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Reggae Sumfest 2013

Reggae Sumfest 2013

Reggae Sumfest 2013

By on - Photos by Steve James - Comment

I-Wayne, Popcaan, Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, I-Octane, Barrington Levy, Tarrus Riley, Damian Marley and more.

Celebrating its 21st anniversary, Reggae Sumfest 2013 was held July 21 – 27th at Catherine Hall in Montego Bay. The promoters sought to maintain the high standards for which they have become known by attracting the artistes who are recognised for their successful songs and performances both locally and internationally.

Dancehall Night was held as the custom, on Thursday night. It featured the leading hit makers of the genre, such as Bugle, I-Wayne, RDX, Assassin, QQ, Aidonia, Popcaan, Macka Diamond and Tommy Lee. If there was an award for making a ‘grand entrance’, it would have been won by Spice, who entered the stage encased in a huge ball, reminiscent of pop artiste Lady Gaga. Lady Saw had a lot to say about her rivals while turning in a splendid performance. She also announced it would be her last performance at Sumfest as she was moving toward being in the church. Kiprich turned out an interesting performance while lyrically going head to head with a law enforcement officer. The audience reacted with laughter some uncertain if he policeman was a fake or real.

Both Beenie Man and Bounty Killer who have ruled the dancehall for a number of years, turned out their standard high energy performances. Dancehall night was brought to a closure by I-Octane; whose energetic performance was well received. 

It was clear from the reaction of the audience that they were impressed and satisfied with the high energy performances of Assassin, Lady Saw, Bounty Killer and Popcaan.

International Night 1 was the night for upcoming artistes, trying to make their mark and impress the crowd. Backup artiste turned lead singer Sophia Squire, Nature, Droop Lion and Iba Mahr all held their own in the early part of the night.

Barrington Levy who has not performed on the festival in over eight years came fully equipped with his band flown in from California. He thrilled the audience with hits such as Dancehall Rock, Here I Come, 21 Girls Salute, Teach the Youths and several others. Reminding the audience of his true vocal abilities and the number of albums he had, he stated before departing the stage, that this was real dancehall and not ‘auto tune music’, and that he could not sing ten albums in forty-five minutes and would need much more time.

Fresh from his European tour, Tarrus Riley gave the audience a full dose of his hits. Working the stage with his Black Soil Band, the crowd showed their appreciation several times throughout his set by singing and dancing along to his songs.

It was the headline act, US Rapper Flo Rida who took Reggae Sumfest by storm and surprised many at the venue with his energetic performance. His set was filled with non-stop action and maintained the party vibes which his songs are known to bring. He completed his performance with an effort at crowd connection, as he was carried through the massive crowd on the shoulders of one of his bodyguards while singing and getting closer to his fans. 

Beres Hammond was next, and showed the crowd what to expect on his upcoming 28 city US tour. He delivered several of his classics such as One Step Ahead, I Feel Good, Can You Play Some More, Love Never means to say You Are Sorry and several others. It was apparent that he was enjoying himself as he interacted well with the crowd, laughing and adlibbing while singing the songs they requested. The Harmony House Band and the Harmony House singers were all in sync as Beres reeled off his hits. Ladies in the audience could be heard screaming, “we love you Beres”. Close to the end of his performance he was joined on stage by Shaggy to do their current hit single “Fight this Feeling” which is currently number one on several reggae charts throughout the world. International Night One was closed by Jah Cure. Despite hailing from the second city of Montego Bay, he had not graced the stage of Reggae Sumfest in a number of years, and it was quite fitting that he was chosen to close the show. His performance erased any doubt that some may have had as he rose to the occasion and enthralled the tired patrons with his hit songs and vocal talent. 

International Night II was equally impressive, as an increased number of tourists and local patrons were visible. The group No-Maddz, Singer/Designer, Ashley Martin and Berry were early warmers in the lineup and showcased their talents effectively. The highly respected youngster, Chronixx was performing on Reggae Sumfest stage for the first time and he did not disappoint. Fresh from his European tour and one of the main acts that patrons were looking forward to, he along with his Zinc Fence Redemption Band did not disappoint. The audience was treated to hits like Smile Jamaica, Beat a Mic and the ever popular Buss. Singer Romain Virgo held his own and showed much improvement and maturity since his last time on the festival. Dressed in yellow and black he was well received by all.

R & B headliner Miguel was also a big hit with the crowd and worked the stage from start to finish with his dance moves. Along with his band he was all for the ladies and delivered a quality performance. Damian ‘Junior Gong’ Marley delivered a great performance. As usual his backing band was completely in tuned to his performance. However, it was his backup singers who almost stole the attention at times during his performance as they were a separate performance by themselves with their high energy dancing. During his set he invited Assassin, Wayne Marshall and Aidonia to join in his performance. The surprise of the bonus performances served to energise the crowd even more, and definitely made his stint one of the best performances of the entire festival

Reggae Sumfest 2013 was brought to a closure by Chalice, one of the most consistent reggae bands in the last decade. After a very successful three day event no doubt patrons are already looking forward to Reggae Sumfest 2014.

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