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Concert Report: Stonebwoy in Hamburg, Germany @ Docks 2023

10/23/2023 by Gardy Stein

Concert Report: Stonebwoy in Hamburg, Germany @ Docks 2023

Bhim Nation inna Hamburg city!

Livingstone Etse Satekla aka Stonebwoy stopped over at the Docks on his current 5th Dimension Tour – and what a memorable stop it was! Long before doors open, a crowd of people had gathered at the location's entrance, patiently waiting to be let in. Ghana represented most strongly among the visitors, as Hamburg has a sizeable diaspora of 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation Ghanaians, and many of them were here tonight, looking their best, to show some love for the artist from their land of origin.

By 11pm, the place is full (almost sold out, we are told), and people are grabbing drinks, greeting friends or dancing away to the warmup played by Shutdownboyz and DJ Cat. Actually, "warmup" is the wrong term here, because the crowd was on fire from the very first moment. When support act Kofi opens the stage around midnight, the front rows fervently sing along to his song Impatient (especially after he climbs down from the stage to sing among them), and Manlike Stunna continues the vibez, supported by dancer Spaceboi Rich.

"If you see me, you know that the King of Afro-Dancehall is ready. Let me hear you say Stonebwoy! Let me hear you say Bhim! Bhim!" To increasing volumes of screams and shouts, Ogee The MC asks for lighters to welcome the main act of the night, and, backed by UK's DJ OV, the man himself finally enters stage at 00:45am. Stonebwoy deya! Dressed in lavender sweater, sunglasses and cap (all three of which he will take off before the show ends) as well as loose-fit jeans, he chose Kpo K3k3 as intro song, dynamically moving around on stage. This powerful start is interrupted by a moment of shock when the artist trips and falls, but he gets up again immediately, signaling to the crowd that he's fine.

With songs like Everlasting, Mane Me, Sobolo, Nominate or Most Original, Stonebwoy touches on some well-known hits, but the main focus of the night (not only sonically, but with some impressive visuals, too) lies on his new album 5th Dimension, released in April this year. Thus, More Of You, Far Away and especially Life & Money get a big forward, and at the end of the latter, he sings acapella with the audience: "I just want to see my people make money, and make this life be a happy place." Goosebumps!

The subsequent My Sound is a fine demonstration of the artist's versatility and the pure energy he commands, as he demonstrates what his Afro-Dancehall is all about. Before he starts Therapy, he addresses his fellow Ghanaians in their mother tongue Twi, a language that belongs to the Akan group which is the main language cluster in the West-African country, spoken by around 10 million people. Switching to English again, he then delivers Secret Lover, asking all the ladies who have a secret lover to shout "Eeheeh" and all men to say "Brrr!".

"Hamburg, I love the turnout!"
Stonebwoy beams, "You know I bring you Reggae and Dancehall from Africa, and I welcome all lovers of Afrobeats, Afro-Dancehall and Reggae. Bhim!" Thus introducing the next segment of the show, he energetically jumps into a medley of older songs light Mightelele (2015), Problem (2016) or Bhim Nation and Baafirra (from his 2014 album Necessary Evil), all of which get a huge response from his fans, most of which sing along word for word. "Lalalililaloo!" The place goes maddd once more during the 2015 anthem Go Higher which is a fine example of Stonebwoy's unique blend of Ghanaian Pidgin and Jamaican Patois.

"I wanna sing for somebody!" the artist then says, inviting some ladies on stage. While they enter through the backstage, he addresses the women in the place thus: "You know I respect women! Big respect to all my ladies, I don't want you to ever feel inferior about yourself, I want you to be proud of yourself! All of my sexy ladies let me hear you say aha!" "Ahaaaaa!" By now, four African sisters have arrived and dance to the sweet notes of In Control. Obviously, one of them is celebrating her birthday today, as Stonebwoy repeatedly says "Happy Birthday!" and dances with them – a once-in-a-lifetime moment for real!

After this calmer passage, the fire is lit once more with the Davido-combination Activate, again fervently sang along to, as is the following Into The Future. During this vibrant song, fellow artist That Guy Mielli enters the stage, first singing along with Stonebwoy, then jumping into a lively choreo with him, to wild cheers by the crowd. What a vibe!

For the final Putuu, Manlike Stunna is back on stage to ignite the dancing fever further, and Stonebwoy shows that he is not only a great singer, but an excellent dancer as well. This memorable concert comes to a close with the internationally successful Apotheke (making me wonder how this very German word came to be used as song title), and at 2am, the Bhim Nation President waves his final goodbyes. The night is far from over, though, as DJs Stumble, Ali Gee and Boas keep the fire burning, and although some guests are leaving, those who stay enjoy the music to the maxxx.

A big shout-out to Amplify Kingsley, Blaq Stars and manager Kevin aka Uncle Kay for organizing the whole thing and bringing the one and only Stonebwoy to our city!