The 12 Best Concerts that Rocked Kenya in 2018

Let’s take a trip down through the year, as we fondly remember some of the best local and international acts who performed in various parts of the country.

  1. Africa Nouveau was among the first concerts of the year and it should have set standards for everything else to come. Categorizing it as just a concert is an injustice, as the correct term is a festival. The festival ran from the 2nd to 4th of February had an “AfroBubblegum” theme and was a true celebration of African innovation and creativity. Blinky Bill, Kwesta from SA and Suraj were some of the best acts. But there was a lot more to enjoy at the festival such as fashion and food. What made the festival one of our faves was how well they executed their vision. 

 2. In April, Kenyans had a chance to see Mr Eazi who came for the inaugural Hype Fest. Local names who took the stage included Otile Brown, Kaligraph Jones, Tunji, Timmy TDat and Crèmede la Crème. It was a well organized show that many fans were looking forward to. Ticket sales that were done in waves on events ticket selling platform, ticketsasa always sold out quickly and closed even before the day of the show. As far as the performances go; there were some underwhelming ones but it was great seeing Mr. Eazzi and his band on stage.

3. April was a good month.At the end of the month we got to host a big international act Rick Ross was brought in by new Kenyan radio station NRG for their #NRGWAVE party on the 28thof April. Rick Ross being the boss that he is certainly shut the house down RICK ROSS  IN NAIROBI Camp Mulla also got together for the show.

4. As a country we love our Jamaican musicians and we can’t think of few that are loved more than Chronixx. The “Skankin Sweet” singer had to have Nairobi on his ‘Chronology Word Tour’. He performed to an eager crowd at KICC on 21st of July. Kenyan Vibe’s Maxwell Nyota had this to say about the show; “The crowd was so in tune with his lyrics that you could see the delight on his face. He did command the Nairobi crowd like a master puppeteer in a circus. Chronixx left Sunday night headed to Jamaica but he did leave a lasting impression.”

5. The Terminal Music Weekend in August was also a big hit, despite debates on “washed up” international artists coming to Kenya more frequently than those topping charts at the moment. This two day event had a Grown and Sexy line upon Friday with Habida Moloney, June Gachui, Sage, Keri Hilson, Bobby V andHorace Brown shared the stage. The Saturday show was dubbed “UK Grime meets Kenyan Hip Hop”. KhaligraphJones, Steph Kapela, Kagwe Mungai, Barak Jacuzzi, WSTRN, Big Shaq, and Big Tobz formed the star studded line up. The concert had an interesting and fun concept with the play on the word “terminal”. The idea was to bring people together from all over the world like an airport.

6. Come September, Redsan launched his album and brought Tiwa Savage and Demarcco out to support him. Tiwa Savage who has had a previous show in Kenya stole the show despite sound issues and a tour scandal that became evident afterwards. Wewouldn’t mind seeing more of Tiwa in 2019. Maybe even a Tiwa and Wizkid event?

7. Heroes Day 2018 was a treat. We got to chose between seeing Tarrus Riley at KICC or Burna Boy at Uhuru Gardens; and for some daring energetic fans even attended both. Tarrus’ event has been sited by a number of people as their best show of the year. If you went for the concert you saw just how huge the turn out was. He also put on an impeccable show. Thrift Social brought Burna Boy who had a love hate relationship with Kenyans after some tweets also had a great turn out. 

8. Nakuru got to host Wizkid at Afraha Stadium for Katika Festival on the 3rd of November. Although not much can be said about the event itself, having a show in another city was a good idea.

9. The same November weekend was the 10th year anniversary for Blankets and Wine which was a culmination of the Kenyan music scene in the last decade. “The event curated an all-Kenyan lineup to reiterate the bond and strides they have experienced together in the last decade of throwing down bomb-ass parties in Nairobi and the region.” As usual, we gave y’all a proper low down here . 

10. Jameson Connects Kenya also makes the list. This year they had a triple threat mix of international rappers and singers. Stefflon Don, Bas and Desiigner thrilled thousands of fans at the Waterfront in Karen. It was no surprise that the show sold out. Desiigner Steals The Show At Jameson Connects Concert – WATCH 

11. Special mentions to some dope jazz shows this year too. We got to see Somi Live In Nairobi and Safaricom Jazz with Dianne Reeves

12. Bars like newly renovated J’s Fresh Kitchen and Bar also continued to bring their Thursday Nite Live at J’s with big names such as Aaron Rimbui, Kidum, Sage, Eddy Grey, Kaz and many more  who tore the roof down. 

As we inch closer to the New Year; the Wasafi Festival is one other event we shall be highly anticipating. Diamond Platnumz To Rock Nairobi At The Wasafi Festival

Did you get to see some of your favourite musicians live this 2018? Who did it for you? 

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