THE GUINNESS 250 CELEBRATION CONCERT 2009: “E TIGHT EVENTUALLY”

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Tired as a dude can really be, after several hours of standing, I insisted that I must gist you about the Guinness 250 Celebration concert that took place on Thursday, September, 24 at Ocean View on Victoria Island, Lagos.
Word – media passes took hours to come through and our local media peops can attest to how annoying event organizers can be when it comes to attending to pressmen at their events. It seems to have become a Nigerian factor but that’s a story for another day.
According to the organizers (Guinness Nigeria), the concert was being telecasted via satellite to other parts of the world where the same concert was taking place. Nigeria’s TV cast was anchored by ex-beauty queen, Munachi Abii and former Big Brother Nigeria housemate, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu.
The concert which was slated to start for 5pm started a few minutes to 7pm as guests trooped in to witness the historical event. The crew captain of the concert was ace comedian, Bright Okpocha a.k.a ‘Basket Mouth’ who engaged the excited crowd through a hilarious interactive session that lasted for 51 minutes before he introduced the prolific, DJ Jimmy Jatt.
Jimmy kicked off with the lead single off the ‘Definition’ mixtape – “Stylee” and in his usual style steered the crowd with joints from the local and international scene and wheeled off at exactly 8:04pm. Basket Mouth returned on stage at 8:05pm to introduce the first performance of the night – the most incredible – M.I.
M.I stepped out looking conspicuous in his dark shades, white long sleeve jacket on blue jean as fans cheered in a manner that spelt acceptance. He was ‘armed’ with a life band to be on the “Safe” side as the crowd rapped along completing his lines at every opportunity. Noticing the restiveness of the crowd, he changed to his “Short Black Boy” – mode but hey – he didn’t escape cos the ladies noticed him and screamed “Hi”. He took “Fast Money, Fast Cars” but probably didn’t know that the field was full of ‘Bigz girlz’. At exactly 8:12pm, he had to call for back-up and you know the ‘usual suspects’ – Ice Prince and Jesse Jagz of cos to “Blaze” up the place. M.I paused at 8:17pm to request a massive “Happy Birthday” shout out to his mum whose birthday was on the same day. To warm up the crowd, he rendered a few lines from “Murder She Wrote” by Chakka Demus and Pliars and “All Night Long” by W4 before he introduced Pype (the 7 star general) for “Teaser”. And as the crowd would try to take over his shine, he screams – “Anoti” at 8:28pm, to close a performance that makes him worthy of the title – unbeatable.
Basket’ returned on stage, to direct all eyes to the screen where Estelle was performing “Come Over” and “Pretty Please” live in Dublin. At 8:39pm Wande Coal came up with Dr. SID and K-Switch to set the ball rolling with “Jeun Soke” while The Prince joined them at 8:43 to perform “Ten Ten”. And before the crowd could catch their breath, he compelled them to follow “Bumper to Bumper” and everybody obeyed as he took a bow.

Basket returned directing everybody to connect to Brooklyn as Natalie Imbruglia performed “Scars” and “My God”.

At 9:08pm, Mo Hits Hype-man, Special Ed was given the honour to introduce the self acclaimed “African Michael Jackson” – D’banj and the crowd welcomed him with a raging cheer. He was dressed in fitted black suit with a touch of red and behind him were Don Jazzy, Wande Coal, SID, The Prince and K-Switch. First, he reminded everyone that he is still hot – “Feli Feli” and then “Kimon” as everybody joined to sing “Olorun Maje” and hailed the “Igwe” a.k.a “Osina nwata buru Ogaranya 1 of Igbo land”. With all the pretty ‘kokolets’ on ground, anybody could have “Fallen in Love” and for those that were not sure of who to love, Wande hooks up to do “You Bad”. Ikechukwu joined the crew later as they “Suddenly” rounded off their session. But as the Mo Hits crew was leaving the stage, Basket pulled back D’banj to join him to raise a glass to Arthur. The ‘Entertainer’ in return requested for two ‘kokolets’ who flagged him to perform the ritual that was simultaneously followed by massive fireworks and loud cheers from the audience.
At 9:32pm DJ Jimmy Jatt took over again before Basket returned to usher in the dynamic duo of Peter and Paul a.k.a P-Square. The twins were on point with energy as usual taking fans back to the remix and original versions of “Busy Body” and “I Love you” off their new album – Danger. At 9:58pm, words were whispered to them to leave the stage for a reason (unknown at that point in time). The info apparently stirred up aggression as Peter immediately said “I don’t know why, anytime a foreign artiste comes to Nigeria, they (show organizers) wanna treat us like slaves in our country”. They continued with “Roll It” but angrily stormed out of the stage saying, “We are leaving; they don’t want Tuface to come on stage”.


This action infuriated the eager crowd who were already tuned in to a performance that was meant to be a jump off! They started throwing empty cans of beer and plastic bottles at the stage as they protested chanting “Tuface” – “2-Baba”. Basket Mouth’s attempt to calm the restive crowd at 10pm was replied with several cans of stout and water. Ten minutes later, Jimmy Jatt stepped out with Basket, explaining that – “According to the production plan, the live broadcast was planned to have Sean Paul perform at the time PSquare was asked to leave. They needed to show the reggae star to the waiting viewers across the globe so as to balance the simultaneous transmission of the concert across specified countries” – Even with this explanation, the crowd proved that they had not ran out of empty cans as they threw more at them. Jimmy also tried to bring Tuface on stage to help calm the tension, but to no avail.

The stage was empty and the concert devoid of any activity for about 30 minutes before Jimmy turned up the speakers with Tuface’s “One Love” followed by Bob Marley’s “One Love” and continued with other mind captivating songs for over 30 minutes to ease the angry fans. This move was a step to the solution as Basket returned at 11:04pm to call back P-Square alongside Tuface.

The crowd screamed at the top of their voice as the twin returned with Tuface to perform “Possible” another song, off the ‘Danger’ album. After the collabo, Sound Sultan joined the trio at 11:11pm to perform “Enter The Place” with Tuface who then performed “One Love” to the loud response of the crowd. PSquare took over again apologizing for the mix up assuring peace and at the same time warning that a reoccurring incidence will only warrant “Danger – Wahala Dey” as Kaha and UK based, Alaye joined them to close their performance. On their way out, they introduced Sean Paul who came in at exactly 11:20pm amidst applauds and love from the (now happy) fans.

The floor of the Kingston born, Jamaican star was opened by three very hot dancers that had enough ‘bottom power’ to calm the irate crowd – only if they could have garnered courage to step out during the “1-hour madness”. Full names – Sean Paul Ryan Francis Henriques, eventually appeared with his brother Jason “Jigzagula” Henriques and Fahrenheit performing “Blazing”, followed by “Gimme the Light”. He tried hard to connect to the crowd “Like Glue” and his persistence with “Baby Girl” and “So Fine” off his recent album ‘Imperial Blaze’ impressed the ladies. His next rendition was “Still in Love” with his Nigerian fans and closed the curtain with “Get busy”. Not a bad performance but nothing compared to any of our local acts that appeared on that same stage last night. Basket Mouth dished out vote of thanks as the show came to an eventual end at exactly 12:24am.

My comment:
The show was an eventual good show but the slight feud could have been averted if they started on time or if they did not bring PSquare as at when they brought them on stage. For big stars like the twins and Tuface, you can’t just come with any excuse to take the mic off them especially when “Ego” and “Esteem” are at stake. Although at the end of the day, I discovered that the problem was as a result of lack of proper communication on the side of the organizers. If they had been conscious of time constraints at the beginning of the concert, they would have switched the time table before getting to that bridge and this is not to say there cannot be crises at any point of an event especially when it is a live show but crisis should have been foreseen with provision of a possible control measure. I give thumbs up to DJ Jimmy Jatt who was able to employ the power of music to calm the troubled minds.

The cans and water bottles used to disrupt activities on the stage were provided by the organizers and this could have been avoided. Even if the cans were not thrown on stage, it could have been handy for drunken fans who may get involved in a fight. Light disposable cups would have been used to serve drink order than the cans. But no serious damage was done, except for Basket Mouth’s shirt that was riddled with drinks and water. Among our local artistes, I saw unity expressed in the best way possible while the fans also reacted in solidarity. At the end of the day, most people had fun except for those who lost their phones (stolen actually) like my friend, Shola Animashaun who was the official photographer of the event.

At the end of the day, it turned out to be a good show and I think Arthur did not feel bad after all.
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