OWERRI, NOVEMBER 15, 2016 – DJ Neptune took the lead in the music rave, setting the mood for the much anticipated occasion.
Anchored by notable Lagos MC Laffup, the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri, Imo State, played host to an amazing number of revelers who were determined to keep vigil with the widely advertised music stars in this year’s Star Music Trek, an annual city-to-city tour of trending artistes, put together by Nigerian Breweries Plc.
As early as 9pm, last Saturday, the atmosphere was turbocharged with ecstatic youths who were not only anxious for live performances, but to savour the moment with familiar artistes in concert.
On the line-up included Flavour Nabania, Olamide, M,I Abaga, Kcee, Nigga Raw, Humble Smith and Runtown. And it was obvious the crowd couldn’t wait.
The icing on the cake was having burgeoning artistes show their stuff on the glamorous stage, before these big masquerades. Not less than 30 of these wannabes artistes took their turns to impress the crowd. Although theirs were not popular tunes, they sounded promising to the ears, lending credence to why they were selected among the multitude that approached the organisers for chance on stage.
Hash-tagged ‘mycityrocks’, the road-show had made previous stops in Makurdi, Abuja and Calabar, with the last leg billed to hold in Lagos on November 26, 2016.
Kicking off the show proper, the dramatic entry of Mr Raw was indeed a show production delight. The MC had feigned a random search for freestylers in the crowd, and after putting the microphone to the mouths of three guys who struggled with their rap lyrics, the compass rested on Mr Raw who was only revealed when he lifted the hood from his face. The crowd roared as the artiste made his way to the stage, singing his popular song, Obodo, which he did with Klint da Drunk. That was soon followed by tracks like ‘Baby Baby’, ‘Odi Okay’ and ‘Mr Raw Nwanne’, ‘Spiritual Congi’ and ‘Hip-hop Gyration’ among others.
Mr Raw’s act was followed by that of Runtown. Then, Humble Smith who was introduced by actor Osita Iheme, aka Pawpaw through a recorded video. A rare gem, the Humble Smith, with his live band, comprising of a back-up singer, two guitarists and a pianist, thrilled the crowd with some high life tunes that changed the tune of the show. He disclosed that he started music 18 years ago through the influence of the legendary Highlife singer, Bright Chimeze. Then came a moment of surprise, as the Zigima sound-styled crooner climbed the stage to do back-up for Humble Smith who sang his hit, ‘African Style’.
It was homecoming for Kcee who, alongside his former band member, Presh, started his journey at the Star Quest academy in Lagos. Kicking off his performance with ‘Limpopo’, he raised the tempo of the beats which was gracefully toned down by Humble Smith’s kind of songs. However, Kcee’s entry continue the live aspect of the show going by his inclusion of a back-up singer and a pianist. He introduced two members of his 5Star Music label, Xbustar and Skiibii who rocked the stage with him. But Kcee’s shows are usually not complete without some show of generosity. Despite throwing a bunch of N500 notes into the crowd, one Lucky Azubuike won N30, 000 for being a good dancer. Someone in the crowd also got his golden anklet, and another, his sweat shirt.
Next in line for performance, M.I Abaga entered with his ‘Africa Rapper No 1’ song, a mix of rap and highlife. For Christian, a guy spotted from the crowd for being versed in M.I’s raps, the artiste’s sun glasses and a brand new shoe became his take-home. Like Bright Chimeze, Kelly Handsome made a surprise appearance with his ‘Maga Don Pay’ song.
When Olamide climbed the stage at 3:17am, a new spirit appeared to have entered the fun seekers. It was unimaginable how the leading South-west hip star could have so much impression on the Easterners. They know his songs and were almost ahead of the artiste in rendering the lyrics which are mostly delivered in Yoruba. The shout if Bodoo, as Olamide is often called rent the air. The artist himself appeared to be amazed by the sing-along, as he stopping the music once in a while to examine their mastery of the lines. Then, singing ‘Fada Fada’, predominantly Igbo song he did with Phyno, Olamide showed he too was at home with the Easterners.
Now, who is best to close the Owerri show if not Flavour, the rumoured bae of Project Fame winner, Chidinma Ekile, whose sexy biceps makes as much news as his music across the continent.
He was the third artiste on the night to deliver a live performance with a guitarist, a pianist and a trumpeter. He rendered his popular highlife music to the delight of all – Some tales by moonlight, some romantic poetry, a bit of adult remarks – he did tracks like ‘Ada Ada’, ‘baby Oku’, ‘Oyi’, ‘Mmege’ and ‘Obianuju’ among others.
By the time Flavour hit the last note at 4:37am, Star Trek Owerri had delivered a sterling night of fun and the crew could only look forward to a fortnight when the last leg of the series will berth in Lagos.