After a long time touring several parts of the world, delivering her brand on shores far away from home, Asa finally decided to bring the party to Lagos, the place of her birth; and for those of us who had the good fortune of witnessing it, we left with a truly remarkable feeling of satisfaction, having had the opportunity of savoring a wonderful session of music from the crème-de-la-crème of Nigeria’s music industry.
The greatness of what was to come later in the evening was foreshadowed by lovely performances by Isaac Geralds, Kaliné, Falana, and Bez Idakula, all of whom whetted the appetite of the audience with exquisite performances. Falana’s rendition of the classic song “Beautiful things” deserves mention here. She, like every other person that performed, spoke of her desire to watch Asa do her thing. And that was exactly what she did. Her thing.
What was most striking in the whole of the 2-hour performance was the way Asa held everything together. She was the force that powered the whole of 120 minutes of unbridled delight. There was an aura which flowed from her very presence on that stage; the instrumentalists caught it, her back up singers drew from it, and the audience, among which I sat and stood, and jumped, and danced, and screamed, was surely electrified by it.
Of course, it is only logical that such perfection must have been attained by constant rehearsals, and endless gigs she and her band must have performed together, it still does not take away from the brilliance of it all.
The strength and mildness of her voice as she chose to dexterously use it, the effortlessness with which she performed her trademark slurs, the instruments’ solos, the syncopations, the dance steps, her communication with the whole room, the energy of it, the perfection… it was nothing short of bliss.
There was something phenomenal about EVERYTHING Asa did last night. From the suspense-heightening lights-off which heralded her appearance, to the way she hit the first note of the first rendition of the night, "Maybe", to her exit from the stage with a lively sing-along of “why can’t we be happy?” it was all splashed with more than a touch of genius.
I was blessed to be there, and I know deep down in my heart that these words have not done complete justice to the things I saw, heard and felt in that hall at Eko Hotel last night.
I feel no remorse in winding down this article though, knowing that I couldn’t have caught that performance in words suitable enough, even if I wrote five more foolscap pages.
Asa’s performance last night was divine, and I was enthralled, as was everyone in that hall. We have all always felt her presence when we plugged in our headsets and listened to her croon and soothe us with her voice, but last night, in flesh and blood, she made a pool and invited us to take a swim. I really can’t speak for everyone on this, but I jumped in headfirst into the magical waters.
In the words of Joey Akan, Music critic at Pulse.ng; "Asa has held her first ever concert in Lagos. And that concert was historic."