2015 Soundcity Urban Blast Festival – Get All the Juicy Details + Pictures
All the Juicy Details of What Went Down At The 2015 Soundcity Urban Blast Festival
Written by Tolulope Ajiboye (@iamnotJUKE)
The 2015 edition of the annual and much-anticipated music concert, the Soundcity Urban Blast Festival, went down on the 18th of December. The show which is one of the largest music annual music concerts in Lagos (probably only rivaled by Rhythm Unplugged) took place at the Landmark Centre in the Victoria Island area of Lagos and had in attendance, some of the biggest Nigerian artistes available.
If there’s an award for nightlife, merriment and resilience, you would have to give it to Lagosians. If you live in Lagos or you don’t, but you have friends in Lagos. Or you follow Lagosians on Twitter, then you probably have an idea of how insane the traffic situation in Lagos has been the past few weeks. Lagos is crazy normally but recently, “crazy” seems like a beautiful euphemism. Despite the infuriating conditions, people still turned out in droves to the venue to turn up. It was amazing to see that people weren’t letting the harsh conditions in the state and in the country (referring specifically to the harsh fuel scarcity and the economy) get to them. The rush to enter was pretty wild but then the security guards seemed to have good control of the crowd and it didn’t seem like they manhandled or roughened anyone.
The event was hosted by Cool FM’s Dotun and he did an amazing job. Even before the first performance, Dotun, in collaboration with DJ Xclusive had been rocking the crowd in what can only be described as quite a commendable synergy. He did a good job helping us forget that they were hours late because more than three hours after the stipulated commencement time of 6pm, no artiste had taken the stage and it seemed like people didn’t seem to mind.
It’s almost deliberate how Nigerian event organizers have a complete disregard for time. Almost everything starts late. If you’re reading this, I can almost guarantee that the next public event or concert you attend will start at least two hours late. The last one probably did. However even the people seem to be used to this as nobody even tries to go for these shows early. Something should be done about this.
After the crowd had waited quite a while, Dotun introduced the first performance, rapper – Magnito, and it was back to back like that for a long time. From Pepenazi to Yung6ix, Niniola, Saeon, Endia, Yung L, CDQ, Mz Kiss, Jesse Jagz, JJC, Runtown, Skuki, Naeto C, Eva, Ycee, Bracket, Sean Tizzle, Davido, Harrysong, Tekno, Mr 2Kay, Vector, Reminisce, Koker, Victoria Kimani, Illbliss and Suspekt, Iyanya, Phyno and Solidstar everyone actually seemed eager to give the crowd a good show. However, as regards one or two of the performances, a few things stood out.
- Eva – Eva had guitarists on stage who strummed beautifully. Eva was the only artiste that night who actually performed live and it was beautiful. It wasn’t rough and she wasn’t struggling to be heard. It was beautiful.
- Bracket – Bracket had an okay performance but then at some point decided to throw some money into the crowd. I don’t know if some other performers saw this and thought it was a good idea but Bracket’s performance seemingly started a trend.
- Sean Tizzle – This was a good performance and the people loved him. Sean Tizzle seemed so happy that he took of his jewellery and threw it into the yelling crowd. (Beat that Bracket!)
- Illbliss and Suspekt – The first time this duo were introduced, their music was played but we didn’t see them. The crowd waited and waited and waited but they didn’t show up and then Victoria Kimani was called up. After a few performances, they were called up again and this time, they showed up. With Kel. Singing “U Go Wound O”. Either Nigerians didn’t remember the song or they didn’t care but it didn’t seem like people were pleased with the intro or with Kel’s performance. After she left, Suspekt kept trying to remind people who Kel was. It was a bit tacky. They moved on with their performances which went well (thankfully) but the after they finished, Illbliss said (paraphrasing) “We’re sorry we couldn’t come out the first time we were called. We wanted to but the DJ messed up our sound.” It seemed like an apology and at the same time, a shot at the DJ as the words were apologetic but the tone was anything but.
- Victoria Kimani – Just like Illbliss and Suspekt, the crowd also waited and waited for Victoria Kimani. However there was just music and she didn’t come out. Was she around too? Did the DJ mess up her sound too?
- Davido – As expected, Davido’s hypeman, King Spesh (who used to be known as Special Ed) came and did an impressive introduction for Davido who also went on to give a fire performance as the crowd loved him. However, something stood out. For some reason, Davido came on stage with what appeared to be a platoon! LOL. There were at least eight (probably more as I don’t remember specifically) other guys on stage just standing around at the back and some of them were just on their phones. On stage. While Davido and King Spesh were performing. No, they weren’t dancers. They were not wearing any costumes. They didn’t even really move. What were they doing there? What???
- Vector – The only thing to be said about Vector’s performance was that it was absolutely fabulous. He seemed to be wearing a really long red shirt (probably a tunic) with “LAFIAJI” boldly written across the chest. Probably from his recently launched “Inoki Republic” clothing line. Vector has repeatedly mentioned this place on a few songs and as he seemed to have spent a lot of time living on Lagos Island, it’s probably a salute to the area. If there was a “Best Dressed Performer” award for the night, Vector would have taken it.
- Phyno – Phyno’s performance was probably the most lit performance of the night. People absolutely loved. They took all the words out of his mouth and it seemed at some point that we couldn’t even hear Phyno’s voice anymore. It was the crowd. Absolutely amazing!!!
For some reason however, after the first few performances, the rest were terribly rushed. The artistes were no longer introduced by Dotun. All that happened was that you’d hear someone’s song and, in some cases, it would take as much 20 seconds for the artiste to come out. The DJ would then play about a minute or so of the song and just abruptly switch to the next leaving some of the artistes confused. Most of the artistes got this treatment and the crowd generally seemed a bit displeased when their favourite song was just turned off without any warning.
It also seemed like the artistes were rushing in or out. Probably to also perform at Rhythm Unplugged or at any of the other concerts that took place on the same night.
The most exasperating part of the night was the end. DJ Caise came up to also play music but something happened and his music didn’t start on time. The crowd seemed quite dull with the “break in transmission”. After a few minutes, he came up but somehow, his playlist didn’t move the crowd. After playing for a few minutes, he left and people were expecting the next artiste to take the stage. Dotun simply came up, introduced himself and announced that the show was over. It actually did seems like a joke until someone else kept repeatedly yelling “show’s over” into the mic and all the lights came on. That was it. You could hear people audibly complaining. “How can they end like that?” “What happened?” Someone even actually said “Was it because of what Illbliss said that they ended it?” It was a very terrible end to an otherwise interesting show.
Soundcity owes the public an apology and probably an explanation as to why some of those things happen. We await word from them.