One moment I was in my pyjamas. The next, there was Ed Sheeran
Dave Chappelle’s Joburg Pop Up Jam had Carfax jumping with a line-up of surprise guests
It’s the call you don’t want to get late on a Saturday night.
Put your clothes on, we’re going partying!
It was past 11 after a long day. I was in my pyjamas and the phone rang – four of my friends telling me to get dressed, they were on their way to my house in an Uber. There was no saying no – we were headed downtown to Dave Chappelle’s Joburg Pop Up Jam ahead of the Global Citizen concert that took place all day on Sunday, which by all accounts was fantastic but ending with a lot of unhappy people who became the victims of opportunistic criminals who attacked concert goers with guns and knives.
But there was none of that the night before as we headed downtown to a secret concert at Carfax in Newtown that promised special surprise guests at Chappelle’s Jam. Rhianna (she was in town to party, apparently), Usher, Beyonce, J-Zee? Many names were bandied about, but the only guaranteed performers were Chappelle himself, Frédéric Yonnet – known as Prince’s “killer harmonica player” – The Band with No Name and DJ Trauma.
At the entrance our phones were locked away in special pouches which proved a blessing in disguise as people actually watched the show and danced and sang along instead of trying to capture it all on video.
Yonnet was first on stage alongside Chappelle and with his killer harmonica blowing the audience away. He played a series of New Orleans-style bluesy numbers before the rest of the band marched through small crowd and took their places behind Yonnet on the stage.
Yonnet is also well known for performing harmonica duels with the legendary Stevie Wonder and has also played and recorded with a wide range of other artists, including David Foster, Bob James, Patti Austin, Erykah Badu, John Legend, India.Arie, Angie Stone, Kindred The Family Soul, Justin Bieber, American Idol's Randy Jackson, The Jonas Brothers and Grand Corps Malade.
Having thoroughly hyped the crowd into party mode, Chappelle and Yonnet brought their first super guest onto the stage – Ed Sheeran, who joked around with the two of them singing reggae numbers before performing some of his famous tracks including Shape of You, while Yonnet and the band played back-up for his guitar riffs.
Next on stage was the British rapper Stormzy, who took Sheeran’s side to perform Blackstreet’s No Diggity. The entire audience joined in for the chorus: I like the way you work it No diggity, I got to bag it up, bag it up.
Chappelle also got into the singing act, asking “the light guy” to make all the lights in the house purple while he performed Prince’s song 1999.
The Band With No Name, apparently a collection of musicans from various bands that performed at the Global Citizen Concert on Sunday, jammed late into the night, keeping the dance floor heaving. Jay Z was also in the house, enjoying the proceedings and the adulation from his many fans.