In honour of his 10-year anniversary on the stage, we're celebrating Davido all week, here at B.Side and documenting his decade-long career of incredible achievements. Next up, we've ranked his most legendary live shows.
Heralded as one of Nigeria’s biggest stars, Davido has earned his stripes for a number of reasons, with his electrifying performances front and center. Known for his high octane energy, on stage his larger-than-life persona finds a home, highlighting just how pedestrian many of our lives are compared to his.
Turning up with crowds on a minimum of four continents during his decade-long haul is no small feat so you can probably imagine how hard it was to whittle down his storied shows into five moments. Ranked in no particular order, these moments are key to understanding just how he has ended up right where he is today — at the top of the Afrobeats food chain.
30 Billion UK Tour, UK 2018
The UK leg of Davido’s 30 Billion Tour came to an end on Monday the 19th of February 2018 at the University of Hertfordshire after an incredible six-stop haul of sold-out venues in Leicester, Birmingham, Dublin, Manchester and London – where he marked his achievement of filling the 02 Academy.
Opened by performances from Wizkid, Mr Eazi and Not3s, his label mates DJ E Cool and Mayorkun also assisted to the chagrin of the crowd, holding it down for Davido’s final performance in the country. Perhaps his most well-marketed series of performances, the 30 Billion UK Tour saw the release of a 30-minute documentary commissioned to commemorate the event.
30 Billion Concert, Lagos 2017
To complete the last leg of his 30 Billion Concert, Davido’s final date was set for the 27th of December in the Eko Hotels Convention Centre, closing out one of the most monumental years of his career in grand style. Buoyed by massive hits like “If”, “Fia”, “Fall” and “Like Dat”, he led a whirlwind, worldwide tour through America, Europe and Africa, claiming new territory and reinforcing his brand throughout the tour. Reportedly securing over half a billion naira over the course of the tour, the sold-out concert was marked by appearances from A-list Nigerian artists and entertainers, namely Olamide, Patoranking and 2Baba, with a supporting cast of Dremo, Mayorkun, Runtown, Nasty C, Niniola, Terry G, Daddy Showkey, Humblesmith, Reekado Banks, Falz, Lil Kesh, Ice Prince, CDQ, and Wande Coal. Two critical moments during the concert were the Mo’hits onstage mini-reunion and the second Wizkid-Davido performance in less than three days, further proof of the reconciliation of their long-time feud.
Davido Live in Concert, Lagos 2018
No stranger to delivering back-to-back masterclasses, Davido reinforced his onstage legacy in 2018. The ‘Davido Live in Concert’ series was held at Eko Atlantic on Thursday the 27th of December, 2018 and was packed to capacity (of course) with eager fans who had managed to lay hands on one of the 20,000 tickets that sold out within 12 days of announcement.
Reinforcing his incredible 2017 run that saw him end a year of touring at the same venue barely 12 months ago. Hosted by MTV VJ Ehiz and DJed by ECool, a bunch of new and slightly more established musical artists took to the stage to kickstart the show. Talents from Oxlade to Small Doctor, Chinko Ekun, Zlatan and Lil Kesh had an opportunity to solidify pivotal years in their careers.
Davido immediately treated the crowd to his 2017 single pack interspersed with a number of older hits shortly after joined on stage by members of his DMW team to perform a rendition of their notable group singles such as “Aje” and “Mind”. Two of the night’s most notable moments were the surprise performances of a number of his industry colleagues. Runtown and Falz performed “Bad, Badoo, Baddest”, leading up to Burna Boy sharing the stage with Davido as they performed songs like “On The Low”, “Gbona” and “Ye”. Davido followed up with a personal moment where has was joined by his then-girlfriend and his two daughters on stage as he performed “Assurance”.
Davido Live at the O2 Arena, London 2019
Preparing his tour in support of his sophomore album, 2019 took Davido to new heights professionally, particularly with him starting the year off with a momentous performance at the hallowed dome of the O2 Arena in the UK. Backed by a live band called the Compozers as well as his DMW signees, the concert was praised for its cohesion and altogether polished packaging. Introduced by Idris Elba and anchored by global superstar Popcaan for their shared catalogue performances, Davido’s global stature was cemented by the sold-out show, his collaborators evidence of the transition he had undertaken with the release of his sophomore album, A Good Time. Arriving on stage courtesy of an overhead float, swathed in sequins and dressed in garb befitting of his favoured prefix, Davido performed for 20,000 faithful fans and watched them sing along to his hits like “Aye” in return.
A Good Time Concert, Lagos 2019
Contributing his quota to the frenzy that is Dirty December in Lagos is something we have all come to expect from Davido; with his sophomore album barely a month old he thrilled fans and spectators with live performances of album cuts and a catalogue deep enough to rival any of his peers.
Utilizing his favoured Eko Hotel venues to the fullest, his stage management team outdid previous editions of the concerts with visually captivating lighting and sound, creating one of the most immersive shows ever seen on our shores. Delivering one of the coldest stage entrances in Nigerian concert history, Davido arrived to an instrumental cacophony befitting royalty and ran through a setlist of his 2017 run before introducing select members of his DMW label to join him on stage to either perform cuts like “The Best” or launch into their own sizeable coffers to keep the crowd entertained.