D’banj, others flop at Koko Concert 2012

D’banj and Big Sean at the Koko Concert, last night

Most hypes don’t live up to their expectation, no one knows why, it just doesn’t happen.

Even the most optimistic of people who attended the Koko Concert at the ‘Eko Atlantic City’ on December 27, 2012 left the vnue fuming or physically too tired to react to the poor turnout of events that took place at the new Eko Atlantic City, off Amadu Bello, Victoria Island.

The first of many problems was the distance from the Eko Atlantic entrance to the venue of the show – all of 20KM. While cars were getting stuck in the sandy ground and traffic was building up, eager fans decided to walk the distance with the hope that their ‘endurance trek’ would be compensated with a good show.

For starters, D’banj and DKM Media deserve commendation for looking outside the overused and unnecessarily exorbitant Eko Hotel and Suites and looking for a new location; joining the likes of R28 & EME and Sound Sultan who have staged successful shows at Oceanview and Harbour Point respectively, as many industry players work to break Eko’s monopoly.

Koko Concert, which was meant to commence at 7PM kicked off at 10:24PM with comedians Baskethmouth and Bovi doing a tremendous job by keeping the crowd hyped up for the upcoming performances.

There were a few opening performances from Saeon, Flowssickk, DRB Lasgisdi, Ajebutter 22, Orezi, Omo Akin, Seyi Shay, Dpzzle , Burna Boy, Shank, Dammy Krane, Lynxxx and Ice Prince who skipped out on the live band, embracing CD performance.

At 12:24, the show host Idris Elba was introduced on stage. The UK actor was however not in is element or rather seemed not to connect with the crowd. It remained that way for the entire show.

The hero of the day however was UK rapper Tinie Tempah. The 24-year-old act with Nigerian roots was a show stopper; it might have taken a while before he came up on stage due to his crew fixing their equipment but when he commenced his performance, he commanded the stage gracefully.

Always urging the crowd to sing along with him as he performed hits like ‘Pass out’ and ‘Till I’m gone’; they surprised him by reciting (word for word) the lyrics of some of his songs. ‘I love you Lagos, thank you for supporting me’, Tinie who was a late addition to the concert emotionally blurted.

The buzz was however dampened with the next performance from G.O.O.D Music artiste Pusha T who failed to coordinate or control the crowd with his performance. The decision of the organizers to bring a C-list Hip-Hop act to a concert headlined by a Pop act seemed wrong from the very start. The former Clipse member’s performance only proved so as he received little or no cheer-support from the crowd.

Next up was Big Sean who managed to salvage the situation performing his popular songs ‘My last’, ‘Dance (A$$)’, ‘Mercy’, occasionally putting his hands in his briefs. The crowd’s response was way better as the young rapper energetically jumped aroundon stage, thrilling fans. He finally made an introduction for D’banj.

The final moment then arrived; D’banj making one of the most majestic intros, getting on stage with a golden robe adorned with a traditional crown. D’banj however made matters worse, dragging his performance with unnecessary banter which only irritated most of the already-tired audience. He was however brave enough to use the live band, the first performance of the night to do so, performing songs like ‘Olorun maje’, ‘Suddenly’, ‘Oyato’ and more

Between performances and romancing the VVIP crowd, D’banj in batches brought on Naeto C, Kay Switch, Ikechukwu, J-Sol and Davido with all the features being lacklustre. 40 minutes into D’banj’s performance, there began a mass exodus from the venue, leaving a quarter of the original crowd ending the show with D’banj as he finished up with his ‘Oliver Twist’ monster hit.

Wizkid and 2face who had been earlier announced to attend and perform at the concert were missing, while many guests, including Seyi Shodimu, Darey, and Banky W reportedly turned back, after trying for hours, to get to the venue.

During the show, popular OAP Maste of Nigeria Info 99.3 commented on Instagram ‘At the Koko Concert. I swear getting a regular ticket is far better than VIP and VVIP. #KokoConcert #2012’.

Apart from the poor performances, the big fail for the Koko Concert was the logistics disaster, with traffic and access control, seating, in-venue shuttle topping the list. The VVIP area was so over-burdened, many guests who had paid for tables were seeing loitering and complaining.

It didn’t help that apart from the thousands who witnessed the mishaps live, a live internet broadcast by GTbank’s Ndani TV helped showed the shame to millions all over the world, with many giving real time negative feedback on Twitter and Facebook. D’banj trended for hours, with many Koko Concert related hashtags also trending locally on Twitter.

It is still a hot topic on Twitter with hashtags like #KokoConcert, #KokoConcertWalkofLife, #KokoConcertSurvivors becoming trends for the day. Fans are still talking about the show, describing their best performances and how they made it out of the venue.

No word yet from D’banj and his minders.

For many who saw the show, getting back to their cars or to the main road (Ahmadu Bello) became a herculean task; as disappointed fans bowed their heads and slugged their way in the heaps of beach sand as they dragged their tired bodies back home, some crying, others cursing, with another handful trying to push their stuck vehicles out of the sand.

For an artiste who had a fantastic run this year, building an international profile and doing Nigeria proud, it was a big shame for D’banj to end 2012 in utter ridicule, and it remains uncertain what his team will do to manage the mess generated by the events of last night.

Popular faces at the concert include Nigerian footballers  Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha, Obafemi Martins, as well as DJ Caise, Tee A, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, Eku Edewor, Vixen, 9ice, Ayo Animashaun,  Gbemi Olateru-Olagbegi, and many others.

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