My first MOGO experience: The acts, the ambience and the artistry

Ok so this year I decided I’ll do more to appreciate Ghanaian music by attending concerts. Citi FM provided two great avenues for this, namely the Accra Music Expo (which was FREE btw) and #MoGo2019. I purposed to attend both events which I did and have no regrets. I just want to analyze my MoGo experience specifically from start to finish.

BACKGROUND:

I left home Tema at 6:30pm to head to National Theatre. Gates were opening at 7pm. I learned my lesson from the Stanbic Jazz Festival and didn’t intend to be there before 7pm but at the same time too, didn’t want to get caught up in any traffic, specifically from the Tetteh Quarshie to Airport stretch. Arrived a little after 7pm and found parking very easily. I had expected this to be stressful but the security guys on duty were better coordinated than I imagined.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS:

There were two entrances to the theatre foyer; one for VIP ticket holders and the other for regular. Personally, I didn’t find the distinction necessary but at the same time, due to VIP having their special drink and snack stand by their entrance, I understood the decision. I loved that right in the foyer Kwan Pa was stationed and performing beautiful music to welcome guests. Whoever thought of that is a genius. They were an expert hype band for the entire event. They had people sweating before they even made it into the theatre itself. I love that there was a red carpet photo area with a professional photographer taking our pictures (I’m so in love with the first pic I’ve seen of myself thus far). The whole vibe was just awesome.

Once I made it into the theatre, there was a band on stage performing an interlude before the show officially started. Whoever they were, they were good and did their job well. One of the things I noted immediately was the room temperature; it was perfect; not too cold nor too warm. It could be my malaria throwing me off though but it was this way the entire time in spite of people dancing and moving so much. Kudos to the organizers for ensuring that we didn’t suffer from any temperature extremes.

MCs:

Kojo Boateng and Frema Adunyame were great MCs and I especially loved their commitment to wearing Ghana throughout the show.

Kojo’s love and knowledge of music really shone through and that kind of passion was also evident in Frema who has a lovely singing voice herself. I loved their stage chemistry and the fun they had with it but sometimes they sang a tad too much especially as the night wore on and tiredness started to set in for many of us but I get it; stalling tactics.

THE STAGE/SET:
The stage was nicely done. The setup was on point especially the projected (I assume) backdrop with diverse animations to match each performance. Artists had enough movement room which was good. The machines that spray that puff of smoke during the performances functioned perfectly and I enjoyed the flames it shot out during applicable performances.

That was really dope to me though there was this one audience member who I felt kept getting too close with his flammable handkerchief during Bessa Simons’ performance. I feared he’d get caught in it and get burned and would’ve loved to see an effort to get him to move back a bit but maybe I was just being paranoid. The projected footage on the sides of the theatre was also very much appreciated. It made sure us in the back especially, didn’t miss too much of the performances whenever people got up to dance.

COMMERCIALS:
I think it was smart that commercials were lined up in the form of video to be played as artists changed over but sometimes it got a bit too much especially when we’d been waiting for so long for Amandzeba. I did appreciate the Heritage Caravan diaries. Really brought to life what we’ve been hearing on Citi FM. Their marketing skills are solid.

THE ACTS:

Cina Soul: She opened the show and did so well. Everything from her appearance to singing to stage presence was so on point.

Her set was tragically the shortest, which was unacceptable for me but I understand that she’s relatively new in the industry without an extensive body of work, so I no bore.

Akwaboah: This young man was awesome. The way he even started his set alone was so on point. You could tell he really rehearsed and prepared for it which I greatly appreciated. He had the audience jamming with his baby Lumba kɛ Ofori Amponsah vibes. I stan.

He cracked me up when he corrected the “Sɛ wo fie” instead of “Sophia ee” lyric in his dad’s song. As much as I thoroughly enjoyed his set, I felt it was too long. He could’ve ended after two-thirds of his show and it would’ve been fine.

Kofi B: He was good in terms of the music itself. I must admit his set was my least favourite because the stage presence just wasn’t there for me.

What helped him was the audience’s familiarity and engagement with his music which saw them dancing and singing along more than I expected to be frank. His set also felt long to me.

KK Kabobo: This man is legendary! To say I was impressed would be understating things. His energy and stamina are just unreal.

How he can run and jump with so much energy without breaking a sweat is so incredible to me. He electrified the place and had us all grooving. Plus he’s hilarious. Absolutely loved his set. One of my favourites.

Adane Best: Once I got over the shock of discovering this man isn’t Ga at all, I was ready to join in as everyone boogied to his music. Adane is one of those performers who doesn’t need to do much. You just end up loving and enjoying him.

Though I was tired I couldn’t sit down during “Maafio”. That Gyata costume wearing dancer of his always helps him end his set with a bang. One of my other favorite performances.

Kwabena Kwabena: This ultra-fine, bald man came and just spoilt there. An excellent performer who you can tell is owning his sex symbol vibes paa.

I just love how happy go lucky he seems. Dude can’t stop smiling and I love him for it. The downer for me though was the fact that his set went on for quite a while. Enjoyable but too long. He’s one of the performers the audience really connected to the most, which was dope.

Kwan Pa: I stan these guys paa, what?! These guys had already been performing for a while before the show started and when they mounted the stage, they showed no signs of being tired.

Everything they did was just fantastic. The gyama really made my night paa and also made me nostalgic. Whoever discovered them, wo yɛ more w’ate. There should be no future MoGo without them or I will boycott.

Bessa Simons: Another legend who came and showed us how it’s done! This man and his band were electric and energetic. I loved that he brought Osibisa’s music alive at the concert.

I really enjoyed it though I felt bad for him because by the time of his performance the ennui of the audience was becoming pronounced as people got up to leave and others were agitating to see Amandzeba before leaving.

And finally:

Amandzeba: I was so desperate to hear just a single song before leaving and prayed that it would be Wɔgbɛ Jɛkɛ. My prayers were answered. I loved the slower rendition of this timeless song and what I managed to see of his set before getting up to leave a little before 2am.

One thing I really appreciated about his set was how he brought on a young rapper (whom I don’t know) to perform a rap verse to the song. That spoke volumes about him helping young talent and I greatly appreciated him for that. I felt robbed that I couldn’t stay for the rest of his performance and had to head home.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

All in all a great and well-coordinated show. The timing of the performances is what needs the most work for improvement so no one leaves feeling a bit robbed. The vibe of the audience was just awesome! The Citi staff were wonderful especially in how they interacted with everyone like family and enjoyed the show themselves. Overall, a very wonderful night spent at MoGo. I’d definitely do it again and again.

SN: Let me add that snack options were adequate and great. The restroom though wasn’t atrocious but suffered from a no bath tissue problem which made using it a challenge 🤦🏾‍♀️. I really hope we can get our acts together on this. On a more positive note, I felt so safe attending this concert. Not even the slightest hint of danger for me which is fantastic because I usually avoid concerts over safety concerns.

 

Columnist:  AhmazingGrace Danso | Ghana |

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