The first time I heard Aduke sing was at a #MyLagosStory event in 2014 and I was blown away. I made it a point to look for her on YouTube and I have played the video I made of her countless times. Unfortunately I have been unable to attend any of her band’s concerts since then.
When I saw the Enough is Enough Nigeria Freedom of Speech Concert in the Social Media Week Lagos 2015 schedule I immediately bookmarked it because Aduke and the SSV Band were headlined for the event.
Thursday, 26th February, couldn’t come soon enough for me. I tried to be as early as possible for the 6pm event, making it at 6.45pm and praying I hadn’t missed the performance I most wanted to see. Other acts included (in order of importance to me), spoken word poet Efe Paul Azino, Oritse Femi, Brymo and Denrele Edun.
As with most concerts, the event started late. I wasn’t surprised. What surprised me was the absence of a crowd at Freedom Park. I expected I’d have to fight for a space to stand, yet there were several empty seats.
The event kicked off with comedy by Ambrose and then SSV Band took the stage. As a huge fan of live music, and having heard several bands I was very impressed: the harmony, the mastery of instruments, the voices, were nothing short of amazing. The band members were all dressed in visual artist Victor Ehikhamenor’s ‘Vote with Ink not Blood’ t-shirts, a tribute to the campaign to prevent election violence in the forthcoming polls.
There was a spoken word performance by Rez tha Poet, video messages from EiE and then Aduke took the stage.
Her performance was electric. She opened with Olorun Mi by Comfort Omoge and went on to perform Aralamo, Hear the Voice, Make We Talk and crowd favourite, Made in Lagos. Aduke owned the stage as she danced, mock conducted the band, played her guitar and thrilled with her voice of gold.
I deign to say that Aduke and the SSV Band were the highlight of the evening, even though their performance was interrupted at some point so Brymo could say a few words. Yep. He didn’t perform. His timing also seemed to have confused the organizers because for five minutes before he spoke and five minutes afterwards nothing was happening on stage, and I could hear people around me wondering aloud if the show was over.
I left the event soon after as did a good number of people. I later found out via EiE’s twitter account that Denrele showed up and there were giveaways. Hurray for the winners.
I was a little sad that I didn’t get to hear Efe Paul Azino perform, he knows his business. I wish the organization had been a little better and someone had thought to iron out the fine details.
But if the reaction of the attendees was anything to go by, Aduke and the SSV Band were more than worth the evening.
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