The moment I saw the line up, I knew it would be an important groove to attend. The line-up had artists that I love but I missed their one-man shows this year. The main act Tom Misch was another reason I was amendment on going to Music Is King [MIK], he was making his way back to South Africa for the second time. When the day finally came I was beyond excited; outfit and make-up was planned and ready.
The tickets noted that the concert would start at 3pm and I was nowhere near ready at that time. I checked on Twitter and the hashtag was quiet so I suspected it hadn’t started yet, so we relaxed and left around 6pm.
Samthing Soweto was the first performance we experienced and it was a beautiful way to start the night. I admire Samthing’s consistency with his dancing, he has no interest in doing more than the pouncing cat on the spot. But rest assured we all danced from the beginning to the end of his set. When he performed the crowd favourite and possibly the song of the year, Akhulaleki, he mentioned that this song has gotten him in trouble #IdolsSA… More reason to love this guy, his sense of humor.
Always had a dream that I would be the Super Mega… I finally got to see AKA perform live this year. We knew it was time for the Super Mega when they set up a microphone with the South African flag. I felt like his set was short but it was great nonetheless. I couldn’t get used to the auto-tune though, he spoke and performed in auto-tune. The crowd favourites were Fela In Versace, the World Is Yours and 10 Fingers.
And then came the Yano’s and the ghetto in all of us came out. I know myself to be a bit of a lazy dancer, but at MIK I found myself in a circle dancing different versions of the pouncing cat. It didn’t help that there was a violist on stage stretching out pauses between the tracks. This was evidence that 2019 was the year of the Yano’s. And then came DJ Maphorisa and Kabza de Smallz’s Lorch. There were dancers on stage but I don’t think anyone paid attention to them when that song came on. What a jump!
I was so disappointed to miss Sjava’s one man show. From what I could tell we got snippets of that show at MIK and I was grateful for that. He started the show with Izitha (my personal favorite) and invited Rethabile to start off his soundtrack from Black Panther, Seasons. I admire how Sjava has made up his mind to wear his isiZulu attire all the time, it’s refreshing. Another favourite was Mama, which reminds me of my late aunt Buyi so I cried throughout that song.
Surprisingly Black Coffee was not the last act for the night, many of us were shocked but quickly got over it. I noticed that he didn’t play popular songs for most of his set. If anything he played amazing international electro music at the beginning and got into old school jams like Nick Holder’s Summer Daze. Black Coffee’s stage presence is usually electrifying but it was calmer this time around. Nonetheless, we danced throughout his set and got a sense of the kind of sets he plays on international shores.
It was the second time I’ve seen him perform and it was greater the second time. I saw him perform a few years ago but back then I only knew a few of his songs. This time I was a huge fan; knew his songs and sang along to most of them. As usual, he started off with a favourite, Stuck In My Way. The crowd pleaser was Movie; the couples that were there slow danced while the rest of us sang the song word for word. Tom’s set also flew by so quickly, the 1 hour felt like a couple of minutes. The only disappointing thing was the 30 minute wait before the performance and while we waited there was no music or anyone on stage. They finished setting up after 10 minutes and the rest of the time was an empty stage with no music. Besides that, it was lovely to experience Tom and his band. I’d love to see him perform in other countries.
And just like that MIK was done and dusted. Overall, this years MIK was okay. But I do I feel like they set the bar very high last year and didn’t really live up to it this year. Also, it wasn’t as full as I thought it would be. Can’t help but wonder if the Black Coffee’s media coverage around his divorce might have affected this concert somehow. Nonetheless, Music Is King was a nice treat.