It was a red carpet event whose intention was to treat lovers to pre-Valentine’s Day slow jams.
But the atmosphere at Comesa Hall in Blantyre degenerated into a dance party when veteran musician ‘Sir’ Paul Banda and Alleluya Band treated patrons to some old steady grooves.
Instead of holding each other tight and dance to romantic songs befitting the event, couples were seen employing vigorous dance moves.
One thing for sure was that Alleluya Band’s music did not fit the occasion. Rather, it ignited recollections and took patrons down memory lane when Balaka sound used to be popular.
There was hardly a dull moment during the show when Sir Paul and Alleluya Band jumped on stage as patrons happily danced to old hits such as Mtendere, Malilime and CossChiwalo’s Afisi aku Ntcheu.
The Balaka-based band took over the stage from gospel artist Faith Mussa, whose music was more of an exhibition of his artistic skills. This was appreciated through his voice prowess and guitar-playing dexterity.
Mussa also took the audience down memory lane when he dished out one of the Mussa Family’s popular songs Pokumbukira Mtanda.
He opened up the concert and performed for about an hour, during which he did not disappoint as he received tremendous applause as he bowed out.
Patience Namadingo was the next performer who also impressed with his creativity.
With his movie-entrance, his act started outside the hall, but fans were able to watch the unfolding action through live telecasting via large screens in the hall.
Aided by the impressive sound, flashing lights, sirens and smoke machine, Namadingo’s animated entry was a sight to behold.
However, the artist’s creative set faced a minor glitch when his crew began to fine-tune equipment on stage.
This was in sharp contrast to fans’ expectations that the crew would simply roll into action after such a grand entry, only to find it delaying the action by attending to the equipment.
Namadingo also performed for about an hour, dishing out songs such as Macheza and Msati Mseke.
Throughout his performance, his pianist Chisomo Ngondo was on the spotlight as he delivered mesmerising chords and scales that produced mature music.
The Pre-Valentine’s Day concert was organised by Entertainers Promotions, which is now being managed by Jai Banda’s son Tonderai.
Among other attention-grabbing features was the erection of the separate elegant stage in the Comesa Hall, which added an international feel.
However, the concert failed to pull an impressive audience.
“The country does not have enough maize in most Admarc deports so many people are attending to the problems of their relations than spending a lot of money for a Valentine’s show,” said one of the patrons only identified as Deborah.
On his part, Tonderai bemoaned the low turn up.
“I must admit that the show is a loss due to the poor turn up of fans. But this will not stop us from doing better things. We will continue giving Malawians the best because it is our business to give the best,” said Banda.
He also disclosed that the proceeds of the concert will go toward charity activities.