by Demola Adesina
There is no disputing the fact that D’Banj is one of the most influential Nigerians of his generation. This year alone, he has been referenced as the most influential.
So it came as no surprise that he thought it wise to re-invent the flow of the traditional end of year Koko Concert. This time, the show was to be hosted by one of the most swooned over black actors ever, Idris Elba. To further show that our KokoMaster meant business, the show was also billed to feature one of the best black British musicians, Tinie Tempah and his label mates from GOOD Music.
Personally, I was glad that the event was (finally) to be hosted in a venue other than the regular Eko Hotel and Suites, the recently sand filled Eko Atlantic City.
Koko Concert was meant to give cynics the opportunity to experience how large the new city really is. Most attendees had to walk about an hour from the Adetokunbo Ademola/Akin Adesola parking area to the venue of the event.
The KokoMaster didn’t hit a first with actually starting an event early though. Like most events, although guests had filled the arena as early as 8 pm, the show openers didn’t start performances until three hours later!
The host of the event wasn’t introduced until about 1am, by which time, I suppose, the effects of walking long distance to the venue had begun to show in the general weariness of the audience.
Idris Elba who supposedly hosted the show came out a total of three times and spoke all of six sentences all through the night. The early performances from Burma Boy and Ajebutter were flat and attendees did not get an idea of what the concert was meant to be until Tinie Tempah got on stage.
Sadly, Pusha T had to perform after Tinie Tempah and had to keep reminding the audience who he was as it seemed that the audience had no idea who he was or what track he had ever graced. Thankfully, Big Sean, who performed after Pusha T didn’t need to really introduce himself as a fair percentage of the audience seemed to have an idea of a one or more of his song. For some reasons I couldn’t fathom , the audience seemed excited when Big Sean said stuff like: ‘Aren’t you the f***ing Nigerians?’
The headliner of the show, the KokoMaster himself, was billed to bring life to the arena after this. But this did not come to pass as he performed track on track on track which failed to ignite any form of pleasure with the audience. A lot of people felt K-Switch coming on stage with him to sing totally off-key may have contributed to the dismal performance. Others felt that Ikechukwu’s drab show got them really disappointed. More people, however, think Special Ed’s (who used to be fans’ sweetheart in the Mo-hit’s days) days as hype man are far behind him as he was just jumping everywhere on the stage, screaming into the mic, in such disorderly manner.
No one was surprised that D’Banj had to keep apologising to the very special people who bought VVIP tickets to the events. Everyone understood the horror of paying a million naira to watch such dismal performance in the dead of the night when they could have just stayed in their homes with family. Nobody cared about the thousands others that bought regular others and had to stand all through these six hours of disappointment.
Logistics and organisation of the concert could have performed better. There were no display screens for people far from the stage. Lightening was horrible. Stage management was totally non existent. For some time, we had close to a thousand people on stage and you had to strain your eyes to pick out who was performing or not.
Sponsorship from Guaranty Trust Bank ensured that the event was streamed live at no cost to viewers through the GTB-backed Ndani TV. This opened the concert to folks who for some reason could no be at the venue of the event.
In all, this should be a wake up call for D’Banj. While we are no longer interested in the Mo-Hits story or who is at fault, we expect to see the same quality performance as before from the KokoMaster any time we buy tickets for his shows. If he is serious about making a name for himself outside the old MoHits, he needs to start aligning himself with people who understand some other parts of the music business – fundamental aspects as organising a show.