Easter time is always a wonderful opportunity to re-connect to ones spirituality and have a spirit of thanks-giving for Jesus’ love towards us. Every year is riddled with gospel themes, concerts and shows always done the same way, it’s as if people only realize there is a God who died for them and loves them unconditionally. The festivities and the hype around Easter celebrations are a good time for gospel artists young and old to put out new albums and for unknown artists to come out and be known, it’s a very interesting time of the year.
This year has been no different with booming gospel concerts in every corner, church and theatre, invitations everywhere and for everyone. So with all these shows happening around us, a friend and I decided to accept an invitation to ‘Heaven on Earth 2012 pre-Easter Music Celebration’ hosted at Oasis Church in Daveyton, East of Johannesburg. We were particularly excited about enjoying and celebrating Jesus with musicians such as the ‘I want to sing gospel’ season 2 winner, Nhlakanipho, his co-stars Thando and Nombulelo, Beyond Vocal and more.
My friend and I dressed up for the said to be unforgettable concert that was meant to start at 3pm sharp. We were fashionably late and arrived at 4:30; in our defense the road to the venue was long and confusing! We got lost along the way but we made it there. The thought of having missed the opening acts saddened us but, when we arrived we found people lined up outside still waiting to be let into the church with compu-tickets in hand. You can imagine the relief on our part when we learned about the delay and ‘technical difficulties’ and still, we kept the Easter cheer going.
The knowledge people have of humankind’s tendency to imperfections and God understanding this flaw kills me, this is the reason that made organizers feel better about the concert starting at 6:30pm- a whole three and a half hours later! Still we kept the Easter cheer going strong.
My friend Abbey and I decided to keep ourselves entertained by looking at what people were wearing while we waited for the concert to start. If our only purpose was to be there for seeing what people were wearing, my night would still have been made! The attires people had on were more than enough entertainment! We saw ladies with animal print everything from head to toe, men with gold formal jackets, oh my word you name it! It was all there, all we needed was a big packet of popcorn and we were set.
But with that aside, the concert kicked off with a blazing performance by Xoli M, The song he sang was powerful and yet three random ladies decided to interrupt it with their own dance routine in the middle of the stage! Yes, these women started yelling and dancing hlokoloza and ‘church-like’ dances, like really? I admit, we were also dancing in front of the chairs we were allocated because honestly a rendition of ‘asikho isikhali’ will do that to you, only we kept it civil!
Ditsebe.com did a very good job as the MC for the evening, he cleaned up the mess the crazy dancers made with suave, I was impressed. After swiftly moving us right along to the eventualities of the night, he introduced Ndoyisile Jali. Oh my word, this man has character. I was so touched, he is an example of determination as he sings whole-heartedly ignoring the fact that he is crippled-bless his heart.
I have to point this out: After hours and days post-concert aches still haunt me! My ears are still suffering because of the noise we encountered. The PA system was super high and the voices of the artists just came to us in screams and shouts….but we lived…Tada!!
Now back to the artist line-up, we were graced with Nhlakanipho’s presence and captivating voice- the highlight of my evening. He started by performing a zulu song with this sweet little lady with a big voice by the name of Thando. She took by breath away, she sang well and looked gorgeous with her short and provocative animal print dress, tight as hell. Nhlakanipho wouldn’t get off the stage though, he did another number in a duet with Nombulelo, we were really blessed.
The evening progressed with black brothers in tight formal pants blessing our souls with beautiful music, gospel music of all kinds filled the church, from African –American gospel to African and traditional gospel and jazzy hits. We all ignored the two-toned pointy shoes our male artists flaunted and just celebrated together in song. The shiny suits they wore didn’t put us off either, we were just happy to be in the moment.
We found ourselves singing along to ‘Oh Happy day’ sung by David D the moment we were caught in, he just made it so young and Americanish, we loved it. This hyper-active young man ruined our old time favorite with ‘I feel good nah nah nha nha nha nha. I knew that I would now nah nah nah nah nah nah.. so good pa pa..so nice, pa pa’ , I mean really, who medleys such a nice song with this? I was disturbed. As if that was not enough, this military-clothes-soldier-looking like chap threw a CD at the crowd! It almost hit and hurt someone, is that what the spirit and being caught in it does? He really gave it his all, marketing himself there already and doing song after song, the MC had to intervene and get him and his back-up singers off the stage, so sad.
Still we kept the Easter cheer going, Beyond Vocal killed it and blew us away, they kept us in the spirit.
All the artists that performed really did a good job, with the special mention of Vusi who did a well-prepared rendition of ‘Ujes’uphakeme’, I swear I am not giving him a special mention because he was hot with long black locks coming down his face, please believe me. I was moved by the voice (blush).
We enjoyed ourselves; you missed out if you were not there! I have already started saving up for the next series of gospel concerts inspired by the Easter period, I suggest you do the same.