The electricity in the FNB Stadium for the superstar-studded Global Citizen concert was palpable. It crackled and whistled and manifested in circling Mexican waves and roars from the crowd as a series of incredible local and international acts took to the stage.
MC, Trevor Noah, did a superb job of keeping the audience laughing, screaming and learning. It couldn’t have been an easy job with the steady flow of speakers between acts – activists, presidents, stars, entrepreneurs, children: you name it, they were there. And each one (well, most) had important things to say and, most fabulously, many had vast quantities of money to push into the causes.
You see, the Global Citizen concert was not just about gathering together to enjoy incredible music, it was for a cause: the aim to eradicate extreme poverty. Many of the innumerable factors that feed into poverty were spotlighted, and billions of dollars from around the world was pledged.
The music: local and international acts lit up the stage and the crowd was ecstatic. Collaborations abounded, like Black Coffee and Usher who, upon surprising the crowd with the gwaragawara (a popular South African dance), elicited screams of adoration that were probably heard 20 km away; Eddie Vedder and the Soweto Gospel Choir; and many others… it was a smorgasbord.
With a line-up like that, it’s impossible to pull out one favourite amongst so many powerful performances. Judging by audience reaction, Beyoncé was certainly the superstar of the show, and she absolutely rocked it. Sho Madjozi, too, seriously lit up the stage, her spark sending crackles of electricity through the stadium. Her outfit matched her energy and she wasn’t the only one.
The art on show was not just music, it was fashion, too, both on the stars and in the crowd. The coolest of Joburg’s cool were out in full force!