By any means necessary, they said they would come back because of their love for Malawi.
So, the much awaited second edition of the Morgan Heritage concert went down at Civo Stadium on Saturday.
An estimated crowd of 15 000 turned up as the show lived up to its billing as music lovers rocked with one of the world’s most influential reggae bands.
That a distinguished array of artists, including Black Missionaries, Blasto and Tay Grin performed is not much of a story.
The news is Morgan Heritage came, saw and conquered Malawi with a performance of class.
The Royal Family of Reggae and most recent recipients of the reggae Grammy Award rewrote history by clearing the mess that marred their controversial show last December.
They treated local fans to exactly what the band has given to others across the globe—a fully fledged performance.
Even some of the fans that were in the forefront castigating the award-winning band of short-changing them during the last visit, could not stop heaping praises on the Jamaican band.
Morgan family’s fast-rising reggae singer Jemere Morgan, son to Gramps, was first up.
Although young, Jemere proved that the band has a future after he dished out a couple of scintillating reggae vibes.
The way he handled the stage left the audience in awe of the youthful musician.
Within his first three minutes on stage, Jemere had accomplished his mission, gripping the fans.
He started with a bang and was in control of the ship throughout.
Jemere proved to be a perfect starter for the sumptuous main meal for the hungry revellers.
The group took over with an energetic two-hour performance. Led by Peetah, Gramps and Mr Mojo, the group belted some of their most popular songs.
It was a thunderous welcome for the reggae band as the fans rushed closer to the stage to catch a glimpse of the big artists. At that moment, the fans hardly remembered that just a few months ago, they were angry with Morgan Heritage for using a backtrack.
But this was Morgan Heritage’s redemption as well as a defining moment and soon it dawned on some members that it was a show they had demanded.
Leading the singing was Peetah, his voice easily recognisable to many of the group’s fans. There were continued cheers as Mr Mojo sang along, but the audience went wild when Gramps sung his first line.
The Morgan Heritage show had officially started and the fans only had three tasks to do—sing along, chant and dance the night away.
“Thank you Malawi. You took another chance, you came again. We will never forget this night,” said a smiling Gramps.
Gramps was arguably the dessert of the meal. His velvet voice appealed to many, especially the ladies which promoted Peetah to remark: “Gramps, I think these ladies love you so much.”
Donning a two-piece Agbada apparel, which is popular in West Africa, Gramps looked like a true son of the continent.
The band could not hide the feeling that they were also enjoying the presence of fans, who were lively the entire time.
In the middle of the performance, Peetah chanted: “This is not a CD, it’s live Malawi,” much to the amusement of the merry makers.
Two hours on stage, the group signed out, but the fans heard none of it as they stood in disbelief.
While a few tricked out of the stadium, a large crowd gazed at the band until Peetah and Gramps took turns to ask: “Malawi, you want some more?”.
Gramps continued “If you want some more, say Morgan Heritage,” to which the crowd responded with an affirmative and resounding response.
And the party continued until Morgan Heritage shut down the gig with one of its most popular tracks Tell Me How Come. The song was irresistible to some of the fans going out as they came back running while joining the singing.
The entire set sparkled with vivacity and the band as a unit, invested their everything into the performance as they were visibly absorbed in the performance.
But all good things come to an end: “Malawi, we love you,” said Gramps as he moved off stage with his brothers in tow.
With much of the crowd off the pitch, the generally stunted greens were exposed. They blew towards the direction of the wind, which is not just a sign of life having survived the heavy thumping and dancing from the multitudes that trampled upon it.
With the pitch littered with papers and bottles, one thing was for sure, the grass survived a tsunami from Morgan Heritage, who, at all cost, needed this redemption. n