We rank the hottest performances of 2017


Johannesburg – International superstars were all over South African stages this year, but our local artists represented us well.

5. A$AP Ferg

Rapper A$AP Ferg from the A$AP Mob blessed Johannesburg audiences in October at Mary Fitzgerald Square. Ferg did his thing, with energetic bangers at a venue that would have been fuller if the Capsule Festival was held at the end of the month. He killed it, though.

4. Travis Scott

The trap maestro lit up the Dome with pyrotechnics and chanty raps. Kids went ballistic for his hit record, Goosebumps. He encouraged the audience to be rowdy and free, and they obliged.

3. Migos

One of the biggest acts of 2017 was at the Dome courtesy of Mabala Noise. The event was run poorly and half the opening acts were cancelled. Nevertheless, their performance goes down as one of the year’s most lit. The best Migo is Takeoff – that guy is a beast live.

2. Common

The rapper performed on a rainy evening at the Delicious Food and Music Festival, with the incredible Thandiswa Mazwai opening for him in a righteous way. Nothing but flavour, Common didn’t resort to counting down the bars before the chorus or ending songs with gun shots.

1. Damian Marley

Bassline Newtown, the home of local reggae, is small but the sound and vibes are always big. The night Marley performed, those in attendance were blessed with a séance, not just a set. The sound quality, the mic control, the encore … everything was as good as it is on record.

Performance fail:

Lazily dressed in a hoodie and tracksuit pants, Justin Bieber performed at the FNB Stadium in May. Lip-syncing and routinely going through his choreography, he evidently didn’t think a “developing” nation like ours deserved his best. Do better, Bieber.

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