After three years since the release of Sounds From The Other Side and multiple features, Wizkid finally graced us with Made in Lagos in 2020. For many, this was just what was needed in the middle of the pandemic. Wizkid has managed to solidify his sound and we got a glimpse of this in Soundman Vol. 1 EP which was released in 2019 under his Starboy entertainment.
When Wizkid teased the chance of a tour, I don’t think I believed it at first. If there’s one thing you learn as a member of Wizkid FC, it’s that sometimes he can be full of surprises and while the concept of a tour was potentially valid, the absence of dates could be taken as foreshadowing doom. After all, he was scheduled to appear at Coachella and didn’t show up so I wasn’t getting my hopes up yet. However, Wizkid came through this time. In June, he posted on Instagram about a Made in Lagos concert in Brooklyn, New York. There was no form of heads up or explanation of a tour so there was a rush to get these tickets. Soon after, he announced a US and UK tour and this is where the madness started. The demand for these tickets was insane. I attempted to buy tickets during the presale and the day of the drop and failed with each try. The ticket site had technical issues and within minutes showed that the tickets were sold out. For an African artist, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the demand for tickets in this manner or tickets being resold for about 6 times their original price (from $40/50 to $300). We all know Essence featuring Tems has become a global hit and joined the rotation used by DJs’ as part of their Afrobeats set so this definitely contributed to the demand. A lot of diasporans were upset over the ticket situation and blamed foreigners that barely know Wizkid for buying all the tickets. It is from there the term ” Essence Warriors” came into existence.
Luckily for me, I finally got tickets and I was excited to finally hear one of my favorite pandemic albums performed live. I had the chance to attend the Silver Spring, Maryland show at The Fillmore. There were so many demands for these tickets that Wizkid added a second date for this show. In 2019, Burna Boy toured at this same venue and had to add a second date due to the demand as well. The show started at 8 and once I got there at 9pm, the line to enter the show was wrapped around the building. By the looks of it, it would probably take close to another hour just to get in. Being the Nigerian that I am, I finessed my way to the front immediately and got in. The Fillmore was packed and any chance of getting to the front of the stage was impossible. The venue had a top level so I was able to get an okay view of the whole show. For the US tour, DJ Tunez has been touring with Wizkid and gingered the crowd with his set before announcing Wizkid.
Once we all heard the beat for Joro, we all knew the show had started and there was an unintended synchronized chant of Joro. Wizkid did not hold back after this. I feared that we would hear more of his recent catalog but he definitely kept the FC in mind. We heard hits from Superstar, singles like Caro and obviously the Made in Lagos album. The show consisted of a mixture of OG fans and the Essence Warriors. As a member of Wizkid FC, hearing songs like No Lele and Pakuromo brought out another side of me. At the moment, I didn’t care about anyone or anything around me. If I faint, it’s for a good cause. This was highly possible too because someone actually fainted during the show.
Starboy brought the energy needed and always kept the ladies in mind while performing. He demanded the photographers leave the front so he could see the women present and gingered the ladies in Silver Spring after teasing that he heard they had the best whines while performing True Love. He closed the show out with the Nigerian national anthem (Ojuelegba) and what he called the global national anthem (Essence). He definitely came prepared for his new fans as he performed Essence twice. At this point, a part of the crowd that was calm during the show came alive.
This show definitely did what it had to do. Wizkid catered to new and old fans. I would’ve loved to hear more throwbacks if possible from his EME days or even Azonto but overall it was still a great show. In fact, if I had a free ticket for the second show, I would go.