Review: Edmonton’s “Sunday Funday” with Akon, Karl Wolf & Peter Jackson
Edmonton, AB – It takes a lot to get this girl out on a Sunday night – that 6:00 a.m. alarm is all kinds of painful. However when word broke that Nightshift Entertainment and Evan T. Rutherford Events booked Akon for Sept. 13 – I made the exception and headed to Union Hall for the show.
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t on my A-game that evening and didn’t make it to the venue until after 11:00 p.m. That being said I missed the beginning of the local opening acts but managed to catch the sets for Muta Mouraine and Dizzy (with Cursive and John Dough). Here I am, always preaching that our city needs to give our locals more support… and I show up late. The good news was that by the time I arrived, the venue was already packed! An early turnout rarely happens [at club shows] and it was great to see such a solid turnout for the local artists. Well done Edmonton. As for me, I’ll get it together next time (do I get a pass or nah?).
Photo: Todd Williamson/Associated Press (Los Angeles)
As the night continued on with DJ TNT and Hypasonic on the decks – the more I started to care less and less about how early I had to get up on Monday. Dope music, good crowd, good vibes – you can’t go wrong with that equation.
Akon was joined by two special guests that night. Our boys Karl Wolf and Peter Jackson were in the building, along with the members of Karl’s new collective B.A.E. (Be All Equal).
When Karl opened his set with “Africa” (a personal favourite of mine) I could feel the nostalgia in the air. The Montreal-based singer has been on the scene for a minute – I remember bumpin’ to “Africa” back in ’08 and it still sounds just as good today. I’m also not ashamed to claim that “Ghetto Love” is my jam.
Peter Jackson eventually joined Karl on stage for a few songs, including [Peter’s] new single “One in A Million”. We at HipHopCanada love us some Peter Jackson and that night I finally had the chance to see him perform live.
Show Stephens and Brenda Mullen were next to hit the stage [with Karl] for their Edmonton-debut of B.A.E.. Earlier this year the three Canadian artists joined forces to create the group and inked a worldwide deal with Armada Music. Not a bad start, I must say. Being that the trio is still new [to me] I wasn’t familiar with their catalogue, but their collective sound was mint. Especially when they broke into an acapella cover of Fetty Wap’s “My Way.”
On to the headliner. Akon is one of those artists who just make you feel good. Really though – name one Akon song that doesn’t either: A) Make you get up and dance or B) get you in the sheets, if you know what I’m saying. If you’ve read my reviews before, then you know I’m all about consistency, Akon is one that has stayed above and beyond his game for the last decade. 40 million albums sold worldwide, 45 Billboard Hot 100 records and collaborations with over 300 artists. Mind you, that’s just to date.
With all that said, Akon had the whole club going up on a Sunday. Sporting all white with gold jewelry, Akon smashed hit after hit. He could have done a medley of his features alone and he still would have received the same reaction. Speaking of features – “Sweetest Girl” (Wyclef), “Sexy Chick” (David Guetta), “Danza Kuduro” (Don Omar) and “I Just Has Sex” (Lonely Island) were among a few. Yes, that’s right, Akon performed “I Just Had Sex” and it was hilarious.
Despite catching him lip sync from time to time, Akon had put on a lively and fun performance throughout. Not mention, his DJ was (dare I say it) on fleek! This was the hype man of all hype men; running back and forth from the decks to the front of the stage, backing Akon up with mic in hand. At one point the two were side by side in a full out chorus, hyping up the crowd. If it were anyone one else, it would be a little questionable, but that’s what Akon’s music does to you.
For the next hour he took everyone back to the days when Convict Music ruled the radio and the clubs. “So Paid”, “Smack That”, “I Wanna Love You”, “Locked Up”, the list goes on. From the floor to the balcony, Akon had everyone on their feet and vibing.
At the end of the show Akon took the opportunity to promote his new five-project album Stadium, which can be found on his website. With the multi-cultural reach that he has, the numbers are sure to be a success.
Normally I don’t reiterate on what happens after the show, but I’m going to this time: A Meet & Greet was scheduled directly after the show, where fans could pose for a picture with Akon. While meet and greet tickets are generally tough on the wallet, fans still lined up and waited eagerly for their photo opps. When I think of it now, it really isn’t all that surprising the meet and greet was such as zoo. From Akon’s music to his efforts as a humanitarian, why wouldn’t you want to be in his presence? Like I said, Akon is that guy that just makes you feel good, and brought a whole new meaning to “Sunday Funday.”
The early morning Monday morning was worth it.
Written by Rosa Jason for HipHopCanada
Twitter: @Akon | @BAEtheArtist | @KARLWOLFs | @PeterJackson905
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