Nigerian pop star Adekunle Gold returned to New York this week for a show at King’s Theater in Brooklyn. The event was scheduled for September 29, the day Brooklyn nearly drowned, causing many disruptions including a last-minute postponement for AG. The “rain date” was Monday, October 2, which may have cut down on the crowd a little. But still, some 2000, mostly young Nigerians and African diaspora fans, packed the orchestra level of this grand old theater and let loose with full-on Afrobeats fandom joy.
The tour was to promote AG’s new album Tequila Ever After, and was sponsored by Tio Tequila, a bold new twist on alcohol-underwriten music touring. The show began with a few playback artists, notably Nigerian singer/songwriter Nonso Amadi and dancehall artist Masicka. They got warm receptions, but this crowd was there for AG, and soon it was tequila time!
AG took the stage all in black with a tight, four-piece backing band—just the basics: bass, drums, keys, guitar, but strong!) The show was less nuanced than the set we caught at SXSW in 2019, but this artist’s star has been rising ever since and he had a lot of hits to cover. At Kings, we heard short, hard-hitting renditions of over 25 songs, including a truncated version of AG’s anthemic personal testimonial song “Ire,” and a full take of his catchy “Do You Mind,” from the new album.
The audience knew the words and did not hold back. Midway through the show, two limber, limb-twisting dancers added a little feminine steam to the proceedings. The post-show buzz throughout the theater and on the street was clear evidence that they had got what they came for, despite the delay.
AG’s tour continues. Dates here. Here are a few of my photos from the King’s show.