Burna Boy live in London: the Afrobeats juggernaut’s moment of history

London Stadium, June 3: the Nigerian star brings out Stormzy, Dave and more on a landmark night for the ‘Love, Damini’ Fair

Welcome, one and all, to the ‘Love, Damini’ Fair. Amid the whirling merry-go-round, swivelling pole dancers and a ferocious live band giving it their all, ringmaster Burna Boy is still the main attraction. Tonight (June 3), the Nigerian star has taken residence at the London Stadium – the main venue of the 2012 Olympics, of course – to play to his biggest and most diverse London crowd to date.

Tonight’s gig follows just under a year on from the release of his sixth studio album ‘Love, Damini’, which featured his monstrous smash hit ‘Last Last’ and charted at number two in the UK. But Burna isn’t forgetting the songs that initially made him: the first act of the show is for “the day one party” and includes his early single ‘Tonight’. “This is for my ladies,” he says by way of introduction before serenading the London Stadium with the sensual 2012 song.

Burna Boy has made plenty of friends in London over the years, and, luckily for us, he calls on some of his most famous pals for tonight’s show. First up, Dave enters the stage to perform his and Burna’s 2019 summer classic ‘Location’, before Stormzy later hits us with ‘Own It’ and ‘Real Life’. The biggest roar from the crowd, though, is reserved for the returning J Hus, as Burna and the local boy (and Burna’s earliest UK rap collaborator) let loose with ‘Play Play’, ‘Sekkle Down’ and a first preview of their latest (and currently untitled) collaboration.

burna boy
Burna Boy performing at the London Stadium (Picture: Michael Tubes / Press)


There’s also time for a guest spot from dancehall legend Popcaan, who helps Burna perform their dreamy romantic track ‘Toni-Ann Singh’, before Burna takes a moment to honour the late Indian rapper Sidhu Moose Wala, who was killed last year aged 28. Asking the crowd to “just vibe” in tribute to the musician, Burna’s recent collaboration with Moose Wala and Steel Banglez ‘Mera Na’ plays out across the stadium.

Despite the huge surges of energy that are generated by such fan favourites as ‘On The Low’, Burna sometimes kills the mood by then throwing in his slower tracks. But, by the end of the show, Burna himself is still full of energy: when he’s not running around the stage, he’s hopping on a keyboard and slamming its keys or thwacking the drums, enthralled by the music. It acts as a precursor to the stadium-wide chaos which greet his bonafide floor-fillers ‘Ye’ and ‘Last Last’.

Much like his fellow Afrobeats messiahs Wizkid and Davido, Burna Boy is a magnetic live performer who can easily sell out London shows of any and all sizes. The appeal of his music is something you will only find in Afrobeats: the music calls something in your spirit that you just can’t fight – instead, you just move. It’s no wonder that, after becoming the first ever African artist to headline and sell out a stadium show in the UK, Burna Boy is, in his own words, “sittin’ on top of the world“.

Burna Boy played:

‘Gbona’ x ‘Odogwu’
‘Don Gorgon’
‘Yawa Dey’
‘Like To Party’ x ‘Jagel’e x ‘Dirty Secrets’
‘Pull Up’
‘Top Of The World’
‘Toni-Anne Singh’ (with Popcaan)
‘Location’ x ‘Onyeka’ (with Dave)
‘For My Hand’
‘Play Play’ (with J Hus)
‘Sekkle Down’ (with J Hus)
‘On The Low’
‘Wonderful’ x ‘Spiritual’ x ‘Collateral Damage’
‘Whiskey’ x ‘Another Story’ x ‘Off Your Mic’
‘Common Person’
‘Bank On It’
‘Alone’ x ‘Hallelujah’ x ‘Wild Dreams’ x ‘Dangote’
‘Real Life’ / ‘Own It’ (with Stormzy)
‘Second Sermon’
‘Different Size’ x ‘Sungba’ (Remix) x ‘Yaba’
‘Anybody’ x ‘WTB’ x ‘Kilometre’ x ‘Killin Dem’
‘It’s Plenty’
‘Last Last’


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