On the 5th of October I made my way to Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown, Johannesburg to catch Bloc Party at In the City (an event sponsored by Vodacom). Local acts Shadowclub, Yesterday’s Pupil (featuring Tumi Molekane) and International Zef Rap Superstars Die Antwoord were the opening act for the event that attracted over 7,000 music fans. I must admit that I don’t go to live music events in Johannesburg much, but this was one of the better ones that I’ve been to.
Shadowclub kicked off the evening with a bang. These Joburg boytjies never disappoint me with a live performance and Friday night was no exception. I’m also glad that I got to hear a few of their new tracks from their 2nd album. They were followed by Yesteray’s Pupil (featuring Tumi Molekane). Peach van Pletzen and Tumi had the crowd dancing in no time. I must admit that I wasn’t a fan of them a few years ago, but Yesterday’s Pupil has definitely grown on me over the years thanks to excellent live performances like this.
Die Antwoord were up next and amped up the vibe even more. They played one of the most energetic sets that I’ve seen them play live. It was also the first time that I got to see them perform in 2012. I’m not a fan of their music, but one has to admire their live performance skills – Die Antwoord know how to take things to the next level if you ask me.
The main reason why everyone made their way to Johannesburg was to see Bloc Party at In The City. Seeing the amped up crowd in front of the stage (which resembled the RAMFest stage and the Wesley’s Dome Stage at Oppikoppi) cast away all doubt in my mind. Bloc Party played for more than an hour and provided the Jozi crowd with some excellent live entertainment. They were quite energetic on stage and they loved to interact with crowd at the concert. They ended their set with “Helicopter”, a song that put them on the map on South African radio, much to the delight of the 7,000+ strong crowd at Mary Fitzgerald Square.
I must say that overall Bloc Party at In the City was a well organized event. One of the issues that many people had was the bar cues, it was utterly ridiculous at times. Some folks were waiting in line for an hour to buy beer. Another issue was slight confusion with media accreditations and photo pit passes, but that was sorted out. I suppose things like this happen, so I don’t blame the organizers for this. I’m pretty sure that they will learn from this and things will be more streamlined at future events.
Mary Fitzgerald Square is an awesome venue for live performances in Johannesburg. You can easily fit over 9,000 people into the square and I don’t see a reason why events like these can not be held here in the future. It was the first time since 1999 that I was in Newtown and I must say that the state of the neighbourhood has improved significantly. It was a lot more dodgy back then.
What did you think of Bloc Party at In the City? Leave a comment on this post and let me know. I’d like to hear from you. Feedback is appreciated and welcome here.
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