Sunday the 6th of July 2014 is one of those days that will go down as one of the best days in my annals of SA Music history. Why? Well, because I had the privilege of watching veteran South African artist Johnny Clegg perform at the National Botanical Gardens in Pretoria. I arrived at the venue around noon and was not surprised by the scores of cars that were scrambling around for parking next to the road and inside the venue – somehow I just knew that this gig was going to be a huge one. I did not expect anything less with acts like Johnny Clegg, Shortstraw and Tailor on the line-up.
I finally made my way into the concert area around 1 PM and was stunned by the size of the crowd. My heart started beating faster because it was great to see how many people out there truly appreciate great music in Pretoria. Tailor started the day’s proceedings, playing a few of the tracks of her second album and well-known tracks off her first album and stunned the crowd with her amazing vocal range. Shortstraw were up next, prompting young and old to start flexing those muscles and strutting their stuff to some amazing Indie flavor.
At 3 PM it was time for Johnny Clegg. Expecting a lively set, a bunch of eager fans decided to stand in front of the stage, much to disagreement of the older folk (who wanted a clearer view of him performing on the stage). Mr Clegg responded by ushering the lively crowd to sit down. This “crowd action” could only be contained for half of his set because everyone simply decided to get up and start dancing to hits like “Impi” and “Spirit of the great heart”. Put it to you this way: I think the African inside of us just decided to wake up.
Kudos to Hilltop Live and Old Mutual Music in the Gardens for bringing such an awesome event to Pretoria’s shores. I guess I’ll swing by the next event (whenever that may be). Did you attend Sunday’s show? What was your experience of it? Leave a comment and let me know. Feedback is appreciated and welcome here.
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