by Chukwukere Okpani
It was the kind of music concert you go with a friend, family or a loved one.
Because Falana’s is a music style that is soulful, beautiful and draws you in. An experience so profound you want to share it – with someone you care about, with someone you hold dear.
Falana had declared from the start that she wanted to make the finale a big deal. In her words, she wanted to end with a “bang”. And my, did she!
The event was slated to hold at City Hall, Onikan. The flyer read doors open 6pm, show starts 7:30pm.
I showed up by 6:20pm at the venue, and everything was set. Never for once heard that annoying thing Nigerian events organisers are wont to do – “testing… testing… testing… testing 1-2-3. Testing the microphone” while the event is supposed to have started. Because no one here was about to do a Terry G cover. ?
The sound system, the stage, everything was ready.
And the thing about people knowing you and trusting you’d respect time, they too fix up and by 7:20pm, the hall – 1st floor of City Hall, was filled up. A sublime crowd of, you’d say mostly middle to upper-class folks, a handful of Caucasians – Britons mostly I observed.
Everybody was seated and we awaited the lady of the moment as the band and backup singers serenaded us to soothing sounds.
And then she came on stage, by 8:08pm in her black crop top, loose flowy yellow pants and her hair, short and beautiful. Again, beautifully, she apologized for starting a little late, but we didn’t mind and accepted in good spirit. And then. She sang.
And then. She sang.
Actually, no. Falana took us through a journey.
From a song dedicated to her father, to her most vulnerable moments during her time in Cuba. She told us how she spent a year, in a strange place, a strange language with no one. How she sank into depression but in all of this, a beautiful story of how she met, in her near lowest point, a friend, a mentor and in that, the beauty of Spanish.
She taught us Spanish – made us, the crowd chant two words –
reír y llorar (Laugh and cry)
And we were happy to.
She also sang us some songs she was thinking of adding to her album, and she shyly asked while singing if we loved it, and if they were album worthy.
Now Falana asks these questions with this bright glow in her eyes, those whites of her eyes popping in the red lights of the hall that you, even if you hated it would still shout an emphatic YES; but this wasn’t that. The songs were indeed great to hear. And everybody answered in the affirmative. We wanted it. We loved it. I at least recorded for keeps in case she somehow changes her mind.
And then she went inspirational.
She told us to never stop dreaming, because it was – is the strength of her dreams that had taken her through.
She says she can’t explain any of it.
I say it is well-harnessed talent in a beautiful mind, an awfully unique sound – her cajon – and yes. Dream. That elixir of good things.
And to close she introduced her band of four – 1 on the piano, 2 on the guitars, 1 on drums (and two backup singers).
The drummer lit the place up in his final solo as only drummers can. That is, of course worth mentioning.
And with a playing time of 1 hr 28 mins – the show came to a close by 9:36pm.
A mixture of our favourite covers, new songs, and songs from her EP:Things fall together.
It was an amazingly great show.
Timely. Soulful. Beautiful.
She did end the pop-up series in outstanding fashion.
Yes, that’s Falana – the shining light that beams and forces excellence. She did shine at the finale.
And the crowd gave a standing ovation in appreciation.
There should be more sounds, more concerts like this.
Falana Uncover’d Pop-Up Concert series Finale was one show where everything fell in place, things did fall together.
Creative mind. Enthusiast. Learner. Multipotentialite. And here, an assistant editor.