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Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

A Roach Comes Down to Ferndale | Godly the Ruler and Genesis Owusu Concert Review

Genesis Owusu performing “Leaving the Light” at The Loving Touch in Ferndale on Oct. 14, 2023.
Ashe Burr/WDBM
Genesis Owusu performing “Leaving the Light” at The Loving Touch in Ferndale on Oct. 14, 2023.

I knew once this tour was announced, with one of its dates being at The Loving Touch in Ferndale, that I would be there no matter what. As soon as I stepped into the venue and saw a smoky haze emanating from the stage, I knew this would be an incredible show. 

Enter Godly the Ruler, a Chicago-based eclectic electronic-rock artist. The project of Godwill Oke set the stage for the night to come. Even with only 30 minutes or so to perform, they had the crowd bumping at a level I had never seen before. When you have the crowd jumping and vibing at the same time to a slower, more emotional song like “Call and I’ll Answer,” you know you are in for something special. 

Concerts, as a visual matter, require an insane outfit to show the listener exactly what they’re in for. Clearly, Oke knows their audience, as they wore a hat that read “my cock your ass.” You have once chance for a first impression, and they made the most of that. 

One of the things I remember most about their set was Oke pulling out a whistle as a cue to start moshing. When they blew the whistle during songs like “Off With Your Head” and “The World Is Big,” the crowd’s pent-up energy exploded. Feeding off Oke’s energy — I mean, they were jumping at least 1 foot in the air during their set — the pit set an incredibly high bar for the rest of the night. 

During a lull in the set, Oke mentioned that this was their first time touring. You wouldn’t be able to tell because of the sheer confidence they commanded the stage with. Hopefully, we will be able to see Godly the Ruler on tour again soon. 

Following Godly the Ruler’s set, a large black fabric was taken off a massive rectangular prop in the middle of the stage. Hidden inside the frame was a set of strobe lights. As soon as I saw that, I knew that what would come next would be life changing. 

 

Genesis Owusu illuminated by his book prop at The Loving Touch in Ferndale on Oct. 14, 2023. (Ashe Burr/WDBM)

 

Genesis Owusu, the stage name of Aussie rocker Kofi Owusu-Ansah, exploded onto the international stage following the release of his debut album, Smiling With No Teeth. Since then, he’s done things many artists would love to do. Those things include performing at Madison Square Garden, performing at the Sydney Opera House with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, performing on The Late Show and so much more. 

With all those accolades, it was interesting seeing him come to this little venue in Ferndale. But after a bit of silence, both visual and auditory, the opening riff of “Leaving the Light” erupted over the speakers, and the strobe lights began flashing, illuminating Owusu’s silhouette. The robe he wore invoked an almost religious vibe, complementing Struggler’s theme of a roach trying to avoid being stepped on by God. Despite the obvious cumbersomeness of a nearly-floor-length robe, Owusu had the place jumping, obviously with him participating in said jumping. 

Matching the insanely high bar that Godly the Ruler set for him, Owusu had the crowd chanting the refrain of “The Roach” while he performed it. 

Fear the roach, 

Love the roach.”

Hearing the crowd chant that brought a chill to my spine. And that would not be the last time this would happen. When Owusu brought out “Don’t Need You,” he stood back and let the crowd scream-sing the chorus’ lyrics. Being a part of that crowd, it was something that I’ll never forget. The deafening chant of “Wait, could this be true? I don’t need you! I don’t need you! Wait, could this be true? I don’t like you! I don’t like you!” filling the small venue was simply otherworldly. 

Splicing up the show were moments where Owusu would open up a prop book that illuminated his face while a voiceover played in the background. These moments gave the crowd time to breathe and prepare for the next face-melting tune. 

Another thing I won’t forget was during “Stay Blessed,” when Owusu said he would recreate its music video. He made his way into the crowd and moshed with all of us. I’d never seen an artist go to those lengths to feed off the crowd’s energy. What made this even more incredible was the fact that this wasn’t his only time joining the crowd.

 

Genesis Owusu performing “A Song About Fishing” at The Loving Touch in Ferndale on Oct. 14, 2023. (Ashe Burr/WDBM)

 

Toward the end of his set, Owusu found his way into the middle of the crowd. He asked us all to sit down and pull out our flashlights. As we did that, he began to perform “A Song About Fishing,” which just happened to be my favorite song from Smiling With No Teeth. Experiencing this live was absolutely incredible. 

Some artists were made to be seen live, and I was so fortunate to see two of them at the same time.

 

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About the Contributor
Ashe Burr, Writer
Ashe is a second year student majoring in both professional and public writing and linguistics. The resident international music aficionado at the station, they can be found constantly seeking out new music from all corners of the globe. When not looking through music, they can be found with the Spartan Marching Band Color Guard and State of Art Winterguard. "Might be bleeding, but don't you mind, I'll be fine." - Cornelia Jakobs

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