Concert Review: Black Sherif’s Mozama Disco Concert
I haven’t been outside- specifically to music concerts or social events- post COVID-19. My “outsiding” has primarily been to work and back home, occasionally straying into a few events when invited. I don’t remember the last time I was at a music concert. This year has not been an exception. There have been times when I would make a mental note of an event but never make it, either through forgetfulness or unforeseen demands. I even missed the superbly executed, highly heralded, eye opening and game changing Global Citizen concert. Also, music concert experiences have become very banal in my estimation. From what I heard from friends; the experiences are getting worse.
So, as December approached and concerts were being announced across traditional and social media, I made it a point to attend at least one. Mozama Disco Concert was the one concert I chose to attend, for two reasons: I wanted to witness Black Sherif first hand as he headlined his own concert. Judging by the reaction of fans to his praiseworthy album “The Villain I Never Was” and the goodwill Blacko continues to enjoy across the 16 regions of Ghana, the UK and other parts of the world, it was just right to be there. The second reason was to be there and watch what he would do on the night.
I went to the La-Palm Royal Beach Hotel with no expectations. I was there to kill some time and catch up with friends I haven’t seen in a while; something I did. As we chopped it up about life, music, the industry- the good, the potential and of course, the flaws at the “food court” of the venue, we could hear the first part of the show happening. From the outside, we could tell the sound was going to be an issue on the night. We were right, to a degree.
As people filed in and the ticket check-in queues began to grow longer, we made our way to the main concert ground. I should say, I was impressed by the organization. Mind you, this was my first time being there. The “game park” was cool. It was not just music and food. People were playing video games and shooting darts (or whatever that was). It all added to the “experience”. The security on the ground was good. The queue at the ticket checkpoint wasn’t overwhelming. It took a couple of seconds to get cleared to enter the venue.
Let me clearly state that this post is not a deep dive review. This is just a piece of things that caught my attention on the night.
Before I discuss performances, event organizers should realize that a bad MC is a threat to a well-organized show. On the night, the show lacked the necessary zest from the lady MC (sorry, I don’t remember her name). You could clearly tell she didn’t have the cojones to sustain the energy of the charged audience. Until Kojo Manuel came on stage to uplift the crowd with his “are you mad’ chants, along with DJ Loft’s well curated set, the enthusiasm of the crowd was being snuffed out rather than pumped up.
Anyways, after the DJ setlist and Kojo Manuel’s crowd hyping tactics with the lady MC quarterbacking, Black Sherif was introduced on stage. Backed by a live band, Black Sherif performed “The Homeless Song” as his opener. He then ran through a couple of songs from the debut album while plucking from his old singles purposely for his ‘’day one’’ fans – the pre-Second Sermon fans. Blacko was able to commandeer the stage while engaging with the crowd. Watching him, I couldn’t help but compare how he carried himself on stage to Kendrick Lamar – meticulous, engaging, riveting, and refreshing. For an artist whose star power is at its nascent inception, he felt at home on the night, albeit more growth boxes to tick going forward.
Most of the guest artists on the night were clearly excited to be part of the show. A couple of artists impressed me on the night, including Wendy Shay- you could glean her growth as a performing artist. One thing she did that impressed me was switching to her song “Survivor” when she realized the cold reaction from the crowd during the performance of her song “Heaven” (off her new album “Enigma“). Though disappointed, she kept the show running. She handled it professionally by not allowing the cold reception to emasculate her attitude. From an observer’s perspective, that was remarkable. Please artists, stick to your old songs when making a cameo on other people’s shows.
Bosom P-Yung was the best entertainer of the night. His attitude and adrenaline were infectious. He literally came, saw, and conquered. He reminded me so much of Lord Kenya. For a minute I kept wondering if that had always been his attitude during performances. Bosom P-Yung made an excellent impression on the many who were witnessing him for the first time. DopeNation do have known hits and that helped their performances. I bet many remember their songs more than their stagecraft, which was uninspiring to say the least.
KiDi did not have to do much to get the crowd to belt out lyrics to “Champagne” and a couple of other songs. Fameye, however, put on a short yet excellent show, serving back-to-back hits like “Menkwa”, “Praise”, “Thank You”. The night also made me realize how “hard” guys could switch up their moods at the hearing of a song. That was exactly what Oxlade’s “KU LO SA” did. Boys instantly pulled their romantic cards out as soon as that record came on.
One palpable downside of Mosama Disco was the many lull moments that came when artists were either retreating or coming on stage. Some took longer than expected thus affecting the flow of the continuity of the show. Again, the transition between the DJ sessions and an artist coming onstage was not always smooth. The delays dampened the vibe to an extent.
As the clock wound down, I kept checking the bolt fares from the venue to my house. Around 1:20 am, I decided to call it a night but that was after about 20 minutes of conversation with my colleagues at the car park. I missed the performances of Gyakie, Sarkodie, The Asakaa boys’ and LaMeme Ganag’s though we could hear them from the car park. My first bolt ride order was cancelled by the driver. At least the driver was civil enough to message me his reason. It was fair. I would have declined if I was him, too.
My ride finally came to my pickup spot 8 extra minutes after the expected arrival time. The driver was struggling to get to my location. He confessed he didn’t know the Trade Fair area well. He came to drop someone off and was glad I was going towards his direction (home). As I was approaching the main gate of the hotel to relax in that bolt ride, I overheard a guy trying to sell tickets to two young ladies at 150ghc a pop.
He was very convincing and for a minute, I thought the ladies were going to pay the amount. The guy finally left the ladies to attend to something. I had two extra tickets in my pocket at this point which I gave out to them. The mix of surprise and confusion on their faces was both funny and fulfilling. I hope they had fun.