I finally had the chance to go to a Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concert. It was the last concert of the season – Al Bairre and Shortstraw. It was also Al Bairre’s last performance ever (insert sad face). Tickets were sold out more than a week berore the show. Luckily I was so excited for this that I bought mine early on.
On 2 April, Al Bairre ended their careers as a music group on a high note. The popular band had their swansong on Sunday afternoon, gathering a crowd of over 7000. There were colourful tie-dyed hippie shirts, wine coolers and picnic baskets all over the luscious green Kirstenbosch grass all the way up the side of the mountain in front of the stage and the of smell quite a bit of a different type of grass was hanging in the air. There was an excited atmosphere and even the tinge of sadness didn’t kill the vibe.
I missed Jeremy Loops. I missed Beatenberg. I even missed Karen Zoid & Francois van Coke. But this was my lucky weekend. I know this because I can see all those other people again. But not Al Bairre. It is bye time for them.
This memorable evening was kicked off with an opening performance by indie rock band Shortstraw and was followed by a high-energy performance by Al Bairre. In a message
to their fans on their Facebook page early in February they said that they are ready for new challenges that does not involve the band:
“having achieved all the goals we set for ourselves over the last 5 years – we all feel like it’s the right time to try something new”
- Play an overseas festival
Short Term Goal:
- Play Assembly, Zula Bar and Oppikoppi”
- Open for Beach Party, Holiday Murray, December Streets and Hot Water”
After many ALventures (what they call Al Bairre adventures), they have successfully ticked off al the goals on their list and had one blast of a last performance, dressed in all white and jumping around the stage like the hyperactive squirrels that were also watching the show from the Garden trees.
Julia Johnson of Al Bairre, described their last performance as “very emotional, but a happy event”. The group debuted two new songs that they launched online on the 27th of March and this concert was the first and only live performance of Over & Over and Don’t Say / Go Away.
It was indeed the best farewell they could give us.
*Edit – The Al Bairre video linked in this post was added to YouTube in June 2017 and was added to this article after the original publication.THE GOAL: