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Freshlyground: Too Fresh For Words

November 4, 2007 – 23:35 by John

The cellphone really has become the cigarette lighter of the modern-day concert. Despite efforts by Grandwest’s Main Arena to curtail the use of cameras in the crowd, the place was lit up like Diwali for a homebrewed show that made MyCokeFest look like an open mike night. P.E., Durbz and Joburg: you better get ready for Freshlyground.

Sure, local entertainment culture’s self-congratulatory gushing sometimes reminds us of the hated neighbour’s latest baby shower, but 7-piece flagbearers Freshlyground unleashed a helluva show at a smashing new venue last Friday. No bull. Ok, sure, if you were watching it from Jupiter, you’d be, like “wtf, that’s so tiny.” But, if you were an ant, or an atom, you’d be like, “what’s going on, it’s all so amazing.”

From the human perspective, the super-branded first stop of the Volkswagen Freshlyground Summer Tour boasted such crowd-pleasing tidbits as lovely pre-show animations, visual effects and a slick overall look ‘n feel. Too slick maybe, to believe that you’ve probably run into the band members at some point in your Mother City walkabouts.

But, tis true, and nonetheless, the act which followed world-class. Lead singer and dancer Zolani Mahola pranced back and forth, barefoot, and singing from her non-Potbelly in English and Xhosa to a refreshing amount of applause from a completely varied crowd. Varied, that is, in terms of both their pigmentation and overall response. There were people standing, jumping, screaming, dancing, holding their girlfriends, holding their girlfriends on their shoulders, yawning (during the irregularly-timed encore about paedophiles), gnashing their teeth with both pleasure and pain, giving birth, swooping from the ceiling. Well. It seemed that way. Bit of everything, you understand.

Criticism from a jaded soul? No smoking in the venue. It’s kinda refreshing for non-smokers (and the abundance of kids — wouldn’t see that at a Metallica gig), but really burns the ‘baccer-heads.

Also, R150 for a ticket. Wow. Great show, and loads of Camps Bay soccer moms, but what about the common train lovers? (see lyrics). Loads of comps in circulation, tho. Next time, try a li’l harder and you’ll probably find one.

Too-tight security meant the media had a three-song cutoff, and weren’t even allowed in during support act Adamu to get a feel for the guy’s ‘world music’ – whatever that means. Think Afro-jazz in a hammock, or something you’d play on the 51st floor to impress Zaire (Zairian?) corporates. But, all-in-all, a tight show which, like William Wallace, was professionally executed.

Anyhoo, we thought we’d bang out a few words, and leave the rest to the pics and vids. We follow Miss Mahola from her stagetop observation, “People ask us how we come up with profound lyrics like, “whoooaaaahoooooo” and “doo bee dooo”. Humble li’l soul, that. We’ll leave the talking for someone else.

Freshlyground Summer Tour – CT


Zolani holds national pride highly

Full house in Cape Town. Fully.

Sometimes, finding it means losing it.

A picture of success

Support act Adamu: visibly high on life

  • ? So, you wanna win Freshlyground tickets, huh?Hows about telling us the one reason that YOU, and NOBODY ELSE MUST have those tickets. We want blood! We want stories! We Want You!!!
  • More photos on our Facebook group! Come on, face it. ;)
  • Wanna ask the band something? Hit our Facebook group and post a question for the post-tour interview!
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