Multiple Grammy award-winning artist Usher rocked a capacity crowd at the Hansa Festival of Legends this weekend.
After a build-up of several hours which featured top, as well as budding local talent, the crowd of 30 000 was hungry for the international superstar to take the stage at Orlando Stadium in Soweto and he did not disappoint. In a show which featured pyrotechnics and several wardrobe changes, the American proved why he is one of the greatest entertainers and best-selling artists of all time with renditions of You Make Me Wanna, Yeah! and Let It Burn. The massive rig and cutting-edge sound technology provided the platform for his famously fleet-footed dance moves, which received roars of appreciation from the crowd. “Soweto, I’m gonna take ya’ll back with me,” Usher told the crowd.
Earlier, the crowd braved the midday heat and a thunderstorm to listen to emerging talent, Hansa’s Legends in the Making. The six winning acts, drawn from across South Africa and chosen after a four month long talent search, got the crowd jiving. Pretoria boys Ma’pakshop’s high energy hip-hop was followed by Mo Klaasik “going monkey “, bringing his Mafikeng brand of smooth hip hop to Soweto. Hailing from Johannesburg, the fresh, eclectic sounds of Mo and the Dark Knights, combined with the sexy moves of four back-up vocalists in red dresses wowed the crowd as they crooned “unchain my heart”. Port Elizabeth band Shoelace’ soulful lyrics were evident in their track ‘People of the South’ while Abdus represented for KwaZulu-Natal with his Zulu rap about life. Wrapping up the Hansa Legends in the Making was Cape Town’s Busi M, bringing her haunting dulcet tones to the stage – truly a songbird to watch.
Hansa Pilsener General Manager Mosidi Seretlo said she was excited about the future prospects of the Legends in the Making, following their awesome performance. “It’s been a journey and a half for them and getting them on stage before the eyes of South Africans has been the ultimate reward.” Seretlo said the acts had “grown in confidence” and had graduated “from stars in the making to stars”.
Emcee’s Mo Flava and Zeal from Club 808 and METRO FM respectively introduced the cream of SA’s musical talents, Gang of Instrumentals, Liquideep, L-Tido, Zakes Bantwini and Teargas with Oskido, Vigilante, Capital and DJ Tira on the decks, who warmed up the crowd before the main act.
“This campaign has been a year in the making and the Hansa team was proud to see it all come together,” Seretlo said after the concert. “Every one of the performers displayed their truly special ingredient to the thousands of fans who gathered for the Festival , and we’re so excited to watch them becoming our country’s future legends.”