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Third World Band Fans Journey To St John, USVI For Patriots Album Launch

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Considered the smallest of the three United States Virgin Islands, the nine miles long and three miles wide island of St. John was the setting for the launch of Third World’s 23rd album, Patriots. Love City Live, a weeklong reggae festival that featured events across the island, hosted the album launch and full concert on Saturday, January 29, 2011 at the Winston Wells Ball Field.  The festival, which was sponsored by Innovative, Kiss 101.3FM, Boyson and St, John Brewers also featured performances by Inner Visions Band,Melame Gange and The Blackstar Band.    

The ten-time Grammy Nominated group arrived on the island earlier in the week to promote the album and attend events surrounding the launch.  The rigorous promotion schedule began with an appearance at the Julius E. Sprains School, where Love City Live’s organizer Glenn “Wasi” Philbert was once a student and has devoted time to giving back to the school since his return to the island.  Third World’s Bass guitar player, Richard Daley, was happy to attend the school and speak to the student body about music and education.  Daley remarks, “this was a great opportunity to speak to the students especially since it ties in well with the bands outreach efforts for 2011.” 

Thereafter the band was whisked away to the Natural Livity Culture Shop in St. Thomas, host of a “meet and greet” and autograph signing.  Later that evening, back in St. John, Rhumb Lines Restaurant hosted a dinner soiree and listening party in the band’s honor.  Patrons and fans got to hear the new album and members of the band signed autographs and took pictures.  The stage was set, everyone on the island – locals and tourists alike – were buzzing about the show.  Ferries from neighboring islands, Tortola, St. Croix and St. Thomas, lined the docks in Cruz Bay.

With all the promotions done, it was Showtime.  At 12:30 am, the chants of the band’s name throughout the venue signaled the crowd’s excitement to see the group perform.  Stage lights, camera flashes and screams ushered the band members on stage.  The venue came alive with the opening song Spirit Lives, a tribute to the people of Haiti that the band has been opening every one of their performances with for the past year. The band also performed hit singles such as 96 Degrees, Reggae Ambassadors, Committed, Forbidden Love, Sense of Purpose, Reggae Party and others.  In honor of the late Gregory Isaacs, who is featured on the Patriots album, the group performed Isaacs’ hits Rumors and Front Door. 

Fans screamed the names of their favorite band member in between songs and many held up hard copies of the album that they purchased prior to the show, a clear sign of their dedication and support of the band.  The high-energy performance of the band was contagious and the crowd danced and participated when lead singer Bunny Rugs asked everyone to “get something and wave.”

At the end of their performance, Glenn “Wasi” Philbert accompanied by Inner Visions Band brought Third World back on stage.  Inner Visions presented the group with a plaque in honor of their thirty-eight year contribution to reggae music.  Cat Coore remarks, “To be recognized by another band is just amazing.  We are always honored when we are acknowledged but more so when the acknowledgement comes from fellow musicians.  I would be remised if I didn’t say what a great job Wasi did in putting together this album launch.  His team worked tirelessly to make sure everything went off without a hitch and so it did.  Additionally, I also want to thank Dean Pond, who is our official sound engineer and co-producer of the album, for providing professional support to the production team throughout the night.  Wow, we are continually amazed by the people who are in our corner.  Thanks to all!”

After an encore performance, the group met with fans, signed autographs and took pictures – a seemingly perfect end to a perfect night.

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