>So this past Friday night I went out to the Jars of Clay concert. At first I was debating if I should even go, since Friday is taco night, definitely my favorite part of the week. But we have taco night every week, usually, so how could I turn down a special one-time occasion like this for taco night? And then taco night was canceled, so I didn’t even miss it.
The concert was a lot of fun, and experiencing an African concert is quite different than an American one! I went with my friends Søren and his wife Charlotte, from Denmark, and then we met up with Njeri, who had a car and drove us the rest of the way. The official time was listed as 6-10 pm, which seemed pretty long to me, but I figured that opening acts would take up at least half the time. I was wrong: they took up the entire time. Jars of Clay didn’t start playing until 10:05 pm, and they only played for about an hour, until around 11:15. Of course, the concert didn’t start until about 7:20. We got there at 6:40, and they were still setting up the stage and didn’t look anywhere near ready. I got some food to tide me over until the end of the concert.
The purpose of the concert was AIDs awareness, and we learned that 1 in 10 Kenyans are not aware of the existence of testing and assistance, that 2 in 3 Kenyans are not aware of their status, that 3 in 5 of those infected are women, 4 out of every 5 infected do not know it, and only 5% of the budget is used towards youth prevention. I have no idea who’s budget.
All the opening acts were Kenyan, as far as I know, and the first several were not very good. The songs were highly unoriginal and the music was not very good. There were so many opening acts, one list I saw had 9! But they got increasingly better, and by the time we got to the last 2 opening acts they were quite good, and people really got into it and were dancing all around. A lot of the music is heavily reggae influenced, and just sounds very African. The very last performance was the best. I learned that Eric Wainaina is the most popular artist in Kenya, Christian or secular, and I recognized some of his songs from matatus. Probably this had to do with the time, but by the time Jars of Clay came on a number of people had left, and there was not quite as much energy as there was before. Jars of Clay was good though, and I recognized several of their songs even though I don’t listen to them much. I actually saw them play a concert this summer in Wheaton where they were the opening act for Steven Curtis Chapman. That was a great concert as well.
Afterwards we wanted to go out for Ethiopian food, but it was midnight by this point and all three Ethiopian restaurants were closed. So we went to a club that Njeri used to frequent in her younger days but had not been to for a while. It was interesting, and the food was really good. I had a steak, for almost a third of what I pay in a month for my eating group. I didn’t get to bed until almost 3, so that set me back sleep-wise for a few days. But it was fun, since I don’t really get out a whole lot it was nice to have something to go to. A Jars of Clay concert in Kenya.