I have been to a lot of concerts in my pretty short lifespan.
The most enjoyable had been Mango Groove, as I had a rocking time. Until now.
Last weekend, I saw Maxwell live at the CocaCola Dome in Johannesburg, and it completely changed my life.
I won’t talk about the event organisation, lighting, logistics, traffic flow and crowd management, and all other event-related stuff. That stuff is all done right, because it’s run by actual pros.
I mean the man himself, the band, the show. See, foreign artists often come to Africa and take audiences for granted, giving sub-standard, half-hearted performances.
Not Maxwell – brother came to work.
I have to say, dude’s a showman. The sound was (obviously) amazing, but that man can sing, people. Brother sang, he danced, he paid tribute to Mandela, he broke hearts and lifted spirits.
I don’t know how he does it, but that voice is out of this world. He shifts octaves like it’s nothing. I’ve never seen, or heard, anything like it.
The concert was obviously sold out, so the place was packed. My homie Walter (somehow) got us all-access passes though, so we watched the first bit from one section, then set to wandering around the place.
I felt like the proverbial male dignitary at a women’s conference, sticking out like a sore thumb in a sea of minis and heels and enough mascara to dye Lake Kariba brown.
Oh, and I almost forgot – I drank my first beer in over three years! I’d seen ads for that Flying Fish flavoured beer, so I decided to try it.
It’s basically light beer with lemonade in it, and I got an immediate tummy-ache! It’s fine during the first one, but on the second, it just starts to taste weird and somehow wrong.
In fact, right at the end of the video above, Walter can be seen delivering me one of the damn things.
Anywho … a good time was had by all.
Highlights for me were (obviously) This Woman’s Work, Fire We Make (which I slept on, but the duet with Alicia on the big screen, wow), Fortunate, and he closed with Pretty Wings.
Afterwards, it took me a while to process what had just happened. I smoked three cigs in the car park until I figured out what I had just witnessed.
Then it came to me. Genius. I had just witnessed genius.