Cape Town’s One Night

Every year there’s a lot of unhappy people in Cape Town. People that save money and plan road trips, but are eventually left with shattered dreams of what could have been an Oppikoppi weekend. They stay in icy Cape Town and dream of the sun, the beautiful people and the music… ahhh the music. Every year around this time, the guys from Hilltop Live bring a few international acts to Oppikoppi. And luckily they are so awesome that they put a little smile in our cold Capetonian hearts and give us One Night in Cape Town. A night where the international acts at Oppikoppi come to play right here on our doorstep.

I was very excited when I learned that One Night in Cape Town will be held at the Good Hope Centre this year. I couldn’t remember what it looked like inside, since I haven’t been there since I was like 4 years old. I knew that it was a bit of an odd venue to hold a rock concert in, but I was curious to see what it would look and sound like. The place was built in the 70’s and after I entered the doors, I realised; quite possibly the ugliest venue in Cape Town. The inside reminded me a bit of my high school – large yellowish, cold hallways that echo when you speak and an even bigger hall with a grotesque ceiling that look a lot like a space ship. Nevertheless, I was still excited to see the night unfold in this awkward conference hall.

We arrived in the middle of Tatran’s set. We stood against the barriers with no more than a few hundred people.
No one seemed very interested. I have unfortunately never heard their
music before and hoped that they would draw me in with their live set.
But they left me a bit unimpressed. I left for the bar a few songs
later. We stood at the smaller bar and could still hear the front-man loud and clear…

And that brings me to the next point: The sound. Ahh, so you attended a rock concert and it was a bit too loud. Mmmm I struggle to understand this. Okay maybe you were right infront of the monitors in the golden circle and this…tingled your ears a bit, but for the love of music, why did you not move back? We were against the barriers, just behind the golden circle and maybe my ears can take more noise than yours, but it all seemed fine. I was there for the bands – loud and in my face. Maybe we should ask ourselves; would the sound not have been better, were the venue actually full (just a thought Cape Town).

Shadowclub was up next and the venue filled up a bit. Now this band were really up there with the internationals! Yes, they are still our local band, but how clear is it now to all that we have talent of international standard? Bring on the the bookings for South African bands at international festivals and venues.

After Shadowclub we accidentally found the main bar and walked into some familiar faces. We had a drink or two and then rushed back for English post-punk band, The Editors. I’m not too sure what to think of this trio. I know they have big fans, but to me they are a bit monotonous. If I can’t listen to them in my car and they don’t impress me much with their live show, then there’s not much left now, is there? Nonetheless, I stayed and listened for awhile. I appreciated the fans – some knew every word. But nah, there’s something about a band with an 80’s sound…

Then it was time for Australian rock outfit Wolfmother. It looked like 80% of the people were there for this trio. From where I stood, I could only see vocalist Andrew Stockdale’s hair bouncing around on stage, but they sounded just like I hoped they would – Loud and raw with a certain old soul rock n’ roll feel. The crowd loved them and as I looked around me, everyone seemed to just take in the music. Obviously well-known songs like Woman and Joker and a Thief were big crowd favourites, fans jumped and screamed and I felt content that Hilltop Live got this one right.

There was much talk after the event about the choice of venue. When it
comes to international acts, I always find it hard to complain and find
fault around events, because I am so focused on these great names that
visit our country, but I do agree that the Good Hope Centre is possibly one
of the worst venues in Cape Town to hold a live music event. BUT it is also
one of the ONLY venues in Cape Town open to these events. Remember a few
things: 1) It’s Winter (and my goodness was it cold that night) 2) it was a
big crowd (so count any club venues out), but also not big enough for a
place like the Bellville Velodrome.

Despite the venue and the sound and whatever else people were unhappy about, the promotors gave the crowd a night filled with talent and a lot of rock n’ roll. I mean at just R250 a ticket and 4 bands, we should be grateful we have people out there that do this for the fans. On the other hand, people will always find something to hate on…

Thanks Hilltop Live and One Night in Cape Town for giving me an interesting night, introducing me to 3 international bands and one awesome local act. I look forward to next year!

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Contact me: eliinthecity@gmail.com

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One comment on “Cape Town’s One Night”

  1. Rachel Jay says:

    Thank you for posting something positive about the event, as i have only been reading such negative comments about it.
    I completely agree that it wasn't the perfect venue, but hey, it was large and all it needed was to be filled up a bit more. We attended to watch Wolfmother in particular, and I feel that the ticket price was incredibly cheap for the amount of entertainment offered.
    I have also heard so many negative comments frompeople complaining about the sound and ringing in their ears, but i mean this should be expected after going to a rough and raw rock concert, from my experience. I was at the front of the golden circle area and my ears are perfectly fine.
    Thank you to Hilltop Live for the opportunity to experience a little Wolfmother in my life!

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