Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Words on the Street: Davido's 'O.B.O' Concert was a Flop - Reviews by Azuka Ogujiuba

Heightened expectations and anti-climax at Davido’s album launch

If the intensity of my expectation before Davido’s launch of his album could be glimpsed this was perhaps the most instructive. I had just arrived at the Lagos airport and was in dire need of rest. But rather than going home to refresh, l rushed off to the Eko Hotels and Suites, venue of the album launch and concert, of the musician also called “Omo Baba Olowo” (Yoruba term for son of a rich man).
The pre-event buzz led me and my friends to tag it “The Show of a Lifetime.” I was worried because l didn’t want to stand through the concert which would be the case if I got to there late. I worried too that I might not secure a vantage position to see this upcoming act. I wanted to get a bird’s eye view of his stagecraft. But the excitement was soured by a disappointing performance. The show reminded me of the “High School Musicals”. Davido’s performance brought back memories of my secondary school prize giving day where the excitement to impress is not always proportional to the skill. More after the jump
The show was a huge success in terms of the crowd it pulled. The hall was jam-packed just like AY’s show. The publicity blitz that heralded Davido’s concert is unarguably one of the most elaborate in the Nigeria’s showbiz history. His billboards were even displayed on the walls of bridges. Of course, being a rich man’s son, you wouldn’t expect anything less. To a large extent, the strength of a crowd is a common yardstick for measuring the success of shows. It appears many do seem to reckon with the content. I do. Did the huge crowd get its money’s worth?

The truth about it all is that Davido still has a lot to learn about his art and stage performance. Really could not reconcile the buzz with what I saw. He has a number of lovely singles; but l’m not sure about the other songs in the album. Davido could not hold his crowd spell bound with his performance or songs. Anytime he came on stage with his band, I just couldn’t help thinking that their performance seemed like one hurriedly put together by a band of pupils on a drama stage. I know he is quite young, yet I still think a proper rehearsal would have masked the glaring lack of co-ordination. I remember watching Wizkid perform on this same stage and would not forget the sort of spell he had on everyone, even though he didn’t have the kind of crowd that had massed to see Davido perform. Being 19 years old, you could say one should not be too hasty to write him off.

What went wrong at Flytime?
Flytime Entertainment has put together some of the best concerts in the country. But on this evening, I wish I knew what went wrong. This is not one of their best productions. This just didn’t seem like Cecil Hammond’s production. Hammond is the CEO of Flytime Entertainment.

l saw him during the show from a distance and struggled with the urge to ask him what went wrong. I have seen shows he has put together from 2Face’s two big concerts in the same venue, Wizkid, P-Square, 9ice, Basket Mouth’s comedy shows, Rhythm Unplugged, to the defunct Mo’hit. Davido’s concert was produced by Kaffy and HKN records owned by Davido and his cousin Shina Rambo.

Hammond only promoted and marketed the show. He also took care of production of the opening acts like Elenu, Orezi and Iyanya, and once Davido stepped on stage, he was handled by his HKN Records. Perhaps, that was the disaster point.

Kaffy turns carnival queen
Now, towards the end of the show, Kaffy and her dancers came out in colourful carnival costumes and danced around Davido and his band. They pranced around aimlessly on stage. Also, can anyone explain what the long silence that ensued after a song had stopped playing meant? It was so embarrassing that at a point, Davido’s cousin and one of his men came on stage to redeem the situation with his drumming skills, but ended up further boring the crowd.

Roll call
Of course, the immense wealth of Davido’s father, Deji Adeleke, known to be loving and supportive of his son’s musical career, it wasn’t a surprise that the hall teemed with business heavyweights such as Alhaji Aliko Dangote. He sat on the same table as Davido’s father to soak in the excitement. I really hope he did. Davido’s uncle, Sen. Isiaka Adeleke was present. The Adelekes invited royal fathers from their home stead. But, largely, the venue had a mix of personalities from diverse calling.

Iyanya was simply hot
When Iyanya appeared on stage with his new single, Kukere, unarguably one of the most popular songs at present, the crowd stood and danced with him throughout till he left the stage. We actually wished he stayed longer. D’banj was another show stopper at the event. His younger brother K-Switch performed his single, Sister Caro. I’m still trying to “feel the song” like they say.

There is no doubt about one point: K-Switch has got stage presence. But he should strive to create an identity that doesn’t appear to be a conscious attempt to ape D’banj’s. Naeto C was the third established artiste who performed that night. He attended with his new bride, Nichole.

Missing stars
Tuface and Wizkid were two major artistes announced in the jingles that will be performing. But they were nowhere in sight and nobody deemed it fit to apologize or explain why the artistes were absent. Freeze was the master of ceremony who shouldn’t have been. He spoke like he thought it was a radio show. He was simply boring.


Anonymous said...

Loool..I hope hw fets better..he still has time on his side

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