Nge lizwi lika Amanda Black

Amanda Black invited her fans and supporters into an intimate setting at the Barnyard Theatre for what could easily be one of her best LIVE performances to date. The singer-songwriter has been on a journey of soul-searching and self-discovery and that journey has reconnected her to the origin of “this whole music thing”…her voice, both literally and figuratively. With the accompaniment of keys and strings (guitar) alongside astounding backing vocalists, her voice took center stage. The atmosphere was warm, calm and refreshing. It felt like the gathering of old friends around a bonfire, exchanging stories through song while drinking a hot cup of something. Amanda took the audience into her confidence with the hope that by sharing her honest thoughts and experiences, she can create a space for her audience to feel and reflect.

One thing we don’t usually speak about but is one of the most important elements of any show (second only to sound in my opinion) is the audience’s etiquette, and the audience at this show was cultured. They were both attentive and receptive. They knew when to give what to Amanda (sing-along, applaud, etc.), likewise they knew when to hold back, listen and afford Amanda the space to share, it was beautiful to witness.

Take pride and insult it with the best descriptions of fulfilled

Inherit a listen between signs of sealed prayers

Take your fears to the reality of your fight

Love yourself bare and dusty

Kush Mahleka ~ intro by Amanda Black

The set list was carefully prepared to showcase both her voice and journey. The road to self-discovery is no easy feat, it’s bumpy, sometimes dark, and often filled with more questions than answers. Nonetheless, the end-result makes it all worth while, Amanda’s set started with ebumnyameni ehleli (sitting in the dark), made its way through amagingxigingxi, then into the curiosity and longing of Sinazo, to the thin line between bargaining and begging contrasted by the amalgamation of Uzobuya and Buyela Kum, before getting into the intricacies of defining what it is one wants out of life in Famous, and the internal battle with patience that’s sonically documented in Hamba. All of those conversations led to the realizations that in the journey there are things you need to let go off and so Amanda Black rounded up the first half of her show with let it go.

Because all the heavy feelings were released in the first half, the second half of the gathering zoned into self-motivation, affirmations, and regaining hope and confidence. The award-winning songstress serenaded the audience with Phumelela and Afrika, before Vuka stole the night and had the audience on their feet demanding an encore. The audience was at its peak when Amanda got to her latest single, Nguwe, and they did not hold back their vocals as they belted the song word for word. But it was not until the end of the song when Amanda remembered that she first performed Nguwe at the very same venue a few years prior. At that time the song was new and unreleased, so I imagine she was still testing the waters, introducing it to that audience then, and now two years later that very song is sung back to her by a jubilant audience; a full circle moment that brought tears to her eyes. And these are the moments that make live performances so special.

The ink of Amanda’s pen flows into the cracks of a mending heart and that is what binds her community of listeners together. In this maze we call life wherein we are fighting different devils at every level of our progression, Amanda Black is creating a pause button through these intimate sessions where you can pause, reflect, offload, and replenish for the road ahead. So the next time you hear that Amanda Black is in town, make it your mission to be there!