All five boroughs were represented at VP Records’ 40th anniversary concert at Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage. The 5,500-capacity crowd was treated to what is being called the best reggae concert of summer 2019, even generating a viral video of Elephant Man on popular blog The Shaderoom.
“This event was about the fans who have supported VP Records through the years, purchasing and streaming the music. said company president Randy Chin. “Live shows are a vital link to Caribbean culture in the City and we’re very happy with the way this turned out.”
The line-up for the event showcased the range and diversity of the label’s output over four decades. The Grammy-nominated Raging Fyah opened the show with their ‘roots rock’ influenced brand of reggae.
R&B songstress Estelle followed with a spirited performance inspired by her recent Lovers Rock, release. She got the crowd into her act, inviting audience members to showcase their dance moves on stage and brought the house down, closing her set singing the smash hit, “American Boy.” Former Black Uhuru vocalist, Junior Reid, took the SummerStage audience to another level, running through a selection of reggae and Dancehall hits including his classic “One Blood.” Closing the show was VP veteran Elephant Man who demonstrated how he earned the moniker “Energy God,” with an up tempo dancehall set that pulled out all the stops. The energy among attendees was exuberant for this momentous occasion.
The event was chronicled with a live painting by Japanese illustrator, Murasaki. With dynamic performances and the recently remodeled venue serving as his inspiration, the artist created a 5’ x 10’ sized canvas to commemorate the milestone event. The artwork will serve as inspiration for the upcoming VP Records compilation album, Strictly the Best Volume 60, slated for release November 22.
Earlier this year, VP Records debuted a multi-media exhibit chronicling its sixty years in reggae music at Sangster International Airport in Jamaica. A condensed version of the exhibit was on display to educate concert goers on the origins of the company as Randy’s Record Mart in Kingston, Jamaica and the label’s vital role in the development of the reggae since its establishment in Jamaica, New York in the late 70’s.
For more information on VP Records, log onto www.vprecords.com.