2 May 2016
It was a day everyone had been waiting for, for years now. Though she performed at the Etisalat Prize for Literature Award Ceremony, it was nothing compared to what Asa had planned for her fans at her concert.
The event that took place at the Eko Convention Centre started with a red carpet as usual. At the red carpet were logos of the organizations and bodies that sponsored the event.
Those who were not really interested in the red carpet went in to get good seats. The hall was divided into VVIP who had an exclusive Heineken bar upstairs, VIP, Premium and regular. Those with the VVIP and VIP had the best seats with a perfect view of the stage. Premium and regular on the other hand, had at best, a side view of the stage. Luckily, there were projectors around that projected the view of the stage perfectly.
The concert began around 8pm with supporting acts. Host and veteran broadcaster, Olisa Adibua introduced them. Asa went for unique, new and talented voices to be her supporting acts. Project fame alumni, Isaac Geralds opened the show. He sang one of his more famous songs, how long it go take for you fall in love. This got the crowd moving, couples holding hands, others laughing, it was the perfect act to get Asa fans warmed up for what was to come.
Falana music went on stage and gave beautiful renditions of her original and unoriginal music. it was soulful and beautiful in many ways. Other exciting supporting acts include MOBO Award winning singer, Rachel Kerr, singer and pianist, Kaliné and alternative soul singer Bez. Bez admitted that it had been eight years since he was in concert with Asa, and he as everybody was excited to see her perform. Before Rachel Kerr performed, there was a few minutes break for everyone to get refreshments.
By this time, everyone was excited, eager, impatient, for Asa to get on stage. However, when Olisa Adibua signaled Asa’s arrival on stage, the crowd rose and ushered in the international superstar with resounding applause. The stage lights went dim, as did the lights in the hall. The crowd was screaming, shouting and applauding as she started singing her first song for the night, Awe from her first album. The atmosphere was electrifying. The excited audience sang along, word for word, line after line. The response was deafening, and the excitement was palpable.
The response from the audience only got louder as Asa delivered intense performances of “Satan Be Gone” and “The One Who Never Comes”. At some point, she picked up a trumpet and displayed a mastery of the instrument that simply stunned the audience.
As soon as “Fire On The Mountain” came on, the audience rose to its feet and sang out loud. “Bibanke” came next and the momentum continued.
One of the highlights of the night was when songwriter/music producer, Cobhams Asuquo, who produced Asa’s debut album, joined her on stage and took over the piano. It was an iconic moment. Together, they performed a cover of Beyonce’s “Halo” which Asa said was dedicated to Toolz. She made jokes about Cobhams, how handsome he was and how she did not mind that he was married.
One of the best things about Asa performing on stage is that she is carefree. She bonces and jumps all around the stage like she just doesn’t care. She dabbed, shoki-ed and all sorts of dances for her fans. She involved the audience in everything she did. She was there as a conductor leading an orchestra comprising the whole room. With every song, her mannerism was unique. When she sang Bimpe, she followed her lyrics, hence the emotions she displayed were that of a woman who was to be left alone. When she sang beautiful, a song dedicated to mothers – e ba mi kira fun mama mi, she extolled the virtues of motherhood. By this time, the audience was standing, jumping, clapping, screaming, singing along and there was no going back down.
Asa performed for two hours. The energy in the hall was crazy, magical and even spiritual. The audience sang until they lost their voices.
It is a night to remember.