The O2 Arena announced yesterday that Davido’s We Rise By Lifting Others concert, with a seating capacity of 20,000, has been sold out. Indeed, we rise by lifting others, and Davido leads by example.
The O2 Arena, an indoor venue in southeast London with the second-highest seating capacity in the UK, has long been yoked with the destiny of Nigerian pop music. This grand venue has long fulfilled the industry’s collective desire, which is to court a foreign audience, or as that cliché goes, “to take Afrobeats to the world.” The O2, since opening in 2007, has provided the stage; Nigeria, the talent. D’Banj, 2face, Tiwa Savage, and Wizkid, are some of the nation’s loftiest names to have performed at the venue, the latter of which became the first Nigerian to enjoy a sell-out at The O2 in 2018, for his Afrorepublik concert.
In Messi-Ronaldo fashion, Wizkid’s achievement was replicated by Davido the following year, in January 2019, when he too had The O2 Arena stacked to the roof. Though the WRBLO concert is Davido’s third run at the venue and he has since grown used to performing there, it holds a significance of its own, both for the singer and his large fanbase, who have since adopted the demonym, 30 BG.
What is the WRBLO concert about?
The WRBLO concert is a toast to Davido’s decade-old music career, a grace-to-grace story that kicked off with Dami Duro in October 2011, a song as frenetic as its singer, and whose excess extroversion quickly guaranteed its place in Nigerian nighttime culture at the time of its release. Young and old, all were enthralled, perhaps slightly put off, by the cheekiness of this new skinny guy with the hoarse voice, who demanded respect because, according to him, he is “Omo Baba Olowo” or O.B.O. (son of a rich man), also the title of his debut album.
If Davido once took pride in being OBO, he has since sought to be known for his doings, sans father’s money and cachet. In Daddy Mi — a track in which he assists the rapper Reminisce with a chorus — he declares that “Mo fe lowo ju daddy mi” (I want to be wealthier than my father). While that Oedipal quest is yet to be achieved, at least as far as we know, Davido has become a father of sorts, providing nurture and opportunity for many a Nigerian artiste, including Mayorkun, Peruzzi, Dremo, and many others in the DMW record label.
The We Rise By Lifting Others concert derives its name from Davido’s upcoming album, his fourth yet. The concert promises a swirl of nostalgia, as the singer, as implied in a tweet, will perform old jingles like Ekuro and Owo Ni Koko, giving the audience the chance to time travel to simpler times.
The concert takes place on Saturday, 5 March 2022, and starts at 18:30 (WAT).
I’m not in London. How can I watch the Concert?
The concert will be streamed live via a collab between MTN and uduX, a Nigerian subscription-based streaming platform. For MTN Nigeria subscribers, the concert has been made available to watch for free, as announced by the telecommunications company on Friday. MTN Nigeria, in conjunction with uduX, also streamed Wizkid’s three-day O2 Arena concert last year at a discounted price. Click here to watch the live stream.