Tag Archives: Johannesburg

Why I like Passenger

25 Feb

Let’s get this out of the way to start off with: I never really listened to Passenger more than what I happened to hear on radio. So that’s basically 2 songs.

When I heard that the man was scheduled to come to South Africa, I did a bit of homework by watching some of his videos. this taught me 2 things:
1. He likes going places. Seriously, have you seen in how many music videos he is walking somewhere?
2. I kinda like his tunes.

Now, to fast forward from there to the show, I have to include my friend Jose Cuervo. He invited me to have some tequilas and go check out the Passenger gig at Zoo Lake in Joburg. I said yes, because Tequila. (You won’t easily hear me saying no to anything that involves some Cuervo). I arrived at Zoo Lake with my lovely friend Jaxy. She was just too amped for the show, seeing as she is a die hard Passenger fan. I had to calm her down a bit, so we headed straight for the Cuervo container. Yes, container. It’s a bar, built into a shipping container, with a deck on top and awesome people all around. A few shots later, opening acts playing and new friends made,  we found some shade and chilled a bit. It was hot, and the icy Cuervo margaritas were flowing rapidly.

Then Passenger took to the stage.

His first little joke was aimed right at me. Something about people expecting a band and then one dude rocks up on stage with just a guitar and tight jeans. I ignored the tight jeans part, but proceeded to pre-judge an international act for touring with just a guitar and a stomp box. How dare he. Why should people have to pay to see one man when he could very easily have had a band? How is he ever going to fill up the massive stage and… and… “wait a minute. This guy is kinda good”.
Yup, from the moment he strummed the first cords and started singing poetry, I felt the urge to apologise to him for my previous train of thought.

Passenger was absolutely brilliant. The man is an entertaining, profound lyricist with an awesome sense of humour. He knows just how to engage a crowd 100% of the time. Some story telling between songs, but not too much. A joke here and there, but not wannabe stand-up, and the perfect songs for the vibe of the day.

I love the man’s social commentary on things like racism, the entertainment industry and even relationships.
I always say that if you walk out of a show a bigger fan than you walked in, it was a good show. By this logic, the Passenger show was one helluva epic gig! My only wish would be that radio stations would start playing more than just two of his songs.

Jaxy is prettier than meThanks for a delightful day Jose! You guys are legends. And Jaxy, thank you for showing me how much a true music lover can still enjoy a live gig. You echoed Passenger’s sentiment perfectly by immersing yourself into the event, and not into a little screen.


Here’s a video that Passenger made while in South Africa

How the Foo Fighters ruined my life

17 Dec

Why am I writing about Foo Fighters now?  I mean, it’s been 4 days since they blew minds and rocked worlds in Johannesburg. Surely, I should have said something earlier…

Well, one reason would be that I was busy. More so, I was dead. Seriously, after the weekend my body just didn’t want to do anything other than meditate on the awesomeness that I experienced. The main reason however, was that I didn’t want to write just another hyped up piece while the foo-drenaline still surged through my body. It would have been too subjective.

Christelle Duvenhage - Foo Fighters 01Now, with a mostly clear mind, I can share with you how the Foo Fighters ruined my life.

Wait, what? That’s a bit harsh I hear you say. Well, let’s start from the beginning.

Making the trip to the show with High Five Party Bus was one of the best decisions I could have made. Starting out with a drink or 2 at Aandklas with 400 other Foo Fans and then bussing to Thatchers in Lonehill to have the official pre-Foo-party, was great fun.. The Barbosa Experience warmed us all up even more than the Cuervo on the bus already did, rocking some awesome party tunes and teasing us with a few Foo Fighters songs.

Back on the bus, heading to Soccer City, or FNB Stadium, or whatever it is you want to call it, I sat back and tried to imagine what the rest of the night would be like. I knew that I had to make sure to miss BLK JKS if I wanted to keep my good vibe going. I was still willing to give them another chance, until my friends that went to the Cape Town show told me they were as shit as always. I knew that I would be willing to tolerate Kaiser Chiefs before the real show. I planned on sitting somewhere while they played just so I could get a good standing spot after that.
I knew that I would like Foo Fighters.

I was obviously wrong on quite a few levels.

Christelle Duvenhage - Kaiser Chiefs 01

BLK JKS ignored, I went into the stadium, found a few friends, a few beers and -much to my surprise- a new respect for Kaiser Chiefs. Seriously, and take this as my official apology to Rick Wilson and friends, they were brilliant! As tight as my month-end budget and entertaining in a way that can only be described as truckloads full of fun, I loved their show a LOT. There was a moment in their set where things took a bit of a dip, but I blame this purely on me not knowing the songs, seeing as I have been a bit dismissive towards the band. The show was made even better by the random hot blonde next to me gyrating her way through every song like she owned it. Thank you random blonde, you were sexy.

Then, before I knew it, The Big Moment was upon us. Much quicker than I expected (big bands have this tendency to take 3 days to set-up before taking to the stage after the band before them. Not the Foo. The Foo is awesome).

Now, here I have to interrupt myself with a bit of a disclaimer. If you expect to read here which songs they did when, and some intelligent critique on the set-list or such, go read elsewhere. I don’t understand how anyone could even manage to keep track of that while whole-heartedly being IN the spirit of the moment. Which is where I was. The music took me, and it took me hard.

Christelle Duvenhage - Foo Fighters 02Everything about the show was brilliant. Sure, here and there I would have loved to have the vocals a bit up in the mix, but hey, they crowd-choir made up for that. The visuals were cool, the sound was good, props on the stage were non-existent. *GASP* A band with no fire works and confetti cannons and rotating stages and hula dancers or whatever?? This, ladies and gentlemen, is the pure musical essence of the Foo Fighters. Sure, theatrics are nice, but if your music encapsulates an audience in the way the Foo Fighters’ music does, who needs all that shit? It is rock and roll, stripped to the bone and rocking you from the inside out.

Christelle Duvenhage - Foo Fighters 03Now, I know some people have stated that it is the Dave Grohl and Backing Band show. Those people are wrong.
Sure, Pat SmearNate Mendel and Chris Shiflett are not really all over the scene doing crazy stunts, but they are a good, solid and integral part of what matters most in the band: The Music.
This is where I get to say that I have a new Foo-HeroTaylor Hawkins.
Is he the best drummer in the world? Nope. Is he the most talented backing vocalist in the music industry? Quite probably not… Is he the perfect package to compliment Dave Grohl’s ecstatic stage presence? Hell yes! Even more than that, it’s like he brings a certain depth to the performance that would not have been there had he been missing.
So, in the words of Dave Grohl:
I think you’re pretty good Taylor Hawkins, plus you’re fucking cute.

Christelle Duvenhage - Foo Fighters 05

Speaking of Dave, as one has to when discussing the Foo Fighters, this man is every bit as awesome as I imagined, and more. The way he ran up and down the stage, you would not for a moment say that he is 45 years old. But as energetic and witty as his performance might have been, it all faded to darkness when compared to the sheer brilliance of his musical performance. It’s been 20 years, and he still sounds excited to do the songs we like, and do it well.

One moment, the Foo Fighters took to the stage, the next a brief glance to my phone told me it was already an hour into the set. 10 minutes later they finished their close to 3 hour long show. I lost track of time, reality and myself. I fear that I don’t know what to look forward to in life any more. Sure, I may see the Foo Fighters again, but never again for the first time. I am experiencing severe post-Foo depression. What else can I highly anticipate now to make my life a better place? Nothing much, I tell you… So that’s how the Foo Fighters ruined my life, and I am thankful for it in every possible way.


All the show-pictures in this piece was used with the permission of the gloriously talented Christelle Duvenhage. Check out her photos, you will love it, guaranteed. Just click on any of the pics, it will take you where you need to be 😉

Christelle Duvenhage - Kaiser Chiefs 02

RAMfest: The post you shouldn’t read

25 Feb

RAMfest HeaderThe internet is flooded with a plethora of awesome posts about RAMFest 2014.
Music/entertainment bloggers, musicians, promoters, fans… all are cRAMming visions of awesomeness and great expectations down your digital throats. Everywhere you turn there’s a picture, a reminder of the fest.

And if you’re not going, it is probably the last thing you want to see.
So seriously, if you are not going to RAMfest, do not read the rest of this post, coz you will hate me, and that will suck.

RAMfest Joburg line-upYou see, I am now going to tell you about the 3 things I personally look forward to most about RAMfest, aside from what everyone else will have told you a million times by now. I mean, of course I look forward to the music, I mean, seriously, have you even SEEN the line-up?
It’s also obvious that I can’t wait to party my tits off with all the awesome people (which by now, if you were obedient earlier, includes you).

But what is it that I believe sets this fest apart from most other, especially when it comes to things you might not even think of?
Read on, and I’ll tell you what I think. Feel free to add on your opinion, as I am by far not informed enough to know everything:

    After every year, people love to flap their lips (coz everyone is an expert)… To be honest, I have done that in the past. I have ranted about the sound and made some very specific suggestions in the years gone by (seeing as I am a bit of an opinionated arse). Guess what, RAMfest listened. Now I’m not saying that the sound fills in the front of the stage is BECAUSE they read my rants, but I still like to think I made it happen. Toilets have been bitched about, the year thereafter the lav-situation was sorted. Food stalls have been criticized… and yes, the year after that you had more to eat and choose from than even I could get to.
  • RAMfest GROWS
    I don’t only mean in numbers, but in quality. Better bands, better stages, better sound, more, bigger, longer… And I cannot see any reason why they will ever stop. They are, in fact playing an essential part in GROWING the music culture in South Africa, and for that we all owe them a massive hi5 and a few shots.
    The festival, and it’s organisers, have been the targets of much publicised criticism and attacks from various avenues. From preachers to neighbours and other unenlightened people. Yet, through all of this, they treat even the complainers with respect. More than that, they respect the people who go to the fest. In my personal experience, I have never seen them be rude to stupid people who ask stupid questions. They never think that they are better than anyone who attends. In fact, as a media-ish person, it has ALWAYS been a pleasure working with them. 

RAMfest 2014Now, I am not saying that they are the only people who do the above, but in an industry where so many venues and/or organisers do not do the above, I find it truly exceptional that they constantly maintain the above, and even though 2014’s events haven’t even happened yet, I already look forward to 2015 and further on…

OK, if you are a little rebel, and read this post even though you thought you are not going to go to RAMfest, I bet you might want to make a plan now. So head on over to www.ramfest.co.za and book your tickets before it is too late…

See you there! If I’m not at the stage, I’ll be at the bar 😉

%d bloggers like this: