In Vavatenina, there is one of the best concert venues in the country. I have no idea why someone built it here, but since it exists, it has become a stop for every main artist on tour. It is called Jerijery and once a year, in November, there is a huge festival that happens there.
Last week, we got a visit from Lola, currently one of the most popular Malagasy artists. There are only about 15 songs by Malagasy artists on the radio, and 9 of them are by him. He is the top gun for Malagasy music, going head to head with (but still losing to) Celiene Deon and Lucky Dube.
I was impressed with Lola’s show. He had a great presence, got the audience to sing, and played a 3 hour continuos set. He came complete with 3 choreographed dancers and a six piece band. I found it strange that he started at 3pm, but I guess that is standard. The sun went down around 6:30 and the concert ended shortly after 7.
I was unimpressed by the audience. They sang along, but didn’t dance. I expected everyone to dance, I know they can. The other parties I have been to I was always impressed and tried to pick up a few new moves. Nobody danced at Lola until it got dark, which meant 2.5 hours of standing and listening and 30 minutes of dancing. Strange.
I have high hopes for Jerijery as it is a multi-day festival and I expect it to go late into the night.