A huge audience turned up for the Jamaican artist Busy Signal’s second outing in the country at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe on Saturday but they had to endure a long wait on a chilly night to sample his act as he jumped on stage in the early hours of yesterday.
The reggae dancehall artist, real name Glendale Goshia Gordon, who entered Civo Stadium around to 1am, jumped on stage at exactly 1:25pm and performed as usual with energy and bowed out at 4:18am.
He entered the stage amidst cheers from the audience and went straight into business commanding the stage and interacted with the audience although the sound output let him down and at some point his voice could not be heard crystal clear from the microphones.
The sound was not that punchy and this was further hampered by the audience who stepped forward by-passing the barriers which were mounted resulting in some people stepping on electrical cables for some of the speakers.
Mibawa Proprietor, John Nthakomwa, said the speakers were completely without sound because people stepped on the electrical cables.
The barriers were not well mounted which forced people to step forward nearing the stage and in the absence of proper security, things never worked and it was tit-for-tat in the front with others losing their items.
It actually took time for Busy Signal to jump on stage because people were all over including back stage where there is supposed to be control.
“Malawi I am so happy to be here tonight. Malawi is my second home and so I say thank you for the love tonight,” he said.
Save for the delay, gate hassles and sound, Busy Signal got really busy on the night and by the time he was getting off stage, he was sweating having taken off his jacket and he capped it all when he performed Free Up Black People several times which had people singing along before closing with Dreams of Brighter Days.
The artist, who maintained his words that he always gives 100 percent during his acts, dropped several other songs using free style in some cases and they included Sweet Love, Reggae Music Again, One More Night and at one time he invited another artist for a performance.
Armed with a bass guitarist, lead guitarist, drummer and keyboardist, Busy Signal used the loop system which normally sees the instrumentalists using some already recorded sound and mixing it with live sound.
“Malawi and Jamaica are one. Let’s be proud for being black. I am proud to be black,” said the artist, who hailed Lucius Banda and his Impakt Events team for organising the show.
Busy Signal’s first performance in the country was last year in November during the Sunbird Sand Music Festival at Sunbird Livingstonia in Salima where he conquered.
The Civo Stadium show saw some people coming as far as Mzuzu to watch the act but others could not brave the wait and they left.
Some quarters commended Lucius and his Impakt Events for the show, saying the promotion was very good but the execution was below expectation.
“The sound was appalling and Busy Signal tried. The entry system was a disaster. The masters of ceremonies had just too much to speak, some of the curtainraisers did not deserve the platform and let me repeat it that time management was awful,” Martin Chiumia said.
At around 11pm, many people were still outside pushing and shoving to get inside.
The curtainraisers during the show, which is a fundraiser for the Sand Music Festival coming up next month featuring other Jamaican artists, included Nepman, Blasto Saint and Blasto with Lulu warming the stage for Busy Signal.
Lucius, who was billed to perform, did not as he was preoccupied with the organisation of the show and responding to some of the queries as regards the show, he said:
“Malawi audience is not easy to handle. If you sell advance tickets which make it easy at the door in terms of entry, someone will copy and print his or her own and make the promoter to break even. You spend millions on advertising telling people to come early as 10am, people only show up at 5pm and create congestion on the door, majority of the hired security did also not help us,” he said.
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