From the biggest names in entertainment and corporate world to the folks in the overflow space, it’s clear all came to make a joyful noise and partied with rave rap star, Olamide as he hosted the second edition of his “Olamide Live In Concert” tagged OLIC2 on 27 December.
The main venue of Eko Convention Centre of the Eko Hotels & Suites and corridors where red carpet reception were held filled to the brim. Tickets (both regulars, VIP and VVIP) and a million naira-priced tables were sold out. The hotel’s concierge turned a spot for emergency black marketers of the OLIC tickets. These young folks had a field day selling to die-hard YBNL frontman’s fans who were willing to part with any amount to get inside the hall to be part of what would go down arguably as the “biggest concert of 2015”.
Typical of many Nigerian concerts, timing was a big issue at OLIC2. Inside the main venue, fun seekers patiently waited as the show advertised to start by 5pm couldn’t commence until around 9pm. And as the night fell, to serve as fillers, some up and coming comedians were unleashed to deliver some comedy skits. Also some young music acts were allowed opportunity to appear on the big stage to get the audience engaged.
At about 12 midnight, Adekunle Gold opened the show officially. His was an apt choice as he set the night in the right mood with the performance of his three popular hits, Shade, Orente and the latest, Pick Up My Call. Gold later quit the stage for other rising acts like Runtown, DJ Enimoney, Chinko Ekun, Vektoh, Ycee and Lil Kesh, performed a track each back-to-back and whet the audience’s appetite. As expected, Lil Kesh and YCee upped the ante as they delivered to the delight of all tracks like Efejoku and Jagaban respectively. And at some minutes past 12 midnight, Olamide, the host, stormed the stage.
For many Nigerian pop artistes, save for 2Face, Darey and possibly, PSquare to mention a few, live music performances seems a no-go area for them. Some pundits even posit that ordinarily, any act sure of his or her talent would perform live. And for two years on the bounce now, Olamide has attempted that and made a success of it. Backed by a live band, Olamide delivered hit songs from his five albums including the latest, Eyan MayWeather.
The YBNL boss, who broke his performance into two segments and at each interval wore a Zini Couture designer Danshiki and Yellow Agbada, Buba and trouser respectively, gave a top-notch performance at the gig. To kickstart each of his performances, the YBNL star sampled various beats of legendary Apala musician Haruna Ishola, that of Afrobeat king Femi Kuti and of Fuji star Wasiu Alabi Pasuma.
To end the first stanza of his performance, Olamide rendered a specially recorded song for his mom, ‘Mama Mi’ included in the ‘Eyan Mayweather’ album. He also seized the moment to appreciate all the mothers including his mom, his baby mama and his son, all who were in the hall among the audience.
He later temporarily yielded the stage for some other artistes including Sexy Steel, Eva Allordiah and his biggest guest artiste of the night Pasuma, who sustained and hit the notes with QDot, to perform. Other big stars who took over and energised the hall with performance after performance included Orezi, BOJ, Vector, Harrysong (who was also a hit among the crowd performing his ‘Reggae Blues’) and Burna Boy, who got many on their feet. He was trailed by Falz the Bahd who also delivered two songs, Phyno, the new king of Igbo rap wowed the audience while star rapper Reminisce rocked the crowd with three of his hits including Local rapper and Kako Bi Chicken.
Sporting a yellow Agbada, Olamide returned for another round of performance. After delivering series of sing-along hits, Olamide paused and a troop of Boys Scout marched on to the stage. A leader of the movement, on behalf of the World Boys Scout honoured the rap star with a star award recognition. Olamide, raised in the seedy neighborhood of Bariga, a suburb of Lagos and said to have been a member of the Boy Scout from childhood was presented and decorated with the Boys Scout’s Special handkerchief.
With that brief ceremony done with, Olamide dropped his 2015 biggest hit, Shakitibobo and the hall erupted. It was the song that closed the concert.
And right before the hall became empty, many fans were heard expressing their disappointment not seeing K1, Wizkid and Davido as previously advertised.
Even in spite of the fun, not many were thrilled by the sheer number of artistes who came on stage to mime and lip-sync a track or two of their songs.
Some artistes, including the popular ones, appeared flustered as they sounded very awkward while miming their own songs or either screaming or rapping at higher or lower pitches. In fact, some pundits concluded that many obviously had no business appearing on that special stage designed like a fashion runway.
A peeved music journalist who witnessed the concert said: “It baffles me to think that these artistes have not understood the difference between stage and studio performances.”
Also pissed off by the attitude of some celebs who bought table at the show and failed to give energy to artistes who performed, popular producer and showbiz entrepreneur Don Jazzy had a word for them: “Dear VVVIPs pls stay at home if you know you want to go to a concert to sit and eat puff puff. hissssss!”
Of course, many would understand Don Jazzy’s reaction. He wasn’t a fan of those “Owambe party-like” concert. And he demonstrated that when his own outfit, Supreme Mavin Dynasty organised their carnival-like concert at the Eko Atlantic few days to last Christmas. The Access Mavin Concert was devoid of those tables.
In spite of the soft denunciation and denouement, OLIC2 was a sold-out event which attendees will not hurriedly forget. But some fans also advise that Olamide should consider taking the next OLIC to a more spacious arena to accommodate more crowd.
At a few minutes to 3 o’clock of Monday morning, Olamide and his YBNL gang went on their fours to appreciate the audience and the street which has been too kind to the rapper all these years.
He later tweeted: “Thanks to the team…The supporting acts…The fans and well wishers…Glory be to God”.