The curtains came down on the 18th staging of Reggae Sumfest on Saturday, July 24 at the Catherine Hall Entertainment complex with some exciting performances from the artistes who graced the stage.
American singer Usher led the charge but the locals were in no way outdone as they gave patrons their money’s worth.
Gramps Morgan seemed easy and relaxed on stage, but he came with a potent message as he sang, Time Fi Black Man Unite. The ladies had a thrill when he delivered gems like For One Night, Come Back To Bed and Lonely. But it was the hit track, Wash The Tears, off his 2 Sides of My Heart album that generated the most cheers.
Following that command performance by Gramps it took someone like Shaggy to fill his shoes and he did that in fine style. Opening his set with Church Heathen, Shaggy held his audience captive with songs such as Strength of A Woman, Angel and Bonafide to which he was joined on stage by Rik Rok.
After Usher’s explosive stint it was time for a dapper looking Tarrus Riley.
He had no problem making the connection with his fans as entered the stage with Lion Paw before segueing into Start Anew. Tarrus had words of encouragement to his fellow Jamaicans as he reminded them “no matter how times hard, nuh whey nuh betta dan yard”.
The singer kept the vibes flowing with hits such as Beware, Life of A Gun, I Will Stay With You and She’s Royal.
Preceding the final act of the night was the Sugar Minott tribute, which according to the MC was put together by Dean Fraser.
That segment left a lot to be desired and Sugar must be turning on ice at the ‘hurrycome-up’, disorganised and jumbled affair it turned out to be. Sugar’s close friends Little John and Tristan Palmer jostled for the microphone most of the time.
Earlier in the evening performances came from Lymie Murray who worked an entertaining set, making way for QQ. He danced up a storm – or should we say ‘gave some go go like moves’ as he performed.
Richie Loop was in a party mood and wasted no time in injecting that spirit into the crowd as he did songs such as Mi Waan Mi Own, Party Time and My Cupp.
“Yuh want to know what’s in my cup?” Loop asked before telling them to listen while he revealed its contents.
The cup’s contents is still a mystery as the jargon he mumbled into the mic left patrons clueless.
Chris Martin was next. The 2005 Digicel Rising Star winner had the crowd eating up every thing he dished out. When he drew for love classics such as These Arms of Mine and Otis Redding’s I’ve Been Loving You for Too Long he had the ladies screaming away. Other songs the singer performed included Jamaican Girl, Take My Love and Watch Me Lord.
The Canada-based artistes made a strong representation with reggae acts Tasha T, Fire Lion and Farahri.
The Sumfest crowned King of the Dancehall Beenie Man brought the curtains down on the final night of Sumfest in fine style.