They conjure an image of wide stages, glitzy setup, eye piercing lazer lights and thousands of people ready to cheer and dance along with the artiste(s) headlining the event. In Ghana, provision of chairs is ever present.
But, that wasn’t the case last Sunday, at Lokko Warehouse, where the ‘Mother of Heirs’ concert, an initiative by Black Girls Glow was staged. The audience were denied the comfort of chairs- the best thing to do as far as a concert goes. For over one-and-half hours, they were on their feet; dancing, singing, applauding, on the night, the six female performers- Poetra Asantewa, Dzyadzorm, Fu, Adomaa, Cina Soul, Ria Boss.
Even though the event started an hour and a half late, fans weren’t bothered (technically they weren’t late since performance was to begin at 7 pm). The time ‘wasted’ was compensated for by the phenomenal DJ, KEYZUZ (half an hour for her set wasn’t enough). Her cross genre mixes set the mood for the six ladies to take the energy up a notch.
Backed by the four member Protege band, the ladies performed the twelve tracks that make ‘Mother of Heirs’ album, and more. With Fu beckoning the crowd to pay attention to the opening lines of ‘Power To Power’ (Power to the power/ Power to the femmes), the audience were certainly caught in the whirlwind of the performance by the end of the first song. For over half an hour, the performances peaked, one song after the other. There wasn’t a moment of pause. The performance was a continuous one and that got the audience cheering with genuine admiration and keen interest.
There were captivating moments on the night, including the sudden aura of silence when Dzyadzorm performed her emo- drenching poem ‘MissUnderstood’. Her emotions were nakedly displayed (you can’t talk about sexual violence with a smile). Fu won many hearts with her thrilling deliveries especially her untitled track with Ria Boss. And who can forget the ‘dance contest’ between Cina and Adomaa?
Things did hit a crescendo when Cina Soul teamed up with Fu to perform ‘Julor’. Same reception greeted Adomaa’s performance of ‘Traffic Jam’, which had the crowd literally taking over like they co-worker the song. Earlier, Poetra had performed her single ‘Coroner’, a string of musings about life (a favorite of mine). Hearing Ria Boss sing is great. Watching her perform is surreal. Her performance of the outrageously inspiring song, ‘Flame On’, was one of the grand performance on the night. The ladies also gave a live demonstration of how they created the songs on ‘Mother of Heirs’ – one party raises a melody, others drop in with their own thoughts on a subject.
Good performance is non-negotiable. Same can be said about the technical bits of events. Technical flaws can ruin good shows especially live performances. But, on the night, everything worked to perfection. The Protege band were incredible to a fault. And as Poetra indicated, they had just three days of rehearsals (I wonder what the outcome would have been if the rehearsals had been a week long). The sound providers, Other1, deserve plaudits for their work (no echoes, sound was kept within the four walls of Lokko Warehouse) likewise the team that handled the lighting on the night.
The stage was perfect too- the provision of chairs for the artistes on the stage was a good idea. It avoided the clumsiness associated with walking off and on the stage after each performance. The venue offered a deserved intimate session between the artistes and the crowd. The shared energy between them was symbiotic.
The flawless rollout of “Mother of Heirs” deserve praises. Within a space of three weeks, they hosted an album listening, released the album and capped it up with a concert.
Leaving the venue that evening, three thoughts rushed to my mind: there’s power in collaborative work as exhibited by the six artistes in making the album. Good efforts would be supported by many, either directly (resource wise) or indirectly (encouragement). Lastly, it’s good to have huge concerts but the intimate feeling small concerts offer makes a difference. I hope other artistes would borrow from the glowing black girls.
All photos used in this article was sourced from the Black Girls Glow (@BlackGirlsGlow) twitter page.