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‘At Last’: Elenoa Rokobaro Live in Concert (Review)

Rating:

In the age of restrictions and social distancing, there is something strangely reassuring about seeing human performance (even if through Facebook Live).

‘At Last’: Elenoa Rokobaro Live in Concert, courtesy Red Line Productions, was a breathtaking glimpse of a world seemingly long forgotten. While the fire may appear to have burnt out in the midst of news headlines, economic and personal woes, these live performances prove that the embers are still glowing through our time of strife.

Performing fourteen songs each connected together as an ‘open love letter through music‘, the concert follows a deeply personal journey; one determined by the knowledge of self-love and self-care as the foundational bedrock of healthy love towards others and our self. Opening with the classic ‘At Last’, Rokobaro does justice to original performer Etta James by matching her same level of heavenly warmth, made all the more captivating with an addition of ‘Rokobarian’ flair and energy.

This is followed by two Beyoncé singles again beautifully sung with warmth, soul, and a flair not contained in the originals. The accompaniment by Andrew Worboys (Musical Director and Keyboard) and Glenn Moorhouse (Guitar) further complimented Rokobaro’s skilful performance. Even though the concert concerned Rokobaro’s journey, it was impossible not to feel the synergy between all involved.

Throughout the concert, Rokobaro takes the audience through love in all its different stages. From the ‘puppy dog’ love to the toxic love, the good rollercoaster type of love, and the pure actualised love, all these very different different types of love are connected smoothly by Rokobaro’s masterful performance. Indeed, her down to earth connection to the audience was palpable – even though most were viewing from home – with humorous anecdotes about love and performing live.

This, combined with the breadth of Rokobaro’s skill across different genres of music ranging from blues to pop and rock, was something to behold. Songs like ‘Just Had To Hear Your Voice’ by Oleta Adams were permeated by a visceral connection to the very deep and varying emotions associated with love. Rokobaro’s performance of ‘For Your Glory’ by Tasha Cobbs, in praise and worship with Nana Matapule and Paulini Curuenavuli, beautifully explored the pure spiritual love that transcends our more turbulent love.

At the show’s conclusion, Rokobaro takes the time to reflect on what love has the potential to create. Singing ‘What’s Going On?’ by Marvin Gaye, reflecting on the Black Lives Matter Movement, she carefully explores how we can be the change in our own world.

Though this period has proven to be a time of deep introspection, given all the upheaval and changes to our everyday lives, Rokobaro’s contribution to our soul-searching and meaning-making through this concert is valuable by viscerally connecting us back into what truly is fundamentally most important.

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