Monday, March 31, 2014
Davido performs in NYC
So Davido performed a few days ago in Brooklyn. Ironically, not far from where we live. This is the second time I've had a 'run-in' with Davido. We first met back in Abuja at Gospell's studio when he was recording there. Anyways, I was looking forward to seeing him again.
So he performed at Jamaican club I'd never heard of before called 48 Pulse that's in East Flatbush. I'd never really been to that part of Brooklyn before and it's kind of in the middle of nowhere. It's in a strange part of Brooklyn to me because where I live there's literally everything one could need. However, I literally had to drive ten minutes just to buy a scissors. Anyway, so the club is quite large, but definitely not one I'd ever heard of, it's in a part of Brooklyn most people have no desire to go to, and usually when you tell a Nigerian that you live in Brooklyn they usually frown. So... needless to say, it was quite shocking that Davido, one of Nigeria's current music superstars was performing in East Flatbush at a whopping $40 a show! I mean, Antibalas charges $25 for their performances and they play at SOB's with like 11 other guys in their band. It's totally cray cray and absurd to me that people would literally come from all sorts of areas in New York and Jersey to come to East Flatbush in droves to see Davido for $40 not including their transportation cost. AND LITERALLY people did come out in droves.
Ok, so that's part one of the story but this is part two. Laolu and Onyew performed at this show. Their sound check was so late that people had already arrived. They had a very LONG sound check, like 45 minutes. They performed a lot and people were really enjoying their flow. However, when it came time for them to perform, they were actually supposed to perform just one song with another musician but I don't want to rip him to shreds on my blog, which most of you would say is my style, but he's not a very serious person, the crowd wasn't feeling the live music because the audience was just cheap and silly. Again, I could say worse but let's leave that til later. We left around 3am and struggled to leave because all exits were literally blocked, like for real. We got home around 3:45am. Which by the way was the time that Davido had left the stage. We live ten minutes away. So in between the time we left and got home Davido had performed his twenty minute lip synced set! Na wa for him o. Like, oh my God. People paid $40, at least $5 for the subway but there's no station around there and you cannot walk around that neighborhood, and so they likely spent at least $30 minimum for cabs and they got a 20 minute show that wasn't even what they wanted.
So I am so disappointed in that crowd that night. I mean, I knew that back home in Nigeria, most people do not appreciate live music monetarily. However, people at least come. Since we've been stateside, we've found that West Africans do appreciate live music both monetarily and by listening and dancing but these folks, I dunno, maybe it's an age gap, or something? Scratch my head because all they seem to want is the same crap that people want back home in Nigeria. A cd played over a loud speaker, speakers so loud you cannot hold a convo, a bar that's so packed that you cannot order a drink, and the same damn beats over and over, music with no heart, no soul, no meaning, no creativity. What is wrong with us????
So in the end, I learned a lot that night. One, that is not Laolu's crowd. Two, Laolu performs at much better venues than Davido. Three, that you do not always get what you pay for!
If you want to find out the real heart and soul to most musicians in Nigeria, look to the producers. They are what you should be paying $40 to see. They are the true Artists.
Long Live LIVE Music!