash
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