Akon and his DJ, Benny Demus, excite the crowd, as photographed on Nov. 3, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Olivia Noell)
Akon and his DJ, Benny Demus, excite the crowd, as photographed on Nov. 3, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Olivia Noell)
Olivia Noell

IN PHOTOS: Akon’s ‘Beautiful’ night in Nashville

Akon spent the second night of “The Superfan Tour” at Marathon Music Works.

Akon brought the 2000s R&B and hip-hop scene back to Nashville on Nov. 3. For the second night of his North American “The Superfan Tour,” Akon performed at Marathon Music Works. The incredible night was thrilling — in the middle of Akon’s set, he surprised the audience with a guest performance from AMIRROR, Akon’s record label’s first signed female solo artist. After building up the crowd’s anticipation, he stepped onto the stage to cheers of  “Akon! Akon! Akon!” He performed over 30 songs across his five studio albums, including countless singles and features.

“I’m gonna bring back memories y’all forgot y’all had,” Akon said. 

Akon followed through on this promise, opening his set with hits from his first solo debut album: “Locked Up,” “Lonely” and “Bananza (Belly Dancer).” Akon also performed popular songs in which he is featured, such as “Bartender” by T-Pain, “Baby, I’m Back” by Baby Bash, “Play Hard” by David Guetta feat. Ne-Yo and “Dangerous” by Kardinal Offishall. Before playing “Don’t Matter,” Akon played the congas showcasing his musical talent beyond vocals.

Akon showed off his dancing skills with AMIRROR during their two duets: “Prolly Cut (Afro Freak Version)” and “Far Away.” AMIRROR also performed her 2021 single “Move” while on stage. The crowd jumped and danced to Akon’s most iconic songs — “Smack That,” “I Wanna Love You,” “Beautiful” and “Right Now (Na Na Na).” In response, he jumped onto the barricade and threw water onto the audience.

Akon excited the crowd with his music but also united the crowd with his gratefulness for his “superfans.” During the concert, he and his DJ, Benny Demus, waved a large white flag together to symbolize world peace. Akon also discussed his philanthropic non-profit, Akon Lighting Africa, which aims to provide electricity to rural areas in Africa, and his cryptocurrency, Akoin. He closed out the concert with “Freedom” and announced a new album which will be released next month. 

I was introduced to R&B at a young age through Akon, and it is still one of my favorite genres to this day. This concert certainly lived up to my expectations!

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About the Contributor
Olivia Noell, Staff Photographer
Olivia Noell (‘25) is from Anniston, Ala., and is majoring in neuroscience, medicine, health and society and gender and sexuality studies in the College of Arts and Science. She enjoys hammocking, spending time with friends and trying new restaurants around Nashville. You can reach her at [email protected].
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