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Asa’s Lagos Encore Concert was by far the best concert I’ve ever attended in Nigeria – and trust me, I have attended a lot. It felt like being in a different world entirely. A peaceful world where everyone agreed with each other, where everyone was on the same level and happily sang in unison without a care in the world of the many struggles, problems, and worries outside the concert hall.
Asa shone like an angel on stage. Her live band and orchestra amazed everyone as they played the tunes of her every song perfectly, down to the very score. There was no reason for Asa to lip sync or play the instrumentals to her songs like most artistes do during their own concerts. In fact, Asa did not have to sing at all because the lovers of good music who gathered in their numbers to watch her live, ended up singing along to every single song.
Asa’s Encore Concert proved that good music IS and WILL ALWAYS BE appreciated in Nigeria. The delectable artiste took her time carrying the audience along. Playing with us like school children on a playground. It felt like Julia Andrews’ Maria Von Trapp character from the Sound of Music was live on stage and we – the children – sang along without a single care in the world. In between songs, Asa told stories about her experiences in Nigeria and France, while also giving kudos to her fellow colleagues in the music industry.
“There was a time I entered an uber in Paris and the driver asked me where I was from. I told him Nigeria and he immediately asked me, “do you know Davido?” I said “yes” and the driver said, “he’s from Niger” (because the French usually mistakes Nigeria for Niger). And then I thought to myself, “ehn, Niger ke” a whole Davido? David? (pronouncing the David in thick Yoruba accent like a Nigerian mother would.) If Davido hears this or his father hears this they will carry koboko and flog this driver’s buttocks. A whole O.B.O FROM NIGERIA? Omo Baba Olowo?”
“Nigerian music industry has come far. And it’s good because now people from over there want our sounds. They want to hear us!” “I love shouting out to my colleagues when i have the chance. Like Tiwa Savage. She’s amazing!”
The whole audience laughed as Asa cracked jokes – yes! you heard me right! and brought even more tears of joy to the eyes of everyone who had already been touched by the sweet melodies and performances so far.
Between costume-changing breaks, the crowd kept chanting “More! We want more! Give us more!” Asa always obliged the hungry audience and came out in a costume even more beautiful than the last to the delight of the crowd who were ever so eager to sing along to her beautiful songs. The response Asa had gotten all night made her come down and walk around the event centre, hugging and greeting as many people as possible while the screams and tears of joy from the fans who got to touch/hug her, drowned the beautiful orchestra and band’s rendition of “Jailer.”
Couples danced carefree with some salsa steps when Asa climbed back on stage and sang “Be My Man,” and hearts mellowed again and sang along when she cooled it off with “Bamidele” – a song the violinists in the orchestra took extra special care to deliver!
At the end, the “Bibanke crooner” thanked everyone who made her Encore Concert the rousing success that it was, thanked the fans in the most heartfelt way possible, and left everyone with a single thought on their minds, “This is how a great concert should be.” “This is what good music should sound/feel like.”