Fans angry over bad organisation
Sunday, September 2 2012
By Leiselle Maraj
“Marley Magic” was not enough to quell the bitter taste left in the mouths of hundreds of patrons who attended the House of Marley concert on Thursday night and later left the Hasely Crawford Stadium disappointed because of the poor organisation of the event.
The highly anticipated concert, produced by Tri-Star Promotions, failed to live up to the expectations of many, despite the stellar performances given by brothers Ky-Mani, Julian, Stephen and Damian “Junior Gong” Marley, sons of Reggae icon Bob Marley, in their sets during the concert.
One patron, who did not want to be named, said he paid $1800 for VVIP tickets for his girlfriend and himself, only to leave during Ky-Mani’s solo performance, which began close to 1:30 am and lasted half an hour. “It was very amateur from the beginning. Parking assistants refused to let us park in the area designated for VVIP patrons so we had to park elsewhere,” he said. On the inside, he said, the bar in his section opened with no ice, water or mixers and only offered Three Zero rum, forcing him to look for drinks in other sections. “Imagine they opened a bar with nothing in it, you could not even get water. Eventually I was able to get some hot beers,” he said.
Bars in other sections also experienced similar problems. At about 2 am, bar staff in the Platinum VIP section was seen scraping the remnants of ice into the few cups remaining, leaving dozens more patrons without ice and mixers for their drinks. Patrons who were able to get into the back stage zone went to a bar set up there only to be told they would not be served if they did not have pink security bands or were not celebrities.
The patron said the situation got worse when members of the general section stormed his section while security personnel and police stood by and watched.
“They did not do anything to help the situation. It was getting dangerous so I had to leave,” he said.
Other patrons, especially those who endured until the Marleys took to the stage, were less disappointed by the overall concert. One member of the general section said he was allowed into the VIP area for the price of his general ticket and experiencing Damien Marley in concert was enough for him.
The concert began later than its expected start at 9 pm with several local acts taking to the stage to warm up the crowd. The turnout in the general section scarcely filled the area and patrons did not have a good view of the stage or the screens on either side of the stage.
Soca’s royal family, Super Blue (Austin Lyons), Fay-Ann Lyons and Bunji Garlin (Ian Alvarez), backed by the Asylum band, were the first of the main acts and delivered a performance of their own music mixed with touches of touches of Fay-Ann’s versatility, as she belted out Adele’s “Someone Like You” and David Rudder’s “High Mas”.
The husband and wife team donned clothes in the national colours, but Super Blue came out in his signature hue and shared the stage with his family, singing his own “Soca Baptist” and other numbers and even did “To Love Somebody”, a hit from the Bee Gees and Michael Bolton among other popular foreign artistes.
After their performance, the crowd was entertained by Slam 100 DJs and emcees until Ky-Mani was announced on stage. Many thought the other Marleys would follow, but after his performance for half an hour, which included his and his father’s music, he left the stage and the band he was performing with moved off to allow another to take its place. The crowd, however, was more receptive of his performance of his father’s music judging from their reaction.
After almost an hour of lag between the two performances, which contained some hiccups with the DJ music, Damian took the stage performing one of his new pieces, “Make it Bun Dem”, a dubstep number done with music producer, Skrillex. The highly energetic performance of the Grammy Award winning reggae artiste woke up the crowd, which was impatient for this part of the night. For 45 minutes, Damian gave a taste of his old and new music, including “Dispear” and “Sabali”, done with Nas on their Distant Relatives album.
Beginning with “Violence in the Streets”, Julian Marley came on stage so the two could sing their duet. He performed solo for several more of his songs then made way for Stephen Marley who, along with his own music, introduced his son, Jo Mersa (Joseph Marley), who sang for a few minutes.
At 4.20 am, the family thanked patrons and left the stage but after the crowd insisted, Damian returned to perform his currently popular “Affairs of the Heart” and other songs. He wished Trinidad and Tobago a happy independence and noted that Jamaica also celebrated their 50th anniversary recently. He said although he did not see a difference between this and any other anniversary, he was pleased to see the spirit of togetherness inspired by the celebration of the Golden Jubilee anniversary. After performing “Welcome to Jamrock”, he called all of his brothers on stage to wrap things up with a stirring performance of their father’s “Could You be Loved”. Efforts to contact promoter Roy Maharaj were unsuccessful as calls to his cellphone went unanswered.