Akon Concert Originally uploaded by AccessWinnipeg
I’m not a huge fan of these artists, but when I heard that tickets were going for $20 I thought I’d show some support. I am loving how there are more and more hiphop shows coming to Winnipeg and can’t wait to see what else we have on the way! The concert was great! The 3 put together probably did not have enough ‘hits’ to fill a 4 hour set – but where they lacked in music… they definitely made up for in showmanship!
The concert was a wrap just before 11 PM. Each of the artists interacted with the crowd and made you feel part of the show! As Akon said “We are all descendants of Adam and Eve, which makes us all brothers and sisters, so if I’m African American then you’re all African American… ALL MY AFRICAN AMERICANS STAND UP!!!” Nice part of having 200 level seats is that you can take as much photos and videos you want :) Hit the jump to read my summary/review and a bunch of ‘low quality’ videos (no HD Huy videos here)
Kardinal Offishall opened up for the 3 headliners. He has definitely gone a long way from the ‘Northern Touch‘ days and has evolved his style to the more mainstream reggae/hiphop style all over the USA. As the case with all non-headlined openers, he took the stage with the house lights still on but didn’t really bring life into the audience. I would blame most of it due to unfamiliarity with his music – he also didn’t perform his hit ‘Dangerous‘ until Akon’s set later on. Regardless, he is doing wonders for the Canadian hiphop scene and is bridging the gap into American mainstream with his ‘Dangerous‘ track with Akon.
Sean Paul followed shortly after Kardinal. He came out with a hypeman and a few dancers doing the ‘reggae’ dances you see in all the music videos. I swear that hypeman was so trippy, looked just like Sean Paul, was probably his cousin? I STILL can not understand ANYTHING that Sean Paul says. He addressed the crowd a few times and there were various times where the crowd just looked back at him in confusion. Most of his songs were from his new album ‘Trinity’ such as his hit single ‘Temperature‘. But if you weren’t a true Sean Paul fan (like me), then most of the music would have been unfamiliar. Of course, he did rewind time and brought out some of his old skool tracks like ‘Gimme the Light‘ and ‘Baby Boy‘.
Wyclef brought the HOUSE DOWN!! I have a lot of respect for anyone who can produce and perform their music and Wyclef is DEFINITELY one of those artists! As a solo artist he doesn’t have many singles but he made up for it with his showmanship opening up with a video skit then running on stage to Young Joc’s ‘It’s Going Down‘. He then did a tribute to the Fugees with ‘That Thing‘… Oh Ms. Hill.. Ms. Hill, you got skills, that’s a gift, it’s real, get ill, what you spit got the power to uplift the heel (Little Talib reference for all you hiphop fans out there) Wyclef did a better job addressing the audience than Sean Paul (maybe because I could understand what he was saying) He even grabbed a girl from the audience to serenade. He got the girl to sit on a chair and close her eyes, he then grabbed his electric guitar and did some crazy guitar lead solos to a slow jam beat, also placed the guitar on the girl’s lap and started playing with his mouth!
After that he broke into a ‘A Milli‘ freestyle! HA! It was no Lil Wayne (not even close hahaha) but I’ll give it to him for trying! Wyclef also brought himself to the fans and ran around the whole MTS Centre greeting fans on the floor and on Level 1 while he performed!
My FAVORITE part of the night… Wyclef brought out his own remix of Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believing‘!! “He’s just a city boy… Born and raised in Trinidad….” HAHAH Priceless!! When Kanye brought this out at his Glow in the Dark Tour it blew me away… Wyclef’s remix brought back some amazing memories from that night!
Ok, enough with Wyclef, lets get to the main event… the Konvict himself Akon. Similar to Wyclef, Akon opened up to a mini skit. The skit involved him getting ‘kicked’ out of Winnipeg and having to leave. While their plane is leaving Winnipeg he changes his mind and says ‘I HAVE TO PERFORM!! ALL MY FANS ARE WAITING FOR ME!’ Akon asks the pilot to turn around and when he refuses, he parachutes out the side of the plane – lights turn on – and Akon descends from the top of the MTS Centre in a parachute (Which explains why the MTS Centre was PITCH BLACK for a good 3 minutes before the Video Skit started) What an entrance! He had the whole fireworks and flames going with the whole entrance!
After performing a few of his more familiar songs such as ‘We Taking Over‘ and ‘Soul Survivor‘ he brought out Kardinal again to perform their smash hit ‘Dangerous‘… Kardinal came out with his usual group of hypeman to get things bumpin. Akon’s hypeman was his DJ, wearing a skirt to get the ‘Scottish’ look. His DJ was hilarious and they did a lot of skits together to get the whole crowd into it. They had a whole discussion on how they thought Toronto had a better crowd than Winnipeg and that we needed to make more noise. The DJ then kicked Akon off the stage and said he could get us more lively. The DJ then ran to the back of the MTS Centre to some mainstream hiphop tracks like Lil Waynes ‘Lollipop‘. This was simply a distraction to get peoples eyes off the stage while they setup for the next set. They fooled me once with the Parachute setup! But I saw them setting up this next one :)
After the DJ was done distracting us, Akons voice comes up and goes “That was hot! So hot I had to go to the strip club!” A platform then decends from the top of the MTS Centre with Akon and a Stripper while he performs “I Wanna Love You” He then continues to strip himself until the DJ stops him. With Akon half naked it set the mood right to slow it down for “Don’t Matter” He then gives that whole Adam & Eve speech that I mentioned before and said that ‘If we are all one, then I should be out there in the crowd with you guys’ He puts on a harness and flies above the floorseats to greet almost everyone in that area. He eventually rises hire up to float right in the middle of the MTS Centre and performs ‘Sweet Escape‘
Akon wrapped the concert up with a finale he claims “Is ONLY in the Winnipeg show” and NO WHERE ELSE in Canada – not even Toronto! He brought out Wycelf and they performed their hit “Sweetest Girl” together. They actually did it twice, once on stage, and once while in the crowd, on the floor and on the shoulders of their security guards. It got pretty wild… water bottles being splash around … a pure reggae style concert! They finished off the concert doing a Jamaican reggae song that I’m not familiar with but it involved everyone taking off a piece of their clothing and waving it around in the air – which eventually led to numerous BRAS being thrown on to the stage! HAHAH all in all it was a great night!! I only paid $20 for my ticket, but would have been satisfied paying full price as well!
AND NOW… THE VIDEOS!!
Sean Paul – Like Glue & Gimme The Light
Sean Paul – Song for the Ladies
Wyclef – Intro
Wyclef – Ready or Not
Wyclef – A Milli Freestyle
Wyclef – Don’t Stop Believing
Akon – Intro
Akon – We Taking Over
Akon – Soul Survivor
Akon Kardinal – Dangerous
Akon – I Wanna Love You
Akon – Flying Around MTS Centre
Akon – Sweet Escape
Akon Wyclef – Sweetest Girl