Written by on September 30, 2018

Last night (Saturday, September 29th 2018) was a dream. #KennyLattimoreLIVE was not a concert; it was an intimate experience that transported love to the high heavens. Carnivore Grounds was the location, love the mission and language.

The night started off with a saxophone set by the genius Edward Parseen, who played and sang renditions of Joe, Teddy Pendergrass and, believe it or not, Kenya’s very own J. B. Maina! Imagine listening to a live saxophone version of his hit song Mwanake – Mr. Parseen did that! And that was one hell of a way to finish his set!

Kidum took the stage next, taking the crowd through his most loved hits for a little over 45 minutes. Before he did that however, the kissing cam found a pair of lovers that were all too happy to be at the #KennyLattimoreLIVE experience. The couple won themselves KES 5,000 worth of Safaricom airtime before Kidum transported them – and the rest of the crowd – through a 45 minute African love story topped off with dance. When he got to his hit Haturudi Nyuma, no single person stayed in their seat. Voices carried into the air as Kenyans sang along with Kidum and his band, and by the time he got to arguably one of his most popular songs Mapenzi, it was a wrap. We sang, we swayed, we waved and cheered, and finally Kidum finished his set with his rendition of Ekotite.

The evening’s hosts took the stage once more and challenged fans to volunteer for another kissing camera, with two couples winning themselves a bottle of Sky Vodka each, before our very own Nameless made a cameo and sampled a few of his well loved hits.

Next on stage was the BYSS crew, who took us through a beat boxing and RnB journey which was as engaging as it was entertaining. For half an hour, they had the crowd join them in making beats as they improvised lyrics, then went to mimicking 90s and early 2000s RnB music video trends. Personally, my highlight of their time on stage was their introduction of Kenny Lattimore, which was very reminiscent of Kenyan school poetry drama competitions.

Kenny Lattimore, the man we had all been waiting for, finally took the stage with his 13 man band. And his was a spectacular entrance. Between the crowd cheering and singing along, and his own singing, it was almost impossible to tell who was having more fun. He took us through a set of his most loved hits over the years, his duets with Chante Moore, soundtracks he performed for movies like The Lion King and Best Man Holiday, his own rendition of a Beatle’s song, tributes to his mentors and of course, some heart racing, foot thumping rhythm and blues. With two outfit changes (he started off casually dressed, then finished his set in a tuxedo) and a 90 minute performance of rhythm, blues, jazz and soul, there was nothing but love in the air.

On a personal note, my highlight of his performance was being serenaded and pulled onto the stage to dance with him. As I write this, my hands are still shaking from the experience!

To cap it all off, DJ Pinye took the decks and made an executive decision that we would dance the night away. All the favorite 90s to 2000s RnB hits were played, back to back, keeping every one of us in our feet. All in all, #KennyLattimoreLIVE was an experience that transcends many such concerts. Time management was spot on, the crowd was alert and engaging, the ambiance romantic, refreshments in excess and performances top notch. It was a well organized and executed event, one for the history books.

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