We Dance Again at Black Coffee’s Block Party
12 December, 12:00, Mary Fitzgerald Square, Newtown. The venue’s set, the line-up features some of South Africa’s most exclusive musical acts, including DJ royalty, Black Coffee, the man of the hour and tickets are sold out – cue a twelve-hour, jam-packed party that entertained masses well past midnight.
Making their way to the infamous square from around midday, Joburgers from far and wide, enjoyed set-lists by DeejayMizz Sa, Diloxclusiv Deejay, Victor Malaza, Da Capo and Dj Dimplez, armed with six-packs and selfie sticks.
However, it wasn’t until 17:00, with the appearance of Casper Nyovest, “inventor” of the phrase #MamaIMadeIt, that things truly picked up. As expected, fans lost it to tracks like “Doc Shebeleza”, “Gusheshe” and “Ghetto Olympics”, gearing up for an unforgettable evening.
Despite the sick line-up, general attendees complained about poor organisation due to long queues, a lack of alcohol and strict house-rules, which didn’t allow for cooler bags or camping chairs. VIPs, on the other hand, were squashed on opposite sides of the square where, initially, one end was overflowing at its maximum capacity. As a result, VIPs were escorted to the opposite side, when things got a little too intimate. Even so, however, VIPs had a difficult time getting a good view of the show, clamouring for a spot at the rail.
The show must go on, right? Right. Cue South African house DJ legend, DJ Fresh who set the tone for acts to follow with a killer hour-long set, accompanied by a live drummer, playing some of his greatest hits, as well as a whole bunch of new tracks, thanking the audience for attending, stating, “It’s great to see so many black people, out in masses, supporting local music.” A plus, if you’re interested, lots of his tracks are available for free download on SoundCloud, so get in there.
Following DJ Fresh was Glen Lewis, or The Electrifying One, as he calls himself; another industry mogul. A pioneer of the Mid Tempo trend, his set not only electrified audiences, but got crowds lit. As tweeted by DJ Fresh, “20 years of rocking Metro FM!”, proving that he’s hardly done making deep beats, having earned the moniker ‘The Great One’.
Next up was DJ Tira, or “Malum Bae” as a fan was quoted on Twitter, yelling at the South African superstar and music business tycoon during his set. Not satisfied with being a kwaito/house DJ, only, he’s helped South African artists make a name for themselves with his entertainment label, Afrotainment and true to its name, that’s what he brought to thousands of fans at Black Coffee’s Block Party.
By the time SPHEctacula and DJ Naves took to the stage, alcohol to the general public had been sold out, but that didn’t stop attendees from having the time of their lives, as one Facebook fan was quoted saying: “I have never partied so hard, sober.”
If previous artists and DJs set the tone, SPHEctacula and DJ Naves brought the party with hit after hit like “Hotline Bling”, “Sister Bettina”, “Cheers (Drink To That)”, “Umoya”, “KOTW Anthem” and many, many more. Crowds were positively losing their marbles (s/o to SPHEctacula and DJ Naves dropping some of their own moves, onstage) with some even having to check their pulse, to see if they’re still alive.
As quoted by DJ Naves and SPHEctacula: “Are there any Black Coffee fans in the house?” and, it’s safe to say, the crowd erupted in ecstatic cheers.
After an absolutely ‘turnt’ set, Black Coffee, the man, the legend, who everyone travelled from across Joburg to see, graced #BCBP2015 with his presence and opened with a low-key track building up to pure fire, as time progressed.
Playing most of his stand-out tracks from his 2015 Pieces of Me album, Black Coffee did not disappoint fans with hits like “Come With Me (feat. Mque)”, “Stuck In Your Love (feat. Azola)”, “Go On (feat. Khensy)” and “I’ll Find You (feat. Cara Frew),” featuring all singers involved.
Of course, Black Coffee couldn’t possibly end his set without playing 2015’s honorary track of the year, “We Dance Again”, with the impeccable Nakhane Touré. “We Dance Again” left fans reeling for more, many unable to believe what they had witnessed only seconds ago, insisting on an encore with which Black Coffee obliged.
The following day, Black Coffee thanked fans and attendees saying, “It’s such an honour to see South Africans supporting local music to the degree that we can have standalone sell-out events! We can’t wait for 2016!”
As such, Black Coffee leads us into 2016 with a last sentiment: #FillUpFNBStadium
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Words by Liz Dom
Photography by Kev Smith