By Ogbonna AMADI, Entertainment Editor
Tagged Rhythm Unplugged, the concert aptly lived up to its ratings. There were no loose ends. As the last concert on the concert circuit, it was indeed the biggest and the best.
Not only best in terms of delivery; it was best in quality, organisation and most secured event in the year 2010.
As one critic summed it “the organiser, deserved accolades for putting together one of the most brilliant concerts organised in the country last year.”
For the Cecil Hammond led Flytime Promotions, the Rhythm Unplugged concert, was the icing on cake for an organisation that had successfully executed four world class concerts before now.
Echoes of the first ever Rhythm Unplugged concert held in Benin still reverberates even while Lagosians are still reeling from the after effects of the 2Face Live, Koko Concerts, (Basketmouth) Lord of the Ribs and Silverbird’s 30th anniversary shows. Put together, the quality of these shows leaves no one in doubt as to whom should be the promoter of the year in 2010.
The concert also showed that the dominance of corporate bodies like Guinness Plc, MTN, AIRTEL, GLO, NB Plc as major concert organiser comes under threat.
As with his previous shows, this year’s edition of the Rhythm Unplugged concert was not only a hit with the Lagos crowd, it further cemented Cecil Hammond’s place in the class of great promoters before him; speaking of the likes of Ben Bruce, Dapo Adelegan, Aigbangbe Ighieghon and the late Prince Ade Adefeso.
With sponsors like MTN, Harp, UAC and Onward paper mill, the concert which held at the new Eko Hotels hall, witnessed an unprecedented crowd.
As early as 3pm, tickets which sold at N20, 000 for VIP and N5, 000 for the popular side had sold out. And by 6pm, a major barricade had been placed at entrance of the hotel to screen out persons without confirmed tags for the concert.
It was the first time since the 1996 Ikeja-held father and son concert (featuring Fela and Femi Kuti) that there were more people outside a concert venue than inside. Credit for crowd control would go to members of K-Square, a private security outfit for the matured way they handled the crowd thereby preventing the break down of law and order.
As the event hall came under musical siege when artistes billed for night filed out one by one for their performance, the crowd roared in appreciation of every move by the musicians shaking the roof and pillars of the hall.
The heavy and deafening sound emitting from the state of the art equipment, only added to sweet cacophonies that ruled the night.
Widely publicised, the organisers had a few surprises for the crowd. Away from the Choc Boiz, 2Face, Kas and the likes touted for the show, it was a pleasant shock for the sweat soaked audience when P-Square was announced to come on stage. Trust the two young Igbo men; It was business as usual.
For one hour, they held the crowd spellbound with their electrifying and well-choreographed dances.
Sensing that people in the VIP section were not dancing, they asked that those who wished to make the new year stand.
As soon as the crowd stood to applaud the move, they went into the hit song ‘E no Easy’ and brought on stage, J Martins. It was indeed a well-executed coup and the crowd responded. As the duo left, J Martins held on for ladies’ favourite, Banky W to come on stage. For the Ebute Metta crooner, a choir it was, that heralded him on stage.
On his exit, the Koko master arrived to take his turn. Although he had performed at his own Koko concert, two nights before, he didn’t disappoint.
But he broke his followers hearts when he announced after doing a song, that the show was over.
Was he stoned? Nope. But the crowd was appeased when his lable mate, Dr. Sid, came on stage.
It was the dentist-turned musician who revived the high spirits and went on to usher in MI- the diminutive rapper who has since proven that height has nothing to do with capability. He let the hungry yet voracious crowds get it, as he dished out songs from his new album M12.
As the curtain fell on the final performance, satisfied crowds made their exit at about 12.30am when the show ended.
By Ogbonna AMADI, Entertainment Editor