‘If the performances of Samini and Shatta Wale were to be a boxing bout, one of them would have been left extremely battered. And it wouldn’t be Samini’’
When the best shows of the year list is being compiled, the Big Eruption concert powered by Guinness Ghana will surely rank tops in terms of hype, attendance and of course impressive performances.
The concert had another dimension to it. It was a night to determine who really the Dancehall King in Ghana is. The feud between the two dancehall acts, Samini and Shatta Wale had raged on for months. The concert was the final stage to settle the argument.
Despite a bit of heckling at the hands of the police manning the VIP gate-they kept us behind the gate for almost 30 minutes for no reason- I finally made my way into the VIP area. The delay by the police made me miss the opening performances of US Rapper Big Sean. However, I arrived just in time to see him perform some of his popular tunes like Guap, Beware, My Last, Clique and many others.
And if there is one moment during Big Sean’s performance many would remember, it surely must be his advice to all that they should dream and follow through with their dreams no matter what. The audience applauded and cheered him on till his last performance.
Next to be announced was the headline act, Akon. The Konvict Music capo thrilled for over an hour, performing songs from all his three previous albums, songs he had been featured on as well as his new single Blue.
I don’t know how much Akon was paid but I dare say he paid back every cent with his outstanding performance. His DJ/Hype man, DJ Benny D was possessed that night. He was simply unstoppable, full of energy and excitement. At a point in his performance, he asked the security who had barricaded the fans to allow them near the main stage.
Akon, during his second part of his performance came in a balloon ball. He was pushed into the crowd and got thrown around before making his way back onto the stage to the delight of many. Akon on the night proved to some of us who questioned his choosing as headline artist. I was blown away. He is truly an amazing performer.
Akon didn’t leave the stage after his performance. He called on stage Nigerian’s very own Wizkid onto the stage. Prior to Wizkid’s appearance there were some who doubted if he would perform because the MC for the evening, Bola ray for some reason kept omitting his name from the roll call of artists to perform that night. But finally he came.
His performance for me was average. Wizkid isn’t a known super performer. Truth is it was the audience who took over the singing. All he had to do was raise the tune and see the fans sing along, with him bouncing from one corner of the stage to the other. If I’m to rate him it will be 4 out of 10.
Next artist called out was EL. He did his best to excite the crowd with his hit songs Kaalu, halleluya, Auntie Matter and Suffer. Whiles existing the stage EL announced that the next act was Shatta Wale.
That caused the whole stadium to erupt in a deafening scream. Some of the guys I was with had concluded that should Shatta Wale perform before Samini, then the show will end prematurely.
Fortunately or not, Bola Ray announced Samini will be performing next. The ‘away’ chants began to grow. Samini finally came on stage at 12: 50 am. He looked a bit apprehensive from the onset of his performance. But as the fans began singing along his tunes, his confidence grew, became energized and gave a remarkable performance.
Samini proved to all why he is one of the hottest entertainers around. He commanded and directed his band. And for an hour he delivered a repertoire of songs from his first album through to his subsequent albums to his verse on ‘Adult Music’. And at a point, even those who kept chanting ‘away away’ couldn’t but join in the singing. Samini raised the bar for the next act which was his arch-rival, Shatta Wale.
Of all the acts that came on stage, it was Shatta Wale who did something different on the night regarding his stage entrance. All came from the back stage. He came in a crane branded “SM’’ (Shatta Wale). The cheers that greeted him were epic. The whole stadium went agog.
His first performance was with D-Black. And each song he raised was taken over by the fans. The only problem(s) I had with Shatta Wale was the consistent break in his performances. He’ll break into a diss or ‘ego-propping’ exercise. This breaks douched the excitement that was gradually building up. His performance, though not bad lacked continuity. It wasn’t very well coordinated. And I kept wondering why he came on stage with a battalion of ‘soldiers’? The stage looked very crowded for my liking.
In my opinion, Shatta Wale, who performed a little over 30 minutes-he came on stage at 2:00 am and exited at 2: 34 am- didn’t disappoint. But then considering the expectation, the hype and the stakes at hand coupled with the delivery of Samini earlier, the Korle Gonno Godfather fell short. The ending to his performance wasn’t the best as many weren’t able to tell if he was done or not.
In the end, the verdict was clear. If the performances of Samini and Shatta Wale were to be a boxing bout, one of them would have left extremely battered. And it would definitely not be Samini. And surely, Shatta Wale might sit back and wonder what really went wrong on that Saturday, 22nd November night.
I know the debate will continue unabated as who truly is the ‘King of Dancehall’. Obviously, one has the street on his side whiles the other have the whole country behind him.
And thanks to Guinness Ghana for bringing us a solid concert.
from T-D (AKon, Big Sean and Wizkid)