On 6 August, Jacaranda FM hosted Liefde by die Dam at the Emmarentia Dam in Johannesburg. After the event’s success on Youth Day 2016, Liefde by die Dam once again celebrated youth and South African music, by showcasing local talent at a full day family event.
While the mass of people were slowly making their way through the entrance and setting up their picnic blankets, Majozi performed some smooth tunes. As the crowd was still tame, he decided to invite a volunteer onstage to play guitar with him. Jo Black followed with a powerful set and a commanding stage presence. With short interludes between tracks, Black inspired the crowd with messages of hope and love which perfectly amplified Liefde by die Dam’s overall theme. The audience was then treated to JR’s lively persona, and it was clear that he thoroughly enjoyed himself while performing.
Riana Nel got fans to their feet and cheering with her old favourites, but the pinnacle of her performance were the two songs she composed on the spot. The first had a cheery melody that incorporated five words from the audience: liefde, mal,single, brandewyn and aalwyn. The second was a sweet love song that she sang to a married couple, after inviting them onstage and asking them about their story.
For the next act, veteran music artist Laurika Rauch, and Renaissance man Loki Rothman, shared the stage and performed some of Rauch’s classic hits, along with a couple of fresh renditions. Rothman also flaunted his impeccable guitar skills with experimental freestyling. Rauch seemed taken aback with the adoration she received from a younger crowd, especially when the chanting for “Lisa se Klavier” started, to be sung as an encore. After some extra persuasion from Rothman, Rauch returned to perform “Lisa se Klavier”.
Tressor followed with an impressive band that augmented his natural charisma, and this resulted in a blissful hour of current music entertaining the audience.
The slight breeze caused some of the older spectators and families with small children to head home, but the younger crowd was on their feet and moving for Francois van Coke’s performance. The audience enjoyed van Coke’s experienced stage presence; some even tossed their shoes onstage for him to throw back into the crowd. Van Coke did not need to be asked twice to perform an encore and he concluded his setlist of popular originals with a cover of the Beastie Boys’ “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party!)”.
As the sun was setting Die Heuwels Fantasties made it on stage for the final act of the day. Hiram Koopman, an accomplished saxophone player, performed with the band. Die Heuwels started with new music off their latest album, OKAY!, and pivoted around their best-loved singles that had the audience passionately belting out every word. After they closed with “Pille vir Kersfees”, the audience was encouraged to leave their picnic blankets behind for Liefde Wen to donate to charitable causes.
Liefde by die Dam catered to an audience of varying ages and different tastes. The facilities and production were on point, and people had the option of a delicious range of South African food traders. The turnout and social media buzz is evidence of the event’s success.
Image provided: Kurt Sassenberg.