Chris Brown’s first ever performance in Ghana at the Hope City Launch Concert at the Accra Sports Stadium Tuesday night did generate a lot of buzz in the country even days preceding the main event.
With an appearance fee of US$1 million in the bag, the American music star, who is not new to showing excellence on stage, was on a mission to cement his name in the annals of Ghana's music industry– and he did succeed.
The With You hit singer’s visit to Ghana came with initial hitches. He failed to show up in Ghana on Monday but arrived on Tuesday 12:30pm, a few hours to the event and refused to use a chartered limousine at the airport. He also turned down a planned media briefing for the concert, ostensibly to prepare for the show which was was just few hours away.
Slow start; DJ Black's party!
True to Ghana’s horrible time culture, the show warmed up slowly. Ghana's finest DJ, Black eased the angry nerves of patrons with his great piece of selections.
Host of Drive Time on Joy FM, Bola Ray who was the MC for the night made his way on to the stage at 21:50, a sign that the concert was now ready to hit the road.
To set the ball rolling was a dancer by name Jeffery of the French School who boasted of being the best dancer in the world. He showed his class and received wild cheers from a crowd who loved his dance moves.
At 22:15, the Ghana bowy, D-Black took the stage. With the help of six dancers – three sexy females and males – he got busy dishing out some of his well known tunes including My Kinda Girl, Alhaji, Change Your, and Vera. Rapper E.L. later joined him to sing Kaalu. D-Black’s performance was however over shadowed by poor sound, intermittent breaks in his mic which made his performance far less impressive.
Sherifa Gunu, on the other hand did not suffer D-Black’s fate. She, together with her dancers, wowed and wooed the crowd with her impressive acrobatic displays. She brought her skills to bear on the night performing several songs including Mbranti, Biigno and Yumiantabah.
Chris Breezy – best foreign act to rock Ghana!
Efya (L) with her dancers at the concert
The man of the night, Chris Brown born Christopher Maurice, after a long pause, took the stage at 23:30. His emergence on stage drew wild cheers from over a thousand ecstatic crowd who have waited all night to see him.
Chris Brown and his five dancers emerged on to the stage in LED fitted clothes. Their clothes illuminated the dark stage and carved beautiful images of the singer and his dancers as they made their historic debut on a Ghana stage.
He charged the crowd with Beautiful People, I Can Only Imagine and Forever. Right after those three hit songs, Chris paused and shouted “I am dreaming Ghana…?” A quick gaze at the crowd came with a second question “Are you real” obviously overwhelmed by the packed crowd.
Chris Brown finished the first part of his act with another smash hit She Ain’t You. His DJ took over to treat an already excited crowd to some good Ghanaian tunes. His choice of Ghanaian songs – including Fiesta, Antenna, Lapaz Toyota and Aluguntugui - was just impressive.
Chris Breezy’s return to the stage came with some ‘bedmathics’. He performed Birthday Cake, a collaboration with his girlfriend Rihanna.
The Grammy Award winning artiste mixed his performance with impressive dance moves and stage drama. He was quick to change his costumes and at a point, he was topless exposing his tattoos, a sight the ladies loved and cheered.
Several hit songs including Look At Me Now, Deuces, All Back, Don’t Judge Me, Yeah 3x, Don’t Wake Me Up, and Turn Up The Music got the patrons dancing and singing along each song. Chris tried his hands on the popular Azonto dance with surprise Nigerian act, Wizkid. Breezy rocked the Azonto to the delight of many.
The words: “Ghana we love you so much,” seemed to have ended Chris Brown’s performance after 1 hour, 20 minutes but a demand for more from a hyper crowd forced him back onto the stage. “The show usually is supposed to be over but I got to come out and show some love,” he said.
With that, he took the crowd back to his beginnings. He gave an acapella versions of popular tunes including Excuse Me Miss, Say Goodbye, With You and Run It before bowing out finally at 1:00 am.
The ugly side of Chris Brown
Chris Brown may have thrilled Ghanaians but his performance was marred by excessive use of vulgar language and also a blatant disregard for ethics by publicly smoking marijuana on stage.
Maintaining the bar
Tema-based group R2Bees took over from Chris Brown. They were handed the heavy task of keeping the tempo of the show at its peak – a bar set by Chris Brown.
They came on stage hyped and from the word go, they moved the crowd with Ratata, Ajei, Kiss Your Hand, Odo, Dance (ft Wizkid) and their smash hit Life.
Sexy, sassy songstress Efya was next. Backed by six dancers and a live band, Efya who looked very tempting on stage thrilled with some of her songs, Sexy Wahala, Get Away, Little Things and Best In Me
Capping the concert, which was sponsored by telecommunications giant, rlg, was the dancehall maestro Samini. He came onto the stage beaming with energy.
Popular songs such as Body Flame, Tempo, Trigger and Odo filled the lips of the few fans who had stayed on to the end. The numbers did not deter Samini who made sure he gave off his best till the show came to an end.