Show Dem Camp have had a good year, if not a great one. Following the instant critical acclaim of their Clone Wars IIIproject – which was released right at the death in 2016 – and the massive success of of the Palmwine Music EP, which they’ve spun into a live experience, the veteran duo have held it down for the culture in a year when rap music was barely visible.
It was therefore only befitting that at a time when more independent acts are headlining their own shows, the duo also close the year with a concert to celebrate their incredible growth over the past 12 months and build a connection with their fans – both old and new. This was what they did on Friday night at the Muri Okunola Park in Victoria Island, Lagos.
Prior to the day, posters had unveiled an impressive lineup of largely new talents backed by a decent number of established stars alongside affiliates of the clique but unlike your regular show, this was meant to be more than a concert, as activities had been sequenced to fit into a festival.
Sadly as it has now become a norm with Nigerian concerts, the festival scheduled to kick off by 2pm or 4.30pm, depending on the flyer you saw, didn’t kick off till 6pm. It is almost impossible to build a culture of trust with fans attending concerts if we keep showing lack of discipline as regards timing.
This delay was however quickly forgotten when the festival eventually kicked off. Fans cutting across various spheres from hip-hop lovers, radio and TV personalities to even Presidential aides were in attendance. In particular, some female fans who came all the way from Liberia just for the festival, joined over a thousand Lagosians, out-of-towners and IJGB’s and got treated to not just good music but great palmwine, and other attractions provided by the vendors on ground.
On the music tip, the first half of the festival witnessed acts like Paybac, Shakez Baba, Oluwatosin (who had a bit of nervy moment and struggled to finish her set), Joyce Olong, Deena Ade, Mitch Straw and the DDTM Clique all having their minutes of fame. But perhaps the man of the hour was the Deejay for the night, Dj AYE, who was in his elements with his eclectic mixes as he kept the tempo and got the fans screaming for more.
Then, after a sequence that seemed like it was never going to end, guitarist Femi Leye and his band opened the next session and from then on it was one fire performance to another. Femi Leye introduced Mavin’s Dija who wore an elegant outfit matched by her colorful set. The likes of 90’s Baby’s Idris King, and Kach of “Dino” fame, were to follow; I witnessed some fans ‘Youtube-ing’ the viral video right there, while his performance was going on.
Bez put up a stunning performance, as we’ve gradually grown accustomed to, and (surprisingly) Mavin Record’s Poe was one of the most energetic acts on the night. There was also Moelogo, Tomi Thomas, Lady Donli, Funbi (who stole the heart of the ladies in the crowd), Blakmagic who alongside his old associates Ikon and Lynxxx gave one of the most nostalgic performances of the night. And there was even more with the likes of Ajebutter22, Sir Dauda, Santi, Nsikak David, Dap, Genio, Efe Oreka, Milli (who tore his pants on stage and gave out most of his outfit) and D-O all delivering stellar performances. A fair number of the acts on the day rubbished the notion that Nigerian pop acts cannot perform with a live band.
However, after all is said and done, Show Dem Camp were the stars of the night and with good reason, there was a grand sense of expectation when they stepped on stage, which they duly responded to it. Opening with “Happy Weekend Sir”, they exuded energy and engaged the crowd with their performance which was well-synced with that of other acts that have featured on their projects.
The duo performed songs from Dreamers Project,Clone Wars II to Palm Wine Music with Tec displaying a brilliant coordination with the live band while Ghost came through with his hard deliver to keep everything turned up at 100.
It was a night that their fans demanded for and the duo delivered but just when you thought the night could not get any better, the duo introduced the Chairman M.I Abaga on stage and this left the crowd in a reborn frenzy as MI went into a medley of his impressive catalogue of hit records including those from his fellow Choc Boiz with the crowd singing along to every song line for line.
It was way past 1am in the morning when the crowd began to finally disperse as SDC alongside Poe and Boj brought the festival to a climax rendering the song that started the whole Palmwine Music movement, “Feel Alright”. Sadly, that was almost around the same time that news filtered from backstage that a scuffle had ensued between rapper N6 and Choc City act Loose Kaynon. The incident however was quickly controlled as nothing was going to place a blot on what had been an incredible night of fun, performances and a palmwine vibe.
Indeed by the time the curtains fell on the show, it was a night that Lagos rocked with the SDC, and despite the prevailing fuel situation, Tec and Ghost called and their fans yelled out: “Yes indeed!”