Make no mistake; Irene Ntale has matured. She has also perfected the art of performing live. She did exactly that last Friday during her Unchained concert at Serena hotel.
She didn't provide space for curtain raisers, neither did she have time for those annoying album sales. She came to prove a point that she is now free and free she did for three good hours.
She pulled off a star cast of instrumentalists from guitarist Myko Ouma to trumpeter Dragu and saxophonist Joseph Sax. Bebe Cool and Lilian Mbabazi provided much-needed support when called upon them. Even the choreography was somehow flawless.
The nearly full crowd cheered her on from the onset and she gave her best with every song. It was quite breathtaking; the lighting and sound were top-notch. In fact, there was hardly anything one can single out as a failure. Such is the high standard she set that the music industry is eagerly awaiting her next step.
She made a lot of noise after leaving Swangz Avenue, which nurtured her music career. Both sides didn't trade barbs when she left but now she is on her own; Ntale has a point to prove.
Will she continue to churn out the hits as she used to be, or will she up the tempo and become an even bigger star now that she is unchained? The hope is that she doesn't end up on the periphery like many of her peers.
Only time will tell but for now, she ticked all the boxes on Friday.