Entertainment of Friday, 28 December 2012
Sarkodie appears on stage, wearing sagging jeans over a loose-buttoned shirt. It was a rather informal gear away from the nicely-tucked-in black pants and white shirt grosgrain facings (you can call it a Tuxedo) he wore in December 2011, during the launch of his second studio album Rapperholic.
His entry was less dramatic and simple. The near-perfect choreography, saw lighted-candle-holding members of a choir usher him onto the stage. The crowd had waited long enough, to see him mount the stage.
It was about 1: 30 am, wee deep into Boxing Day, and few hours after hundreds of patrons had made their way to the Dome of the Accra International Conference Centre, to watch him live in concert, on Christmas day.
The about 95 percent-full auditorium went bonkers, literally, when he finally gave off that trademark throat-clearing gesture. The loud cheers that greeted him, was representative of the kind of appeal he currently enjoys mainstream wise, and why he is yet, Ghana’s biggest act, for the past two years.
This was the second time he was holding a major solo concert – after Rapperholic – so it was expected that the energy, which featured prominently during the first edition in December 2011, was going to be re-enacted – in a way.
And when he took off, it was on a perfect footing. The crowd, not-too different from last year’s in age group and mannerism, knew just what to expect from him. In carefully-handled bars of tongue-twisting lines, he goes in hard on them, releasing what were, punch lines they (the audience) knew all too well, as well as some fitfully-funny lines from his upcoming EP Sarkology.
In came Illuminati, the rather controversial response to rumours about him belonging to the secret society. The crowd takes over; completely hijacking the chorus of the song, only allowing him to do those hard-biting lines in the one-month old single.
Song after the other, Sarkodie got them to sing along, passing so many tests on the night – popularity, street credibility, mainstream and audience appeal, et al.
The BET award winner would later do quickly; back and forth stage appearances with artistes he’s collaborated with in the last two years, and also with others, on his yet-to-be-released album. Jayso, Skillions Records’ lead head, appears on stage to do the street anthem “Pizza and Burger”, off the TMG album.
The crowd loved every bit of it. Efya, EL, Kemenyaa, Obrafour all made appearances to some loud cheers. Highlife singer Kofi B, who is on the upcoming album, also made a refreshing appearance.
Performance after the other, it became evidently clear Sarkodie has grown into a modern day act, and an artiste with a sorted-out knowledge of his bearing, and where he stands locally.
Intermittently, he opts for a bit of crowd-surfing, teasing and bantering, leaving most of his sessions open for the crowd to hack into his songs – tampering with the flow of Kwame Yeboah’s Ohia Be Ye Ya Band.
But those interjections were necessary to keep the drained crowd – who spent the first few hours dancing and singing to performances from Ice Prince, Iyanya, Kwaw Kese, Keche, Lousika, Cris Waddle, Stay J, Edem, M.anifest, FBS, No Tribe, EL, Footprintz, Yaw Siki, and others – buoyant. Sarkodie Live In Concert, (of if you would Rapperholic II) lived up to the billing.
One thing is clear: if Sarkodie is able to get music lovers to come out every Christmas day, in the manner they have over the past two years – for three more years, he qualifies for a living legend status. It is that simple. Not too many local acts are able to fill the Dome to capacity, with less than two weeks promotion.
Follow Sarkodie on Twitter: @Sarkodie