By Seble Teweldebirhan
Addis Ababa, March 19, 2013, (Ezega.com) – On a chilly Saturday night two weeks ago, Lafto Mall in Addis Ababa was crowded with more than 4000 excited fans of Michael Belaynehe and Zeritu Kebede. The two contemporary stars of Ethiopian music had a concert following the new album by Michael titled ‘Nafkot ena Feker’ or Missing and Love. The concert was organized by Adika Communication and Events and MG promotion.
The album, released last September by Adika, is rated by many as one of the best Ethiopian music not only this year but for the last several years. Michael, with original and mature lyrics and carefully thought melody and rhythm has managed to create a master piece that impressed many. Of course this is not his first album. Michael has reassessed albums in the past and got some recognition especially for his remarkable and catchy voice.
However, his third album Nafkot ena Fiker turned the singer from ‘a fairly known’ musician to a super star recognized by almost everybody. His music is now playing everywhere and it is not fading with time. In fact the prediction is that the album will simply pass the test of time. For the audience that has been longing to hear a new sound with creativity, the album was just it. Michael chose a style that exactly fits his voice and outlook to the world. Especially the lyrics tell a story of unconditional love, commitment, respect, honesty, hope, trust and appreciation in a beautiful Amharic. “This is what happens when we get lucky to get matured and wise musicians’’ said Eyob who attended the concert. “He used his music to say what he wanted to say and that is why people love it very much. The music is heartfelt and you can tell that by simply listening. He is a true artist” he added.
As a result many were wondering if Michael will manage to perform his incredible music on the stage without difficulties. In fact, concert goers in Ethiopia have an experience where singers do not nearly manage to perform their work on the stage. Including famous and respected musicians, several concerts had disappointed their audience and at times turn out to be pure disaster. Given the quality of the album and the amazing voice Michael introduced to the audience by his new album, it was fair to question whether he will do just exactly that on a live show.
However, the minute he got on the stage, Michael managed to clear all the doubts in the minds of the audience. He was simply the best. At some points, it even looked like he out did his own album. The audience went crazy with his powerful and impressive voice and striking stage energy. With incredible appearance, and the amazing Zemen band rocking the stage, the concert could be rated as one of the best so far.
In addition to Micheal, the performance of Zeritu was amazing. Indeed, Zeritu is always famous for her incredible stage performance. However, yesterday, she became even more than that. Her powerful voice appeared more mature and extraordinarily inspiring. She introduced a new song titled Zemen ena Gize, which she says represents her current personality. Considering it has been seven years since her first album was released, which is her only album so far, it was about time for her to express what has been going on with her music life since then. The new song demonstrates that Zeritu has grown intellectually and became a master of Amharic music. The lyrics of her new song used Amharic words that are so beautiful, inspiring and defines her with maturity and intelligence. The song is about the opposite sides of life, which people are constructed with time and the power of deep and strong love which will undo everything one believed to be. The audience was simply stunned by the lyrics melody and her amazing performance.
Of course, the concert came with several inconveniences for the audience. As usual, it was difficult to get beverages in the hall. The line to get water or beer created chaos since there was only one counter serving the entire audience. This has been a nature of several concerts in the past and seems to become the culture.
The concert also started very late and there was a long and, for some, boring DJ music that tested the audience’s patience. It’s also another culture for concerts to start very late and keep the audience waiting with DJ and other musicians. In addition, the concert was cut short. Though the promotion said that Michael will be performing more than 18 songs, he did not managed to do more than 10. Zeritu only performed four and before mid night the concert was over. In general, the two singers did not spend more than two hours on the stage.
Adika announced that Michael will be traveling throughout the country with ‘Nafkot ena Fiker’ concert.
Seble Teweldebirhan is Addis Ababa based Columinst for Ezega.com. She can be reached by sending email through this form