March 29, 2023


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Burna Boy at Madison Square Garden: concert review

Burning Boy He’s got his metaphorical blooms—and his literal bras—as he majestically shreds at New York’s Madison Square Garden, the first Nigerian star to do so at the famous venue. The first fiery-engine red bra was pushed onto stage at the African-fusion sweetheart early on in his group as he performed the song Rock Your Body, from his hit album, 2018 the outside. By the end of the night, at least six others had been thrown in his face—and at one point, many of them hung around his waist like a utility belt. “Birna is so cool, Yo!” Rolling down his long runway, flanked by sharp flashlights, a fan shouted “Gbona” ​​from his primary nickname, African giant.

The only moment of relative stillness from the audience came when they took intently a new song for Toni Braxton’s “He Wasn’t Man Enough of Me”. Berna performed the unreleased track after revealing that his next album will be called love damini And on his 31st birthday, July 2. Then, the crowd in the garden was in constant motion, the rows of their bodies like waves in the dark ocean of the predominantly black diaspora. Burna Boy’s frequent use of a cappella or simple arrangement meant that the passionate attendees could often be heard singing clearly, their voices as sweet as Burna’s smile. While the close-knit “Ye” elicited an undeniable response from the entire park, a closer look at the stands showed just how different everyone’s favorite songs are from Berna’s deep discography.

In the hole, three young men synthesize Ghanaian rapper Black Sharif’s “second sermon,” carefully tossing their bodies at each other without disturbing the people around them. Deeper than the seats, a young woman in a warm pink bandage T-shirt had a soulful response to “Way Too Big,” from the latest album of Burna, the pandemic producer. double the length. Over a banister, a young man was dressed in the office for a day more than the hottest concert in town, inserted “Bank on It” into his girlfriend’s phone from the top of his lungs, her lamp shining beads of sweat on his face. Berna’s mother and manager Bos Ogulu, better known as “Mama Berna,” watched stoically from the stage to the left until it faded until the beginnings of the “Killin Dem” concert.

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The show has reimagined Burna’s extended catalog, lifting already excellent songs. Demolition of a brass section African giant Fore in the “low”. The violin raised the “location” bets. The saxophonist competed with Berna’s spirited vocal plays as “Oneika” wrapped up. For “Ja Ara E,” a team of African drummers surrounded the singer with a trusted background of five years, Kristina Matofo, and danced in unison from left to right as they performed. Burna Boy’s live arrangements brought funk and drama.


Dubbed “One Night in Space,” the show found Berna more urgent than ever, performing a barrage of songs while only stopping to drink water or addressing his fans multiple times. “Don’t hesitate to throw in more,” he encouraged after tossing his first bra, before listing the New York places he had played earlier in his career while working in the park. After performing “Soke” a little more than midnight, he quickly admitted that the achievement was “some emotional bullshit for me.” [him],” before setting fire to MSG with some of his most vibrant songs, such as “Jerusalem,” “Anybody,” and “Kilometer.”

Berna has performed several collaborative solo songs – the remix of “Second Sermon”, the late Pop Smoke’s song “Enjoy Yourself”, his most recent record with Wizkid “Ballon D’or”, and a remix of Nigerian rapper Asake “Sungba” (Afropop’s number one contender for Summertime). ). In fact, other than the quick introduction by Busta Rhimes, there was only one musical guest, one of its heroes, Senegalese legend Youssou N’Dour, who opened the show with his song “New Africa”, which was cleverly translated on screen. “Invite all Africans,” read the sprawling sketches. “Let us come together and let nothing separate us.” His message was hopeful, but sad: “When I think of the suffering of our ancestors, I cry,” I read one of the lyric.

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A stanza of three Pirna political songs gave the night more oomph: “Collision Damage” speaks the truth to greedy power; Another Story began with a visual lesson on the horrors of colonialism. Even more exciting, Burna performed an unreleased track, often called “Off Your Mic” online. In it, he sang fondly of a snake in human form swallowing money as a criticism of Nigerian politics – one of the words “off the microphone” is likely a reference to an incident in the summer of 2020 when a Nigerian government official who accused members of the National Assembly of corruption seized lucrative government development contracts for themselves.

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However, Burna Boy – who was prevented by his team from asking political questions during his interview rolling rock UK cover story – He’s more of a rock star than an expert. He smashed an acoustic guitar into bits, sprinted across his wide runway, danced with his bouncy knees and feet fast, and maintained perfectly original vocals throughout the entire performance. The energy, joy and feeling of appearing were evident in the garden. “We made history tonight,” said the evening’s host, the young Prince, an African man from the Bronx, after Berna emerged under a storm of sparks from the ceiling. “We started it all,” Prince said of Africans. “We will finish everything. Congratulations to Culture.”