By Victor Enengedi
Empire Mates Entertainment (EME) boss Banky W proved yesterday, Friday February 15, 2013, that he has certainly come of age as a performer and crowd pleaser; with an effortlessly delivered valentine concert, ushering in his much anticipated fourth studio album, the R&BW.
Surprisingly and contrary to what a lot of industry enthusiasts had predicted, the sudden passing away of singer, Goldie did not affect the turn out and mood of guests. Guests thronged the Civic Centre Victoria Island, Lagos, venue of the concert in their hundreds to see what Nigeria’s self-acclaimed R&B King had up his sleeves.
As is always the trend with most Nigerian events, the show started very late; about four hours after the original scheduled time. A few people who had paid attention to punctuality, were seen grumbling and sitting idly in the hall waiting for Mr. Capable to get on with the show.
For a brief moment, Big Brother Africa host and Rhythm 93.7FM OAP, IK Osakioduwa acted as compere until comedian, Seyi Law later came on thrilling the guests with so much humour they didn’t mind the late start.
Following the concert’s church theme, Nollywood actress and fellow Samsung Ambassador, Kate Henshaw opened with the reading from the ‘book of love’. The performing acts were referred to with one church title or the other. And for the night, Banky W was introduced as ‘Evangelist Banks’ the minister of R&B Love, while other performers were either pastors, deacons and what have you.
With the aid and support of the remarkable band that Banky W had put together, each performance left no doubt that this band has had series of days and nights of rehearsals with one objective: giving the guests a night to remember. Mr. Capable threw in popular cuts from all of his albums, some performed with a bit of theatrics.
Communication and interaction was key to his performance. His command of the stage was the kind not many would have expected from a cool and gentle dude. And there was no miming.
The band’s choir-styled rendition of the ‘Lagos Party’ was phenomenal. Songstress, Waje killed the performance on the duet, ‘Thief My Kele’. Both Lynxxx’s and Banky’s verses on ‘My Unborn Child’ were ill. Yes, the dramatic wedding song featuring the sexy Niyola was absolutely amazing and so were the other cuts.
One of the major highlights of the night was the introduction of veteran reggae artiste, Blackky who ended up serenading the guests with his nostalgic ‘Rosie’ and ‘Bang Belly’ getting them to join him in a sing-along fashion.
The idea of getting the guest performers to do just one song each seemed to work, as it spared us what may have turned out to be a long process of series of lengthy and probably, boring performances. K9, Black magic, Chidinma, Bez, Praiz, Dammy Krane, Iyanya all lived up to expectation. Maybe even more.
Lighting, check. Sound, check. Apart from the late start, for the first time in a long while, I was at a show where we didn’t have the usual and frequent microphone and technical hitches.
The show finally came to an end with the performances of the EME acts Shaydee and Skales, with Wizkid conspicuously MIA.
Above all, it was a great show that deserves all the accolades due an astounding performer who has built a strong following in a few years and has been instrumental to the successes of a few other acts. Big thumbs up, Mr W.
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