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August 2015 marked rapper E.L’s second annual B.A.R Concert. It was at the
World Trade Centre, Accra which was a change in scenery from last year’s
concert [at Alliance Française d’Accra]. The set-up transformed the
hall because, honestly, when I saw it previously without the stage and props, I
wondered how BBnZ was going to pull it off, but they did. It is a beautiful
space, though not so large, and, unlike last year’s concert, the show was
inside, so there were no threats from Mother Nature.
Photo: @S_tage (via iphone)
tickets went from GHC 20 [Regular], GHC 25 [VIP Standing] and GHC 30 [VIP
Seating]. My friend asked me why someone wouldn’t just pay the extra GHC 5 to
sit down but you know, that’s neither here nor there. The audience arrangements
were such that the VIPs were closest to the stage, while the Regulars [for lack
of a better word] had to stand on the balconies of the 2nd & 3rd
floor. Some say they had a better view, but I disagree. I mean, who doesn’t
want to be that close to the stage to see everything?
show was supposed to start at 7 pm but you know, this is Ghana. Has anything
ever started on time? I was there at about 7:30 and there were some people
already there [I was actually surprised] but not that many. The show ended up
starting at about 9:02 and, though I do not remember the order of the acts, a few
in particular stood out for various reasons.
first artist I remember was one called Haywaya, I believe. He stood out because
he was rapping in Hausa and I found that quite refreshing from the usual
English, Ga, Twi, Pidgin rap we usually hear. A few others like Imperial came
out in winter coats and scarves and I couldn’t particularly enjoy their set
because it all seemed gimmicky to me and I couldn’t take them seriously. VVIP
came out and did a few throwbacks, including some Reggie Rockstone classics and
they ended their set with their latest single “Skolom” that had the entire
audience on their feet. Might I add that Reggie Rockstone looks reaaaalllllyyyy
good for his age?
the top of every hour, the acts would stop and DJ Mic Smith would play some
songs [for roughly 15 minutes] to get the crowd moving. To be honest, he helped
with the show because he gave the audience something to look forward to after
some unfamiliar acts.
1am, the man of the hour appeared. A vision in white, E.L came on the stage preceded
by an intro that shut off all the lights and left the spot light on him.
first song he performed was “Boorle”, a song that was actually on his first
B.A.R Mixtape. I must say that he performs with such energy that it had
everyone on their feet. He was engaging, even to the audience that was above
him. He used the stage efficiently, even though it wasn’t a large stage. He
never stood in one position too long and interacted with the crowd, long enough
to leave them wanting more.
second song was “This Is Crazy Chale” from the second B.A.R mixtape and after
that, he introduced himself to new and old fans alike, a little touch that I
found endearing. To hype the crowd a little more, he performed a few songs from
last year’s mixtape and, after a while, he was joined on set by Kojo-Cue whose
fan base is steadily growing. While E.L went backstage for a wardrobe change,
Kojo-Cue rocked the stage with his hits like “Lavender” and “Low Key”.
for the highlight of the entire night. This is the one performance that blew everyone away. E.L brought Pappy Kojo
and Joey B on stage for a fire performance of “All Black”. The performance was
so great that the energy was tangible. One of the best live performances I’ve
ever seen, hands down. Amidst champagne showers and pyrotechnics, the artists
clearly enjoyed the performance as much as the audience did. Even Twitter’s own
DeezyDoThis came on stage to perform “Segbefia” with the “All Black” trio.
for the downside: acoustics. Personally, I think the acoustics served as a
great disadvantage to the opening acts because, for those of us who had never
heard of them, we couldn’t vibe with the songs solely because we couldn’t hear
them properly. If I couldn’t her them on the ground-floor, those on the balcony
definitely couldn’t either. And since we couldn’t hear them properly, there was
no appropriate feedback for them.
Photo: @S_tage (via iphone)
though, I thought it was a great concert.
I love how Ghana-centric the concert was. The music was great and even
though some of the performers were unknown [to me] they were all very interactive
with the audience. Even though they weren’t the headlining act, they gave it
their all. Kudos to all the performers. Also, I’m going to need BBnZ and E.L to
do this every year.