#TheKokoConcertReview – Let me tell you why my friend, Gbolahan left the venue…

by Tola Sarumi

Heartthrob Idris asked the crowd to give it up for the biggest artist in the world, one could almost feel the tired crowd perk up, ‘Is it Kanye West, is it Jay Z’?! Someone pulled out a Yoruba film style ‘Kabiyesi-Crown’ and placed it on a figure cloaked in a deep red damask, the robe came off, as did the crown, it was D’Banj. Sigh.

The overhyped Koko Concert that took place at the ‘still-under-construction’ site that is Eko At
lantic, promised much.

The erstwhile headliner of the Afro-pop scene, D’Banj had a lot to prove. His abrupt parting of ways with his Mo-Hits crew had his audience curious to see what he could deliver.

The Nigerian acts that preceded the foreign acts did the bare minimum, they performed songs the audience was familiar with but judging from the crowd’s reaction, they were content just dancing. The live stream got over the technical glitch the rendered Burna Boy’s performance silent, the (V)VIP stand collasped, however, thank God for the sub-compere, Basketmouth (Idris Elba was billed as he main host of the show),  who did a good job of keeping the crowd distracted.

And the night kicked off from there. The main part of the show started with UK-born Nigerian artist, Tinnie Tempah, whose performance set the bar for the rest of the night.
He performed his songs on clear high quality instrumental tracks, which was a welcomed break from the previous artists who simply lip-synched over their hits. He engaged with the crowd, reminded them that he was one of them and at one point had the boys in the audience waving their t-shirts over their heads helicopter style, he danced, he ran and thanked the crowd.

Next up was D’Banj’s label mate, Pusha-T, an artist with barely any name recognition in Nigeria; he performed his guest spots on several singles, the crowd, as one tweet decribed: ‘looked at the guy like an election poster’.

Everyone knows the Nigerian concert audience is very hard to please, unless an artist is willing to expend huge amounts of energy to get them just like Tinnnie Tempah did or perform hits that they are very familiar with. Pusha exited the stage to a polite applause, no surprises there.

Idris Elba, the Hollywood heart throb, whose presence at the show prompted Lagos chics to buy fresh weaves and wear high heels to a beach concert in the hope that he’d make eye contact with them, made another appearance to introduce the ironically named Big Sean, also a GOOD music label mate. Sean told the crowd he brought his family to experience the ‘motherland’ and even though he lost his luggage, he was keen to put on a good show.

In his ill-advised leather combo, he proceeded to perform his features on songs the audience was clearly unfamiliar with, he re-rapped ‘Mercy Me’, brought out Pusha T again and the crowd was made to ‘swerve’ at least three times! Despite his repeated efforts to amp them up, the crowd was not entirely responsive. Perhaps it was fatigue, it was already 2am by the time Sean, who had since shucked his leather shirt, launched into his hit with Chris Brown, the aptly named, ‘My Last’.

Big Sean exited the stage, Heartthrob Idris came back on, he asked the crowd to give it up for the biggest artist in the world, one could almost feel the tired crowd perk up, ‘Is it Kanye West, is it Jay Z’?! Then there was some more commotion on the already over crowded stage. Someone pulled out a Yoruba film style ‘Kabiyesi-Crown’ and placed it on a figure cloaked in a deep red damask, the robe came off, as did the crown, it was D’Banj. Sigh.

If there was a roar when he revealed himself, resplendent in his shirtless glory, it was hard to hear. He launched into ‘Oyato’ his semi-hit pronouncing himself as a standout on the scene. What was however hard to understand was, the CD track was playing, as was a live band that sounded strangely amateurish. He then gave a long speech, asking the already tired crowd to show him some love before turning to VVIP section and apologizing for what one can only assume was the disorganised natured of the show. Unsatisfied, he turned to main body of the crowd, those who paid five & twenty thousand Naira respectively and asked them to ‘beg the (V)VIPs’!  After this revealing episode, Naeto C came on, for a review of his performance, please see the second paragraph.
He then launched into a couple of his GOOD Music era songs, at it was that point that Gbolahan came into view.

#Gbolahan was a member of the crowd, whose body language seemed to reveal what the majority of the audience felt. He kept hands in his pockets as D’Banj performed his GOOD Music songs, shifting from one foot to the other. The hands came out as Davido was introduced and launched into his non-descript hits, he was familiar with these songs, he did a little jig from side to side. He cocked his head to the side in utter bemusement as D’Banj took Davido to the right of the stage because “the people wey pay money dey dat side” and with sweet irony, he announced, “ah won ti lo le” (Ah, they’ve gone home). We knew what Gbolahan, in his No. 14 Arsenal jersey was thinking, ‘My 5k is money too’.
We lost Gbolahan when D’banj decided that at 3am, he would launch one of his yankee acts, who would engage in vocal gymnastics and sing a song no one was familiar with. The crow thinned out at this stage.

To close the show, D’Banj launched in to his single stellar hit on the year, the Don Jazzy produced ‘Oliver Twist’. At this point, Gbolahan reappeared, as D’banj sang, he stood almost still, the hands were back in his pocket. He had stayed till the end, perhaps in the vain hope that D’Banj, the dapper happy-go-lucky star of the Naija music scene would come good. As the song drew to a close, he shook his head and did a slow shuffle to the exit as the ‘Koko Master’ finally thanked the 5 and 20k crowd for coming.
In the end, it was Tinnie Tempah’s show, he performed like someone who knew people had paid to see him, the clarity of the backing tracks he rapped on and his determination to keep the audience engaged made sure, even in the middle of the mediocrity that was the Koko Concert, there was a highlight for the audience to take away.

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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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Comments (14)

  1. Guy na me you come observe for the show ni?I hear say dbanj don dey look for me now cos of this your article on me! Anyways nothing spoil sha! Dbanj sef mess up…

  2. Why do we always like to create a we-against-the-world scenario every time anyone tries to write anything that doesn't go the way we want it? Why must any criticism be perceived as sponsored?

    I wasn't at the KokoConcert2012 but I watched the live-streaming on NdaniTV and I have to say I wasn't really impressed. We have to appreciate the choice of Eko Atlantic City as the venue and all the business-reasons that were behind the choice of such a venue…entertainment is more of business first you know. We have to also acknowledge DBanj's determination to be bigger than he is, and let's be honest, rolling with Kanye and his acolytes is a big deal.

    However, the show put up by DBanj at the KokoConcert2012 was only slightly short of shambolic. Since he left Mo'Hits, he hasn't had any hits (Oyato and Cash Flow sound more like something we should expect from K-Switch or D-Prince), why struggle to force people to love them? Why not show them the vintage DBanj?

    Kokomaster needs to improve on his music and get the logistics right always to remain an icon on the Naija music scene.

  3. I've attended all the Koko Concerts and I swear down, this was the worst yet! Trekking aside, D'Banj performed like he'd already won the title of Greatest Alive! D'banj's hype abroad may not carry over to Lagos because Big Sean, Pusha T are non-factors to people who just want to hear Tongolo, Why Me?, Fall in Love and other Don Jazzy produced hits. It's not malicious or hate – its fact; he could have done better! No shade- D'Banj should have done better!

  4. This is the reason this country is in a mess. After the horrible show some people are still trying to defend Dbanj. Like Yemi said I love Dbanj but that doesn't mean we will give him a pass mark for a bad show. The show was a mess period. He should take the criticisms and make it better next time. Saying that people who are criticizing him are pushing negativity is just delusional.

  5. These write-ups were sponsored to discredit the show but it can't work. Lagosians are wiser. It was a great show. Mr Tola Sarumi, your friend Gbolahan was figurative expression. There was nobody like that. You don't need to tell us who produced the last song he sang. U sabi hate well well o.

    1. Tola is a Ms..

  6. These write-ups were sponsored to discredit the show but it can't work. Lagosians are wiser. It was a great show.

  7. I belt u,80% of dis pple complaining are not even at the venue these are pple waiting badly for dbanj down fall if u think am lying check donjazzy tweeter page u will see different comment,back in 2010 dis koko concert was organise under mohit and they promise Rick Ross was coming at the end of the show Rick Ross didn't show up who are u going to blame for that,God dey sha especially NND they ve been very busy writting differnt stories abt dis concert I know they hate dbanj but Is still baba for African now.

    1. Trust me, you didn't even have to be present at the show to know it wasn't all that. Streaming it live was enough to feel what those who went felt (obviously apart from the long walk part). The show was over-hyped and if this is the stuff D'banj does at every Koko Concert, then it's also overrated.

      Now, I know you wouldn't believe me, but I absolutely adore D'banj. I created my Twitter account specifically because of him. I wanted to know when he drops new singles, any shows he'd be performing at near my location etc. I was and still am all over D'banj. But being a fan doesn't mean I'd lie and say that Koko Concert 2012 was brilliant because it most definitely was not. I've seen other live performances of D'banj and the way it was orgnaised so well plus his performance made me understand that he CAN do so much better than what we saw at the Koko concert. It won't help if you give a different feedback to what you actually felt would it, cus then he won't improve, right?

    2. Kay, u are correct. Even the writer of this malicious article confessed not to be there….isn't that bad enough???

  8. This article was written out of hatred and to malign the Dbanj brand. Dbanj wasn't rude to his fans at anytime during the show. It is terrible how wicked people can be. It is not out of place to acknowledge your sponsor. He only gave a shout to GTBank and hailed the MD..Segun Agbaje. He thanked his fans for going through the stress and for trekking all the way to the venue of the show and also appreciated them for their loyalty. It is unfortunate that a lot of people cannot deal with the fact that DBanj is doing it big. Your friend trekked all the way, I'm sure he did for his love for Dbanj or may be he was just an observer who has only gone there to give bad reports. That show was one of the best we've witnessed in this country. With the array of stars paraded and for keeping his promise of bringing them, infact for pulling such crowd despite the awkward nature of the venue, Dbanj should be commended. You cannot blame him for the dust or bad road. Pls., direct your anger to the right quarters.

    1. You probably haven't been to a REAL concert then. Compare what D'banj did last night with what musicians who aren't even as popular as him have done and you'll hang your head in shame for believing so much in D'banj. If someone gave their honest opinion about how they felt about the show, why does it always have to be that the person must be malicious or a hater. The fact is, there was not much effort put into organizing the show. Simple.

      Secondly, you cannot for any reason whatsoever, say that the people who paid money are on one side of the area. That IS rude. So did the others get in for free then? Of course not, because if it was free, I'm sure you'd have seen much more people there than those who attended. This summary of the show, in my opinion is quite accurate. D'banj is better than what he displayed last night and he knows he could have done better, hence his apology (to the VIP &VVIP mainly, mhmm).

  9. Its not easy organizing a show from overseas. D'banj may be losing touch with Lasgidi's state of mind.

    1. …this writer just confirmed on twitter that he wasn't at the venue. He wrote this review on a show he never attended or saw live….isn't that funny??!!!! Can you imagine that the show was streamed live and a lot of people watched it including the writer. I'm surprised he did not see that as an innovation and he benefited from it. He chose to write about the negativity. Not once in the history of this country was a commercial show like that streamed live on the internet. Not Hip Hop awards, Rhythm Unplugged, AY Live!or any of the big shows. One would have thought his assessment would have been based on his streaming experience instead of writing about the feelings and sentiments of those who attended and are probably disgruntled for nothing. Honestly, Dbanj and his team knows where this is coming from. its just so unfortunate that you allowed yourself to be used to the extent of exhibiting so much hatred.

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail