This Is What Davido’s ‘Timeless’ Concert In Lagos Looked Like
Written by ABR on 25/04/2023
From the beginning of his career, the spectacle of fascinating public performances has been a recurring motif of the Davido experience. Whether softly emoting through his romantic cuts at wedding ceremonies, leading vociferous renditions of his songs at his own shows, or running through breathless live interpretations of his evergreen hits at arena-sized venues, Davido has elevated the art of live performance across his 11-year stint at the top of afrobeats.
More than any other city in the world, Lagos has often been ground zero for the singer’s level-ups and innovations in terms of performance. Almost every year since his breakout has featured a highly-anticipated performance — usually in December — to deepen his connection with a home audience that has played a critical role in propelling him to global attention. Last year was a break from that norm due to the heartbreaking passing of his three-year-old son which necessitated a needed reprieve from his role as afropop’s premier starter, if only for a while.
The arrival of Davido’s fourth album, Timeless, at the end of March always meant that things were going to get kicked up a notch as Davido returned to public life. With a favourable public reaction to the album, the prospect of those lively Davido performances making a return was basically a foregone conclusion. Last Sunday, the Davido Timeless Event rolled into Lagos at the Tafawa Balewa Square with thousands of people coming to celebrate an artist who has provided countless moments of joy for them. Here are six highlights from Davido’s Lagos Timeless concert.
Lagos was delighted to see Davido’s comeback
It’s been a little over 18 months since Davido played a concert in Lagos and there was visible excitement in the days leading to the Timeless concert. That excitement translated to a sizable audience at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS). Despite the event beginning hours after its slated 2 P.M kick-off time, the streets around TBS were packed since afternoon as people came out to participate in the fanfare around Davido’s comeback. Once the event started, the biggest cheer went out for Davido, as he performed for over two hours with fans singing both old and new songs excitedly and responding to every cue from the DMW boss.
Davido.Photo: Chinonso Ihekire.
A world-class production
With the stakes for the Timeless Event being high, there was next to no chance that Davido would settle for a concert that wouldn’t live long in the memory. In a post made to social media, he promised to give a top-notch show. “To all my Fans and Friends, I’m looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow,” he said. “We have set the stage for a world class show like never before in the city of Lagos.”
That promise didn’t go unfulfilled as all stops were made to deliver a befitting event to his home audience. From the mammoth stage fitted with invisible screens that formed a replica of Lagos’ iconic National Theatre to well-defined sitting and standing areas as well as a sound system that worked without hitch, the time and preparation put into making this a successful production were on display. Save for ticketing issues, fans were able to enjoy live performances from Davido and his supporting cast.
A Timeless discography
Very few people can claim to have the discography that Davido has. The 30-year-old’s catalogue is stacked with songs of all kinds that cut across genres, moods, and feelings. His near-three hours-long performance on Sunday showed just about how deeply rooted in afrobeats history and culture Davido is with fans who are able to correctly follow every song from the opening second.. Tracks like “Dami Duro,” “Back When,” Gobe”, “Skelewu,” “Aye” and “FIA” got the crowd pumped up.
The show was also a true measure of how well-accepted the new album has come with the eager response of the crowd and how easily songs from Timeless synced with other songs from Davido’s previous eras. From opening his set with the emotional “LCND,” to having the crowd sing-along for “FEEL,” and closing out with the Musa Keys-featuring “UNAVAILABLE,” Davido showed the depths of a truly timeless discography built over 12 years.
Davido and Asake.Photo: Chinonso Ihekire.
An electrifying Asake cameo
In a night of great performances all around, YBNL star, Asake, still found a way to capture the public imagination and stand out. With Davido inviting guests from his Timeless album to share the stage with him during song performances, it didn’t take a long while for Davido to land on “NO COMPETITION,” his collab with Asake. Some of the loudest cheer of the night was reserved for when the “Sungba” singer bounced on stage to join Davido for his verse. Following that track, Asake performed two more of his own hits, “Joha” and “Terminator” to the absolute delight of a rapturous audience.
We got to see the new and old DMW
A fascinating subplot to the release of Timeless was the announcement that Davido would be refreshing the roster of his celebrated record label, DMW. As part of that announcement, fans were introduced to the talented acts expected to lead the second iteration of his label, Morravey and Logos Olorim, who made an appearance on Timeless on “IN THE GARDEN” and “PICASSO,” respectively.
Sunday’s Timeless Event was their big coming-out as they shared the stage with Davido for live renditions of their songs and offered a glimpse into the gifts that have them Davido’s hand-picked proteges. However, the success of Morravey and Logos Olori will undoubtedly build on the success of the DMW alumni who helped the label become of the most influential Nigerian record companies of the 2010s. Not one to pass up the opportunity to remind fans of that legacy, DMW alumni like Mayorkun and Peruzzi were on the ground to treat the audience to some of their old hits as well songs like “The Best” and “Majesty,” reminding concert-goers of the timeless music made during DMW’s earlier years.
An Adeleke family party
Time and time over, Davido has gone out of his way to show that family and friends are a central part of his life. So, it wasn’t a surprise to see members of the Adeleke family feature prominently at the Timeless Event. Davido’s cousins, B-Red and Sina Rambo, were given enough time to perform some of their songs while their father, Osun state governor, Ademola Jackson Adeleke, was given a moment of special recognition by Davido before the line dedicated to him on “OVER DEM”– “Who know say Uncle Demola go become governor”–was performed with aplomb to an audience that shouted the line right back at Davido.
Davido and Asake embrace.Photo: Chinonso Ihekire.