To describe what Burna Boy accomplished at his first sold out show at Madison Square Garden as historic is understatement. He was fabulous, fantastic, stupendous, energetic and overflowing with talent. This great artist of Afro-fusion has single-handedly injected a new life into the rising afro- beats culture by his powerful performance. With marvelous concert at Madison arena he has taken this genre of African music to another level. He has risen so high to the sky that he has no business with the plain solid ground; he literally belongs among the stars of galaxy.
The magic of Burna Boy is richly complex – he can sing soulfully, he has the stage presence and his command of theatre is terrific. He has the gazing spectators on his palms. He emitted his electrifying energy into a captivating force that absolutely mesmerized his audience in the arena and those watching via live stream.
Afrobeats or Afro-fusion have come to stay permanently and may have finally become the popular music of the day. Burna Boy did something that many musicians find difficult to do, which is to convince the audience that the music is personally directed to them as an individual not as a group. He is a natural and magical on the stage; those are things that separate the real thing from the chaff.
“The show reimagined Burna’s lengthy catalog, elevating already excellent songs. A brass section tore down African Giant standout “On the Low.” Violins raised the stakes of “Location.” A saxophonist competed with Burna’s impassioned vocal runs as they wrapped up “Onyeka.” To “Ja Ara E,” a team of traditional African drummers surrounded his trusted background vocalist of five years, Christina Matovu, and they danced in unison from left to right as they performed. Burna Boy’s live arrangements brought the funk and the drama.”
Burna Boy “smashed an acoustic guitar to bits, sprinted down his extensive runway, danced with bouncy knees and quick feet, and maintained absolutely pristine vocals throughout the entire performance. The energy, the joy, and the feeling of being seen were palpable in the Garden. “We made history tonight,” said the evening’s host, a young African man from the Bronx, after Burna exited under a storm of sparks from the ceiling. “We started everything,” he said of Africans. “We gon’ finish everything. Congratulations to the culture.”
Burna Boy ‘experience’ at Madison arena last night has shown that afrobeats as a music genre has finally come to stay. Now the coast is clear for greater tomorrow. In the words of Frank Sinatra – “If you can make it in New York, you can make it everywhere.” Burna Boy came to New York; he performed and conquered The Big Apple with his smooth operation and unforgettable talented show. Odogwu! For this I doff my cap for you, for putting Nigeria and Africa on the global limelight.