Review: Lira Owns the Stage at Kirstenbosch

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Lira performed at Kirstenbosch Summer Concert Series 2011Swirling Cape Town wind on Saturday made for a spectacular Sunday, weather wise. Cars queued patiently to park, with many people having to make a bit of a trek to the concert lawn itself.  Note to self:  “Get there early for good parking!” Not that I minded the walking distance… but more than once during the winding uphill slog I considered surfing the heavy cooler box down the nearest grassy embankment.

I hadn’t been to Kirstenbosch since Goldfish and Dr Victor played the 2008 New Year’s Eve gig. That’s way too long for me not to have visited. The Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts are the perfect antidote to the Sunday Blues that so many of us succumb to at the end of the weekend. This performance of Lira’s was the third concert in the series of 19 Summer Sunset Concerts which will take us right through to March 2012.

It must be such a unique experience for an artist to perform in such a spectacular setting. The   mountain is a dominating back drop to a foreground of one of the most beautiful gardens in the world.  Top this with a luxurious African sunset and it’s an experience not soon forgotten, both for audience and performers. Indeed Lira described Kirstenbosch as her favourite venue – not a bad compliment from someone who has performed all over the world.

And Lira is a great crowd pleaser, engaging with her audience and getting them cheering and gyrating. Lira’s slender frame twirled with the music and got everybody dancing while the kids bolted and tumbled amongst the child minders in the special kids play area. Track after track flowed as the sun sank lower in the sky, with particular highlights being her award winning hits such as ‘Feel Good’ and ‘Soul in Mind’.  Her versatility was showed off to good effect by a fabulous rendition of Sade’s ‘Sweetest Taboo’ which got the whole crowd singing and swaying. What’s that sound I hear? Ka Ching! It’s the sound of me scoring brownie points from my girlfriend who accompanied me to the concert.

We want more! the crowd chanted as Lira made her way off the stage, and sure enough she returned to perform a medley of Mariam Makeba hits. A magical way to end the weekend. It’s gonna be a great week ahead.

Minolin Vadivelu

Lira performed at Kirstenbosch Summer Concert Series on 4 December 2011.

If you liked this review, read our review of Freshlyground at Kirstenbosch.

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