After several weeks of anticipation for Salafest 2016 with headline artist Shatta Wale and several others, the event is finally done I’m left the task of reviewing the concert which saw a huge number of people throng Vienna City, Kumasi.
Characteristic of most Ghanaian events, late attendance played a major part in this year’s Salafest despite a huge number of people who walked the streets outside the event grounds.
Yes, with traffic as heavy as the thickest virgin forest on planet earth, one needed no soothsayer to whisper into the ears that there was an ongoing event at Kumasi’s most vibrant night hangout Vienna City. A normal 2 minutes drive from Ahodwo roundabout to Vienna City took majority of people not less than 1 hour due to traffic and that’s how real the traffic was.
If there’s anything aside great entertainment that Vienna City, Kumasi prides itself in, it’s nothing else than security.
With an unfortunate incident already registered at the Asawase Community Centre just days before the Salafest which was headlined by Shatta Wale, the management could not take security issues lightly. With a number of army men and police personnel deployed at vantage points, there could be no room for imbecility.
As of the time of publishing this review, I had not heard of any single unfortunate incident or a security breach.
Sound & Light
Very little can be said of sound and lights as everything seemed quite ok for the occasion.
MCs and DJ’s
I expected nothing short of an amazing night as I have over the months worked hand in hand with two of the best night club MCs in the Garden City, Barima Sean Bills and Lyrical Dutty. Switching mics and doing their thing, one could hear Lyrical Dutty drop his reggae lines over instrumentals whether hip hop or Azonto.
Barima could also be heard with his usual catch phrase, “Adwuma N’asi”.
DJ K Crack, DJ Octopus and DJ Kaxtro were at their usual best on the night leaving no room for boredom.
With little time and no room for upcoming acts, Ghanaian hip hop act Cabum set the party off with a number of hip hop tracks and switched into the very popular ones which caught up with the people like wildfire.
He then introduced Benk Moni as they performed one of the biggest songs in Kumasi “Mmaa Wo Adum”.
Cabum, as always had that energy in his voice that translated into his performance.
Just like it is an abomination to take out the then music group, VIP from a Nima concert on such a festive season, one could not celebrate Salahfest in the Ashanti Region without involving the “local giants” of the Zongo communities, NT4.
With just a hit song to entertain the crowd, the rest of their 15 or more minutes performance could be equated to the relevance of music to the deaf.
Apologies, if sounds harsh but the once vibrant hip hop group did not live up to expectation. Perhaps, I expected more.
Hope you guys ain’t bored though. We still remain family tight?. (wink)
Flowking Stone/ Bradez
I don’t know which gods might be on the group’s case as Flowking Stone had to temporarily stop his performance for close to 30 minutes due to a power trip just when the crowd had been gingered up with an amazing intro.
This would however not deter the Igwe who was ready to cement his place as one of the best rappers in the country. Given the green light, Flowking Stone returned to the stage with his kid brother Kuntakinte who together performed their award-winning monster hit Simple.
The group, Bradez also performed Dondoo which featured Kwabena Kwabena and many other hit tracks.
Oh yeah, Flowking Stone could walk off the stage without performing Mekyeakyea and Go Low.
Perhaps, we would have to redefine who owns the streets in Ghana. One of the very artists with very little traditional media attention (TV and radio) but rules the streets. Every single song Yaa Pono raised on the night was welcomed by the amazing crowd who sang to and cheered on him throughout his 20 minutes performance.
With the love to offer more as he had heated up, time would not allow which got him peeved as he left the stage. Yes, he was indeed angry he couldn’t give more.
Need I say anything about this artist? One of the most underrated Ghanaian MCs with an uncountable number of hit songs. Introduced by his hype man, DJ Reuben, Guru set off his performance with his monster hit single “Pooley Swag” which was well received by the crowd.
It was enough to give him a smooth ride for his almost 35 minutes performance.
Not only did he perform a number of his current songs, the musician took his fans back as they did his old songs including Kasiebo.
Well, with a number of more hit songs to perform, organizers literally had to beg Guru to round-up his performance to make way for Shatta Wale.
Pretty sure Archipalago immediately comes to mind, right? Well, very uncharacteristic of a Shatta Wale performance in Kumasi, the number one hype man was missing action and I heard a couple of people ask why.
However, it seems Shatta Wale needed no hype man to do his usual “thing”. Of course, he was the main reason most of the people were gathered since all radio ads and creatives seemed to focus on him.
With a wide music catalogue and dishing one song after the other, I, at one point in time felt lost since I seem not have heard some of the songs he was performed.
Can you blame me for that? Nope, lol. The brother releases songs like crazy and you must be an SM faithful to actually keep up the pace.
Unlike me, the crowd could sing to every song the musician performed on the night. From Money Power through Chop Kiss to Zenabu.
Intermittently, the musician paused his performance to drive home his message of peace and also to express his appreciation to the people of Kumasi for the amazing support and love the city has always shown him.
Just like the tagline for Ghana’s number one urban radio station YFM, once could only hear the crowd shout “Wale, Wale, Wale” and yearn for more but time would not allow as it was already a new day.
Shatta Wale ended his performance at exactly 5:39am. You know what that means right? End of salafest!!
Although I have watched him perform on several occasions, there was something new to talk about and that was his typical comic lifestyle on stage. Maybe, I should write a whole article on how comical Shatta Wale is and the need to bill him for one of these comedy shows. Would you attend?
I would suggest event organizers pay very good attention to the number of people who are given access to the backstage area and the number who are allowed to hover around the stage or get on stage during artists performance. It was quite clear a number of them had no business around that area on the night.
In all, Salafest 2016 organized by Vienna City with media support from Y102.5FM and www.nydjlive.com was a huge success.
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