She came and she conquered. International music icon Nicki Minaj rocked the dome in Johannesburg on Thursday night, as part of her Pink Print Tour. The 17 000 plus crowd couldn’t get enough of her as she performed hits like Starship, Anaconda and Superbase.
This was my first concert in Joburg since moving here just over two years ago. I like Nicki’s music but won’t call myself a super fan. To be honest I didn’t know most of her songs (besides the ones that get major airtime on TV and Radio). My first impression when I got to the TicketPro dome was that every 16-year old living in Joburg was probably in attendance. Most of the girls dressed like mini-Nickis.
The opening act was local hip hop artist Casper Nyovest. He gave a sterling performance of international standards and got the crowd in the mood for Ms Minaj, who appeared on stage just after 9:30 pm.
From the get-go she had the audience eating from the palm of her hand, often engaging, sometimes testing our knowledge of her music. She was surprised at how well the crowd knew the lyrics to her songs, many from her first album that was released more than 6 years ago.
Minaj is a born performer. She knows how to entertain. The show didn’t have any spectacular visual effects and all the bravado that most international acts have during their performances these days. It was just Nicki, her band and some back-up dancers who made cameo appearances in certain songs. What was disappointing though, was that she didn’t dance much, something that is a key focus in many of her music videos. I was expecting more from her, but the back-up dancers didn’t disappoint in this regard (man, they can move!).
I enjoyed the show, which lasted just over an hour. Nicki was awesome and set the bar really high for other international acts coming to South Africa. I left the concert happy, unlike with Rihanna a few years ago (but that’s another story…).
Nicki Minaj will perform again at the TicketPro Dome on Friday 18 March, before heading for Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium on 20 March in Durban at Moses Mabhida and the GrandWest Arena in Cape Town on 22 March.