There are those who accuse pop singer Adekunle Gold, and his music of being monotonous, and they may be right. Since he got the attention of an appreciative public in 2014 with Sade, a welcome reimagining of One Direction’s Story of My Life, and throughout a solo career, first affiliated with Olamide’s YBNL records and then going the distance by himself, Adekunle Gold’s music has managed to sound similar yet different.
For proof, look no further than his newest single, Money. Produced by regular collaborator, Pheelz, Money follows in the line of aspirational, religion tinged, drum laced highlife inventions that he long mastered on ready-made tracks like Orente and Pick Up.
If Adekunle’s Gold discography- he has one album to his name – has been marked by sameness, then his live act is exactly the opposite. As One Night Stand with Adekunle Gold (ONSWAG), his debut Lagos solo concert showed, to see Adekunle Gold perform live is to be blessed by something akin to earth, wind and fire, all at the same time.
Check out – Photos: One Night Stand With Adekunle Gold
Staged at the Balmoral Convention Centre, of the Federal Palace Hotel on the 26th of December 2017, ONSWAG commenced as many similarly themed events, hours behind schedule. Host Do2dtun introduced opening acts Myoa, Teni and Funmbi who barely made much of an impression. Itchy to get the night started, the audience saved their best response for the main course.
This arrived soon enough in the form of Adekunle Gold, clad in black velvet, with symbolic gold sequins and backed enthusiastically by his band, the 79th Element, a title he revealed, was derived from the position of Gold on the periodic table of elements.
Gold opened with crowd favorite, Orente and it was all the audience could do to claim the lyrics to the song from right out of his mouth. It was a friendly crowd that gathered to watch Adekunle Gold play but he did not take this for granted at all as he came prepared, armed with a license to thrill. If there were any doubts still lingering as to Gold’s positioning himself as the logical heir apparent to King Sunny Ade, they were dispelled that night.
Blessed with a hit album housing huge hits promoted by music videos, as well as songs familiar enough thanks to their significant play back factor, Adekunle Gold could easily have relied on his repertoire to coast through the night, just like Wizkid before him, and he would have gotten by just fine. Instead Mr Gold worked hard for his audience and gifted the minimum 7,500 Naira ticket buying crowd with a terrific experience.
It wasn’t enough for Mr Gold that his songs were mini anthems, it was obvious that he had put in hours of rehearsals with his band- they had performed together in London and Dublin- and their sessions had evolved into something cohesive.
Not so much for the dancers who complimented the show nicely enough, but often enough appeared clumsy and hastily tacked on to give more energy to blue collar ditties like Work and Pick Up. A backing choir joined Adekunle Gold for the ballad ‘Nurse Alabere’ while he sang his heart out to crowd pleasers ‘Sade’, ‘Beautiful Night’ and ‘Ariwo Ko’. From time to time, the band would go on extended runs to showcase mastery of their craft. Femi Leye’s blistering guitar run exposed why he has come to assume leadership position among his peers while the drummers transported everyone briefly to talking drum heaven.
For one interlude, vocalist Moe Logo gave a superb rendition of his song, the sweeping Ireti while Seyi Shay stepped in for another break with a competent enough version of the DJ Coublon produced overkill, Yolo Yolo.
Adekunle Gold made effective use of the hall’s structure, utilizing the second smaller stage to deliver a slowed down run of ‘Paradise’, before inviting Simi (surprise surprise) for the duet, ‘No Forget’. He then gave way for Simi to run through her hits, Owambe and Joromi on the main stage.
When Adekunle Gold returned- another change of clothes was involved- it was to wrap things up nicely with ‘Money’ and the ever relevant ‘Pick Up’, capping up a sensational night of music and dance.
Anyone who decided to end their December concert adventures on that night would have been reasonably justified. Nothing else out there could beat the experience.
Read other music reviews here