As the Australian sun dipped below the horizon last Sunday, a different kind of heat was firing up within The Hordern Pavilion in Sydney. The night was young, and the air was thick with anticipation - or maybe it was just the lingering scent of pre-show fast food – either way, excitement was in the air.
The night kicked off with the Australian neo-soul gem, Kaiit. With her heart-soothing, feel-good melodies, she was the calm before the storm, the butter on our pre-show bread, the... well, you get the picture. With monster tracks like "OG Love Kush (1 and 2!)," "Miss Shiney," and "Natural Woman" amongst others, she didn’t just warm up the stage; she created a vibe that was as warm and inviting as a grandma’s hug, yet cool enough to be the backdrop of a trendy coffee shop. The
synergy with her band was nothing short of a romance, a beautiful prelude to the wild musical affair that awaited us.
Then came the maestro known as Masego. Bursting onto the scene to the electrifying beats of "Navajo," he didn’t just break the ice; he shattered it, melted the fragments, and perhaps even crafted a few ice sculptures before blasting them into oblivion with his saxophone. The crowd transformed from a gathering of well-behaved concert-goers to a sea of dancing, singing, screaming Masego enthusiasts.
Masego segued between tracks so effortlessly through the night, performing hits like "Mystery Lady,” “Sides of Me," and "Silver Tongue Devil,” each track weaving a new layer into the night’s musical tapestry. At some point he even gave a nod to his home country, Jamaica, right before taking us to South Africa with “Yebo/Sema”.
His rapport with the crowd was like watching a seasoned conductor with a wild, unyielding orchestra. His call-and-response antics were not just heard; they were felt in every nook and cranny of the Pavilion. In typical Masego fashion, he had roses flying into the audience during his performance of “Mystery Lady," making the ladies (and possibly some gents) swoon. He even had an actual yam in his hands while he performed “Yamz”. The moment he beckoned the crowd to shout random words for a freestyle, however, was definitely a highlight for many fans in the audience. The humorous way he interacted with people to get the right words and bring everyone into the process with him was nothing short of amazing.
The lighting seemed to have its own heartbeat, pulsating fervently with each instrumental solo. When Masego shredded the keyboard, the lights pranced about like they were trying to keep up with his nimble fingers. And the drum solo, oh, the drum solo - it was like watching a rhythmic fireworks display but with beats that hit you right in the chest. The drummer, one of only two band members on stage with Masego (the other his guitarist) had the audience entranced for the entire
duration of that solo.
Now, about the musical genius of Masego – it’s one thing to stream his tracks on Spotify, but live, the man unveiled a musical narrative with a charisma, coolness, and confidence that commanded the stage. His vocal prowess intertwined with his instrumental wizardry, creating a spell that left everyone in a state of rhythmic euphoria.
As the night neared its end post "King's Rant," Masego teased the audience with a pseudo exit, only to return with the iconic notes of "Tadow." It was the cherry on top, the encore that sent waves of euphoria across the Pavilion, ensuring that this musical ride was etched in our memories. A sweet echo of a night where music bridged souls, and Sydney got a taste of musical magic.