Epic, that’s the best way to describe the final instalment of Reggae Sumfest, the three-night concert held in Catherine Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica. At the end, the night undoubtedly belonged to Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Protoje and his band ‘The Indignation’, and Bunny Wailer.
R. Kelly, the man hailed as the King of R&B, who never appeared on last year’s show because he had an emergency throat surgery, delivered his highly anticipated notes; however, he failed to impress us. His performance seemed lackluster, hasty and detached. Patrons weren’t pleased having been forced to wait one and half hours after his schedule performance time. He appeared on stage Sunday just after 1am in the said attire local media outlets had photographied him in over 12 hours before.
Nevertheless, he managed to get the females screaming and shouting his name, as he reeled off hit after hit including Bump N’ Grind, You Remind Me of Something, and Fiesta. Some patrons were visibly upset and sat down through his less than an hour hasty and detached performance. He closed his act unexpectedly with Step In the name of Love and Happy People, furthering the dissatisfaction.
During his performance, he attempted to win over the audience, some of whom he was successful with, because of his obvious tardiness. During this moment he encouraged females to remove his shoe leaving him in socks, however, after he exited the stage, we understood, the females who removed them had to return them. So with R. Kelly and his theatrical piece out of the way, the stage was fit for the son of ‘The Gong’, Damian Marley, to save us. Jr. Gong, as he is often called, completed the task smoothly and impressed, with high energy from beginning to end, that eventually scored him an encore.
Before the Kelly’s drama, swag boy Christopher Martin glided across the stage with Cheaters Prayer, Paper Loving, Real Frenz. Martin even performed Carpenter originally voiced by John Holt, who had performed on International Night one. Protoje known for his rebellious and conscious lyrics scored several times with his band the Indignation, as they chanted away JA, Who Dem A Program, This is not a Marijuana Song and others.
Bunny Wailer took us down memory lane and pulled the curtain on Reggae Sumfest 20th Anniversary Concert, after Damian Marley’s epic performance, in a special Jamaica 50 tribute segment– alongside the Skatalites– packed with several hits and crowd favourites.
Other performances for the night came from A.J. Brown, Raine Seville, Conkarah, Q-Ban and Jedani. Paula-Anne Porter-Jones and François St. Juste were both celebrated for their years of service to Reggae Sumfest, the latter having served for 20 years.
Last evening, no matter your location in Jamaica, all roads seemed to have led to one place, Reggae Sumfest International Night one, where the much talked-about headliners Shabba Ranks and Trey Songz were slated to perform. “You just cannot miss it, it’s the night of Sumfest,” one patron said. This sentiment echoes the fact that Shabba Ranks had not performed in Jamaica for over a decade and it was to be the first for the rising heartthrob, Trey Songz.
At 1am Trey Songz entered the Reggae Sumfest 20th Anniversary stage to intense shriek from females. “This goes out to the beautiful girls,” the first line of his hit song ‘Invented Sex’, wetted patrons for Trey, who quickly did his rendition of Bob Marley and Lauryn Hill’s Turn Your Lights Down Low. Songz, known for showing off his chest during his performances, teased the audience a bit and then obliged his fans’ desire for him to appease their eyes, while completing several songs from his compilation to sharp-cut females.
A band change followed and at about 2:45am “big dutty, stinkin” Shabba Ranks greeted Catherine Hall in his characteristically colourful use of the Jamaican language. Shabba was his usual authentic and hardcore self as he delivered to those who have never seen him perform and refreshed other die-heart fans with sexually explicit lyrics and groove. Shabba wowed the audience with hits like Wicked Inna Bed, Peeny Peeny, Love Punany Bad, Trailer Load A Girls, Ting A Ling and so much more. The infectious crowd gobbled up every hit. The fanfare reached a notch higher when Shabba brought songstress Cherine Anderson on stage for Mr. Loverman, during which he showed his trademark ‘wine technique’.
Before them, Tarrus Riley and Tessanne ignited the stage with popular hits, showing why both were big league acts fitting to begin a firework night. Tessanne took us down memory lane with some ska and rocksteady beats and had the undivided attention of Catherine Hall to songs such as Messenger, Reason Is You, Hideaway and others. While Mr. Singy-Singy, Tarrus Riley, fed patrons one single at a time and was even joined by Dean Fraser on saxophone.
Bonafide, Sophia Brown and Nature were well-received. However, several persons were dissatisfied with Angelique Sabrina’s performance, voicing opinions like “Is this girl for real, is she lip-syncing,” and “this is an insult to our musical intelligence.”
After his performance Shabba Ranks was honoured, amid fireworks, and gave a message to those set to take over from him. He requested his family’s presence on the stage to share the moment with him. Also honoured for years of service to the show was Irie FM’s Elise Kelly, who dedicated the award to Mighty Mike and her mom.
A poor decision by the organizers saw the Jamaica 50 tribute coming in after 4am, with the likes of Derrick Harriot, U-Roy, and John Holt et al, after Shabba Ranks was honoured. On our way out we heard John Holt’s “If I were a carpenter and you were a lady would you have my baby”. We heard that the Jamaica 50 tribute went until 6am.
With today being Damian “Jr Gong” Marley’s birthday one expects a trilling night. He’ll perform along with Protoje, who is expected to take stage at 10:53pm, Chris Martin and The World’s Greatest singer, R.Kelly.
Catherine Hall, Montego Bay was nothing but scorching Thursday night into Friday morning as Dancehall Night, the first of the three day Reggae Sumfest event, got off to a superb start with top entertainers like Tifa, Stacious, Romain Virgo, and Konshens.
The first night was well supported and saw intense performances from all artistes billed–and the audience was equally energetic and responsive.
The divas in the dancehall, namely Tifa, Stacious, and Spice, represented well, both in fashion and performances, however patrons could be heard questioning the latter’s outfit. Specialist, who placed second in Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall 2011, was a dapper looking and wowed the audience; Romain Virgo and Kiprich hammered well-received tunes throughout their performances and received several “forwards”.
Lady Saw was officially crowned the Queen of Dancehall in a special segment after she delivered a blistering performance in a silver-white outfit. During her high-energy performance she hinted at being pregnant for long-time hubby Jon-Jon. She left the stage and made way for the current Dancehall Prince, Konshens, who delivered a high-powered act starting with his “Do Sumin”, which was followed by“Stop Sign” drew over 15 females to the stage to ‘bruk out’. Still sporting his red-hair, Konshens called to the stage Darrio, his brother Delus and the man with the golden voice Richie Stephens, and was well-received by patrons.
Dancehall’s latest master of contention, Khago, took the reign with a firework entrance, Popcaan–representing the Gaza (Portmore Empire) Camp and the teacher as a true Prefect– then set the pace for the ‘Energy God’ Elephant Man, who handed the baton to Cham who ‘tun it up’.
With one preppy act after the other, patrons were visibly happy that they had turned out for the first night.
Despite a largely off-key performance, Montego Bay home-boy Tommy Lee enjoyed a favourable response.
As the atmospheric temperature dropped in the earlier morning, Bounty Killer, I-Octane, and Aidonia kept the ground warm until ‘the Doctor’, Beenie Man, turned up in his full white to top things off.
Other performers for the first night of Reggae Sumfest included Jahvinci, Baby Tash, Potential Kid and Zamunda. Reggae Sumfest continues tonight with the much anticipated performances of Shabba Ranks and international R&B crooner Trey Songz, in addition to a special Jamaica 50 tribute.
After two successful seasons of the hit TV series, The Wray & Nephew Contender, and what many have voiced as a resurgence in boxing in Jamaica, the concept of a ‘boxing party’ have emerged from the producers of the popular TV show in Rocky 876. Rocky 876 will unfold history at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston Saturday, July 7th to give boxing and party fans in Jamaica live action at ring side while bouncing to the beat and sipping on their favourite Wray & Nephew mix.
Contender Producer and Rocky876 promoter, Sanjay Ramanand explains the reason for the first ever boxing party: “when we looked at how the Contender was being received, we realized that there was a whole social component that was not being tapped into. People wanted to watch the boxing, but they also wanted to drink and dance and just enjoy themselves; so we thought why not mix the two concepts to create something that has never been done in Jamaica before”.
What to expect? We put the question to Sanjay and were told: “Non-stop music, non-stop fun, non-stop excitement all night long! The event caters to the needs of all people, those who like to party, those who love the sport, those who like to try new things and those who are just curious.”
At the July 7th billed event patrons can expect to see Jamaica’s 2011 Middleweight Contender, Rikardo “Surgeon” Smith takes on Derrick “Guts” Spencer (from the 2012 series). Spencer fought runner up Contender, Ramel “Sub zero” Lewis in one of the most watched fights in the Contender series this season and should be in the best shape of his life to take on last year’s winner whose last fight was 6 months ago.
The gates open at 8pm and there will be activity from start to finish. With four fights scheduled, the boxing action starts at 9pm with three amateur bouts before the main event. And at the stroke of midnight the dance party begins with music from Miami-based DJ, PalmerStylz, and local big shots: Foota Hype and ZJ Chrome. And the drinks and music will flow until 2am.
Rocky 876 is sponsored by Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum, Boom Energy Drink, Wata and ElectroTech Productions Ltd. Tickets are available at LG Service Station (Dunrobin) and Just Call Couriers (355-7390) at the cost of $1000 pre-sold, however the gate cost will be $1500. All tickets equals a chance for a front row seat to live action boxing, all the Wray and Nephew mixed drinks you can drink and pumping music to dance the night away.
For more info on Rocky 876 follow the movement on twitter @Rocky876ja, like them on Facebook www.facebook.com/Rocky876JA and for more information send an e-mail to email@example.com or call 292-5527.
Sponsored by Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum, Boom Energy Drink, Wata and ElectroTech Productions Ltd., Just $1000 pre-sold or $1500 at the gate gives you a front row seat to live action boxing, all the Wray and Nephew mixed drinks you can drink and pumping music to dance the night away.
Tickets are available at LG Service Station (Dunrobin) and Just Call Couriers (355-7390). Follow the movement on twitter @Rocky876ja, like them on Facebook www.facebook.com/Rocky876JA and for more information send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 292-5527.
- July set to be a great month for boxing
- Rum and punches – Jamaica’s first boxing party at Liguanea Club