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Ekip's Concert Review: No Bias, No Bull

By Haitianbeatz

The second incarnation of the band Ekip occurred in Boston last Saturday March 2nd. The band celebrated the release of their second studio album with a special headlining performance in Boston. Their set lit up the Ocean’s Side (formerly Wonderland Ballroom) stage on Saturday night (March 2nd), offering fans their first chance to hear their latest tracks in a live setting.

 I stood on the side of the stage, leading to the dressing room, the event's horizon, my body portrayed physical security to those surrounding me. a perfect location from which to capture everything, the public and the stage. The perfect angle to watch the faces of the fans as they melted into the fierce wall of noise and bodies, as the lights dimmed and the crowd roared, the walls closed in, the suspense is building…the anticipation is getting stronger.  The expectation of a banger opening did not materialize. The band did not meet the expectation of a stellar introduction that the public was expecting, they came out flat…as lead singer Steve Khe strolled the stage to the sound of MAKIYE mizè’w.

 With a. short pause the show kicked off.   The band was too ordinary. Since it was the re-introduction of the band and the release of a new album, I had expected the band to narrate a short explanation of each new songs of the album before they played them. It is the norm in almost every industry. I very occasionally found my interest in the music because I could not identify which song they were playing right away. The amount of time Shabba dedicated to shout-outs, half could have been used to better sell the album. Not once did he tell the audience watching from home to go purchase the album. It seems like the main goal of the band was to prove that they can play songs from the new album live, rather than preparing a live show for the new songs. The band failed to really sell those talented musicians.  This task belongs to the lead singers, but both seemed to be more concentrated on themselves than the whole band.  The chemistry between the musicians was really lacking.

 A highlight of the night was when Kenny Haiti joined the band. The energy was raw, the emotions were real and validated by the audience, and the playing was tight. 

Although many may view Steve Khe as an artist on the rise, however has already proven his vocal capability as one of the lead singer and versatile artist of Djakout #1. Since first making his mark in Djakout, he was already viewed as one of the best soul vocalists in the HMI.

 D Perfect appeared to be focusing more in performing to impress his wife who was in the audience, more than the audience at large, joking more about his new baby and his “madan marye”. You spend most of your time with wifey at home. This is the moment for your fans. He has improved a lot, in term of  being more comfortable on the stage. He displayed more command of the mic.  Howerver, the presence of his wife created some kind of uneasiness or nervousness, like he was under pressure to not let her down. Not once did he interact with his fellow lead singer, Steve or his fellow musicians.

The other real high point came when Bedjine joined the band on stage. The beautiful singer drew screams from the crowd as she joined Shabba in “Separasyon”. In my head, still trying to adequately process the perfection of it all.  Based on fans reactions, unfortunately, they did not think she delivered as they were expecting her to. The song was good. However, I kept waiting for that big moment that never came.  When performing a duet, you are supposed to feel and see the emotion between both singers being displayed, at times Bedjine would turn towards Shabba to display her emotions in the lyrics, it seems like Shabba was taken aback. He seems very distanced awkward. Bedjine also seems too overexcite, a bit out of breath. her ability to crank out hit after hit, her live shows have seen their fair share of flops.

The band did not play any cover songs, which would have been easy additions to the set list. Because of this, the audience ultimately left feeling dissatisfied. They wanted to sing and dance to song they are familiar with. A medly to some of Shabba’s past hits could have set the ballroom on fire.

Under the production of Classic 1804 and Audatrix productions, a very packed Ocean’s Side, with fans and industry insiders flying from all over to show their support: Eddy Bazile, Fito Farinen, Lesly Lagredelle, Joel Antoine ESQ, HMI influencers, Ancy from Chloe’s, KPS, Kel Afèr and many others. Different media personalities: Guy Wewe, Wilfrid, Kit Kat, Ti Will from Le Ton magazine. The night was hosted by well-known journalist, Carel Pedre.

The band, under the direction of Shabba, played reasonably well beside my imperfect moments. This was a challenging moment for Shabba, this was the first time, he and the rest of the band were playing the albumin a live setting, but they were able to bring out their spirit with a good performance. Throughout the band’s performance, members of the audience were nodding their heads, tapping their feet, and singing some of their favorite songs.

For the very first live performance since the release of this new album, it was a great experience. It really displayed the talent at of the musicians and how many people enjoy the album.  Everyone was really happy, and this performance brought the musicians and audience together. It was an exciting and fun performance by the band, that showed what is yet to come!

Congratulations to the Ekip  or this great performance and welcome back!

I report, you decide.






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