At 9:30 pm I showed up at Love Night Club in NE DC for P-Square’s (a well known Nigerian duo that has worked with major US artists like Akon and Rick Ross) performance. The promoter had said to arrive at 8 sharp, my ticket said 10. So I figured that my arrival time was a safe compromise.
It turned out to be too safe. The doors to the club did not open until after 11. Warm-up acts, who were resoundingly greeted with disappointment took to the stage at about 1am. The audience was quite fatigued, particularly the high heeled women, when the twin brothers Peter and Paul (P-Square) got on the stage at 2am.
The crowd perked up significantly, and the stars of the night delivered a decent performance. P-Square do not rank in the upper echelon of my favorite African performers, but it has been awhile since I’ve checked out a prominent Afrobeats star and P-Square are as prominent as it gets, so I felt like I should go. I became exposed to P-Square during my first trip to west Africa, in 2006, where I heard the mantra that is the inverse of the phrase I have used in the subject of this post (a reference to the long line). Regular readers will know my favorite Afrobeats act.
The brothers were decked out in vests that resembled a composite space suit, fishing vest, and shoulder pads of a football player (the cover for their album ‘The Invasion’ has them in a similar costume). The brothers concluded the show shirtless, one dived into the crowd a few times, and the other momentarily dropped his pants. A few lucky ladies left with hats, shirts, and shoes that the brothers had flung into the crowd.
All their major hits were played. ‘Personally‘, ‘Alingo‘ (my favorite), and ‘Forever‘ were particularly well received by the audience. One of the brothers, I never got it straight which was which, rapped Rick Ross’ verse from ‘Beautiful Onyinye’which I particularly enjoyed. There was also some guitar playing, drumming (they were backed by a band), and covers of songs by artists like 2face, Ashanti, and Usher.
One nice aspect of the things running us, was that I got to know the people next to me in the line. One was scheduled to run a 5k in the morning and stuck it out until P-Square’s 90 minute set concluded at 3:30 am. I found out then why the show had started so late – the club was to remain open until 6am. There were not many non-Africans present, but there were a large number of Ethiopians and east Africans (presumably celebrating the Ethiopian new year), which surprised me.