“Beware the Ides of March” wrote Shakespeare in a play about the ill-fated Julius Caesar. Fast-forward to this past Friday and the only thing we had to beware of was the inevitable hang-over we’d all be feeling the next day. With Androgenius, Apollo, and Julia Robert lighting up the stage, Mercury Live played host to a night of diversity and debauchery.
Opening act Androgenius had a quiet confidence about them as they treated the gathering crowd to their unique mix of old school RnB, funk, jazz, hip hop, and soul. A concoction they call Soul Hop. Front-man Al Clapper was on top form as he moved around the stage with the certainty of a man living completely in the moment. His presence was mirrored by his band-mates and together they had the kind of on-stage chemistry that musicians dream about and that should make their single release on the 22nd of March an absolute treat.
For Apollo, the gig held a special significance. It marked the end of one era, as it was their drummer Daniel Nambassi’s final gig behind the kit with them, and the beginning of a new era as they became Son of Leto, and no that’s not a reference to Jared or Shannon Leto, but rather to the Greek Goddess Leto, mother of Apollo. Their set on Friday can only be described as four individuals finding each other’s groove and setting the stage on fire. The combination of flamboyant guitarist, live-wire front-man, chilled-out keyboardist, and so-stoked-with-life drummer created a performance fitting of that moment in their history.
And then it was Julia Robert’s turn to do their thing and they did it the only way they know how: with jokes, laughter, and a kick-ass performance. Their musicianship was impeccable and their rapport with the crowd was wonderful throughout as they made everyone feel as comfortable as old friends at a braai by the pool. The foursome’s disco-funk was nothing short of infectious and guaranteed that all eyes were on them, and that Mercury became the only place anybody wanted to be as we partied our way into Saturday morning.
While times may have changed the best parts of the Ides of March have lived on and they were embraced with abandon on Friday night. It was a night of drinking and dancing and living in the revelry of the moment, a middle-finger to anything and everything that doesn’t bring us happiness.