Like many events on the Lagos social scene thread, this one started late. Not so fashionably so. More than two hours behind its advertised 5pm kick off time. But because the next day was a public holiday, or because they had already come too far to back out, patrons waited patiently till the organizers got their shit together.
At about a quarter to eight on the 2nd of October, music star Brymo took the stage at Freedom Park, same one he appeared on all too briefly last year for the monthly musical fest, Afropolitan Vibes. This time however, Brymo was the headlining act and the concert, supported massively by Smooth FM was promoted with him at the centre.
Which is not to say that he was the only act performing. Midway into his first set, afro pop guitarist, Femi Leye came on stage with fire in his guitar, to burn down the stage with explosive renditions of his singles Ayo, Sise and Smile.
Not everyone present had heard of him prior to the night but his searing stage craft more than left a mark. Three other upcoming acts (Asiki, Timi Jay and Awoko) gave good accounts of themselves and between all of them, there was not a single bad set.
But the people came for Brymo and no matter how great the supporting acts were, souls thirsted for the headliner. He more than delivered too, opening his set with slower ballads from his latest album Klitoris, as well as his earlier post – Chocolate City body of work, before building up the momentum, working up his way to the more uptempo sounds.
Songs like Again, Naked and Mirage were introduced to an audience that sang along word for word, line for line, before giving way to headier stuff like Eko and Prick no get shoulder.
The second act was even more satisfying with Brymo going back to his sophomore album, Son of a Kapenta ever so briefly, to fish out Good Morning to the lasting thrill of fans aware of his career trajectory.
Stage wise, Brymo’s act wasn’t anything spectacular as he did the usual tricks of swaying with the music, going back and forth with the crowd and putting up a brief pantomime. And the end was quite abrupt as he stole away just after performing Everyone Gets to Die.
The magic to Organised Chaos lay with Brymo’s music, and the audience’s total understanding of it. Every performer worth their talent yearns for the kind of audience that thronged Freedom Park for Organised Chaos. About a handful short of the regular Afropolitan Vibes crowd, these folks proved themselves a performer’s delight as they jammed, shimmied, sang and danced along with Brymo for the entirety of his set. Something Good is Happening and AlajoSomolu seemed to be highlights.
All of his songs,-from the deeply terrific One Pound to the side project, Waka waka, soundtrack to the Bolanle Austen Peters produced musical, Waka,- were received with enough enthusiasm to make one have faith again in the music industry and its ability to produce superstar artistes that are able to impress with both stagecraft and quality of recording.
Sure the audience could have been bigger, considering ticket prices went for two thousand Naira only but would bigger have translated to better?
Organised Chaos is proof that the music industry for all its faults, can still groom superstars locally and fans can still be cultured organically. With time, it can be expected that alternative acts who are not named Asa will be able to fill out Eko Hotel’s convention centre.
Brymo’s played the long game, he’s been consistent and now he is reaping his rewards.