Tuface still on top

Posted: October 5, 2010 in Feature story

... aka 2baba (Photo courtesy vive-extra.blogspot.com)

His stage performance has always being lack-lustre as its typical for most Nigerian musicians who simply mime their songs anytime they have the chance to grab the mike on stage but Innocent Idibia recently made another indelible mark in his foot track as one of Africa’s finest performer on and off the stage with the Tuface in concert with a live band earlier in the week.

Introduced by Dbanj via short recorded intro as “the Adam” to symbolise the number of first Tuface bears for the Nigeria’s music scene, a number of other Nigerian and international act were full of great words for him in the intro as he gets set to rock the night. Amongst the first accolades that Mr Idibia has harnessed which the compeer-duo of MI and Banky W revealed included, the first Nigerian artist to win both MTV and MOBO awards just as he was also identified as the first to “raise the minimum wage of CD’s from N150 to N1500and the first to sell the same album twice (locally and internationally).

A short documentary followed, in which the personality of Tuface was analysed via the richness of his lyrical contents and rhythms he’s recorded. Described as a prankster, lover boy, poet, crusader, frank commentator, ‘pass animal’ amongst many others, from the contents of some of his ever-green songs, the crowded expo hall was set in top gear for a remarkable night.

Subsequently a chaotic scene occurred on the stage as a group of dancers invaded the stage in a very frenzied act with some stunning choreography, then came in the eagle (Tuface) in long chains held by high-heeled models (his captors) as he rendered the hit track ‘Odi ya’ from his first album ‘Face 2 Face’. The idea behind the performance was a campaign for peace. The excellent use of the stage by the artist and his brilliant choreographers was very impressive as he finally set himself and was engulf by the dancers which later unveiled Tuface in another outfit. His strong vocals were warming as he transcends from one track to the other with an excellent band to support him (beauty of a stage performance) in a very sublime and entertaining style.

Making true its pseudonym as a campaigner for peace, his first round of performance were tracks that preached peace and freedom. The flow from ‘Ala wa yi yee’ to ‘Free like a bird’ to ‘One love’ and ‘I wanna be free’ to ‘O di a yee’ was rendered back to back in a very energetic delivery.

The energy displayed by Tuface while performing ‘You no holy pass’ was incredible as the performance had a Carlos Santana like guitarist whose playing of the guitar was highly electrifying. Tuface tried to steal the guitarist shine by struggling to outdo the sound by backing and pushing the guitarist but the mild drama went on and the exhilarating sounds of the guitar earned a massive applause from the crowd.

Then came the classical and much demanded by the crowd “Only you” from his latest album “Unstoppable” and this got the hundreds of fans on their feet as those on the exclusive/VIP tickets ditched their exclusivity and climbed on their chairs as everyone tried to outdo each other’s dance step.

“Sex” on stage

Simulated show (Photo courtsey lindaikeji.blogspot.com)

One of the several high points of the concert was the performance of ‘Flex’ where Tuface took, stage performance in Nigeria to new heights by performed a pseudo-sex scene with nollywood actress; Tonto Dike on the stage as she played a stripper. The female seemed nude by wearing a skin-tight gold coloured body suit and after the initially foreplay, where Tuface showed the skills he uses in louring the mothers of his broods, the duo proceeded to the back of a transparent wall in the darkened hall with a beaming red light behind the wall. The ‘pseudo’-sexual exploits then continued with their cloths being pulled off and thrown and some form of oral sex beamed out by their silhouettes movements and gesture to the admiration of the cheering crowd who chants that this will be the next mother of Tuface’s kid (referring to his recent profligacy with women and a number of child-births.) It was a very entertaining saga that earned Ms Dike a standing ovation after her introduction.

The slow reggae tune of the ‘Flex’ was afterwards mixed with the dexterity of the live band’s Igbo dance tunes with the traditional white handkerchiefs waving as Tuface called on the audience to join him in the waving the handkerchiefs as he sublimely transcends to ‘No be small thing o.’

Without a doubt, Tuface is not a good dancer but he was seen regularly using his signature jogging steps and at some point made reference to the gunshot wound he got from the attack in 2007 as the reason for his inadequate but fairly impressive dance steps which were aptly compensated for the his very rich vocals.

The slow melody continued with ‘Outside living in paradise’, ‘Keep the fire burning’ and then the ultimate award-winning ‘African queen’ which had an array of ‘queens’ of different shapes and sizes line up the stage. From the very skinny to flat-tummy and plus-size (real African queens), Tuface kept the mesmerisation to a pulp which culminated in a pretty little (not shy of the stage) girl sitting on the throne with her crown. Tuface introduced her after a peck on his cheek as “little Miss Ene Idibia.” The stage got heavenly for the track ‘Thank you Lord’ again from his first album as kids of different age grades and heights straddled the stage in white robes and angelic wings, holding a lighted candle for the praise song. The magical feel to the song was well complemented with the superb lightning effect of the Expo hall.

Featured acts

Tuface has had some of the greatest collaborations with diverse musicians and we just couldn’t leave without a feel of them. He kicked of the collabo acts with ‘One in a million’ with his prodigy on his Hypertek record label and this was followed by the very classical ‘Street credibility’ with 9ice. The entire audience went wild with the coming on stage of 9ice and then ‘Stylee’ which had DJ Jimmy Jatt and Elajoe. Sadly Mode Nine who was also featured on the track was absent. ‘Seep easy’ with Freestyle and ‘Enter the place’ with Sound Sultan was very electrifying as the Expo hall transformed into a party scene with everyone dancing wild. Timaya and Madman-Terry G could not hold back their excitement as they ran up the stage to relish the excitement as well and join the acts with the alanta dance steps. He also gave the audience a chip of the old block with the performance of ‘Baby don’t you know’ and ‘Knock you off’ with his starting group the Plantashun Boiz which had just Faze present with Blackface absent. The morning was rounded off with much demanded ‘Implication’ and the hit party track ‘Keep on rocking’ that sent the entire audience into a frenzy mood and his colleagues all joining on the stage and raised the African legend shoulder high.

‘After the show is the party’ states the lyrics of ‘Keep on rocking’ and everyone couldn’t help but agree that for this night Tuface gave the party right within the show. But for the late kick-off of the event (as is usual of most events) and the scheduling the concert for a Sunday night which will affect people’s waking-up for work on Monday morning with the Lagos traffic, Tuface in concert as admitted by most present was one of the best the city has seen in a long while.

Ayo Okulaja

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