AFRO-SOUL sensation Nathi brought the house down at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg, East Rand, during his performance on Friday night.
This was at the monthly Ekurhuleni Comes Alive music show co-sponsored by Sowetan newspaper.
Though Nathi performed just five songs from his only album Buyelekhaya the excitement by his mostly female fans was immeasurable. Normally the security men in suits at the venue need just to stand there to keep order.
However on Friday their hands were full keeping the frenzied ladies – all holding up smartphones in their hands – away from the stage.
With his band already on stage, Nathi tried to keep his cool with last minute posing for pictures with fans in the easily accessible backstage. He admitted to the Sowetan that he was feeling nervous because the massive conference room, The Terminal, was packed.
“There are too many people in there my brother, I feel nervous,” he said with his known shy gaze intact.
Though the audience waited all 15 minutes for him to join his band on stage, due to technical glitches, the hall erupted with joy when the pint-sized chartbuster finally jumped onto the stage.
The harmony he kept with his young band, more so with the backing vocalists, showed that they take performing live seriously as they really practised hard for the show.
Nathi ceded half of his allocated time to his associate Vusi Nova, who lapped up the frenzied atmosphere.
Judging by the sing-alongs from the ladies who remained at the edges of the stage, still holding up their phones, Vusi Nova also has reasonable following though he tried too hard to please.
Nathi later returned to bring the curtain down with spirited delivery of his two hit songs, Buyelekhaya and Nomvula. I felt it was not enough but the fans were pleased with the five songs by him.
Earlier, unrecorded Ayanda Khumalo warmed the stage doing her own versions of old classics by legends including Hugh Masekela and Boom Shaka. The daughter of queen of song Sibongile Khumalo has a bright future in music in her own right, given her attributes as a vocalist and bubbly personality.
Midway the evening veteran guitar man Poy Poy Makhubela thrilled with his township jazz style, showing so much comfort and control throughout. After years as senior member of Don Laka band, Makhubela easily oozes confidence and command. He did very well.