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Forever Summer concert hits high note

BY JANELLE DE SOUZA Monday, July 14 2014

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NICE VIBES: Jamaican Reggae artiste Tarrus Riley during his performance at the Forever Summer concert at the Jean Pierre Complex, Port-of-Spain on Sat...
NICE VIBES: Jamaican Reggae artiste Tarrus Riley during his performance at the Forever Summer concert at the Jean Pierre Complex, Port-of-Spain on Sat...

“That was excellent! I’m definitely going to be here the next time Tarrus has a concert.”

“Man he and Virgo mash up! Them (sic) men could real sing.” “Tarrus should have done an encore. I wouldn’t have minded half an hour more.” “I vex I missed Ziggy though. They had him on too early.” Those were just some of comments by satisfied patrons after the “Forever Summer” reggae concert on Sunday morning featuring Jamaican acts Tarrus Riley, Romain Virgo, Bushman, Loyal Flames and local artiste Ziggy Rankin. The concert, which was held at the Jean Pierre Complex, was scheduled to begin at 8pm on Saturday, and began, to the surprise of many, at 8.30pm. The concert was well organised as the flow of performers was smooth with relatively short intermissions while the stage hands set up instruments for the next performer between sets.

Rankin opened the concert and belted out his hits in his usual strong, clear voice to an appreciative but sparse audience. He did not disappoint however, as he sang favourites such as Another One Gone, Miserable Life, Zion and I Don’t Know Her to cheers and applause from the crowd.

However it was Bushman who really warmed up the significantly larger audience as he ran onto the stage around 10 pm singing Nyah Man Chant to welcoming cheers and screams. He kept up the hype with songs like Worries and Problems, and Legalise it before slowing things down with It’s so Easy, and Lighthouse which moved couples to dance together in the midst of the crowd.

Near the end of his 30-minute performance, Bushman teased the crowd by singing the opening line of his 2000 hit, Fire Bun A Weak Heart, then walking off the stage. Members of the audience screamed and begged him to come back, which he did, telling them next time it would be “Bushman in concert” so he could have three hours to sing.

Virgo was up next to the delight of the crowd, especially the women, as there was a general rush to the front of the stage. Hands were in the air and women hoisted on shoulders as he began to sing crowd pleasers such as Mi Caan Sleep, Live Mi Life, Ghetto, Beautiful and Cry Tears for You.

His covers however, sent the women into a near frenzy. He surprised some by his range as he sang Adele’s Don’t You Remember; Let’s Get it On by Marvin Gaye; Here I am by Air Supply; Michael Bolton’s Soul Provider; and R Kelly’s When A Woman Loves A Man. “Woah. The man good,” one audience member was overheard saying to his friends.

It was midnight when the man everyone went to see came onstage. Dressed in a black pants, grey jacket and red t-shirt, he immediately had the crowd eating out of his hand with songs like Karma, Far Away, My Day, and of course the song that made him a star, She’s Royal.

For the next hour, Riley entertained the crowd as they danced, swayed, raised their hands and sang along to his original songs such as Love’s Contagious, Start A New, Superman, Bless Me, Lion Paw and Sorry Is A Sorry Word. He too performed several covers such as Michael Jackson’s Human Nature, and even Carnival Tabanca by Bunji Garlin. However, two covers in particular sent the performance to another level.

When Riley began to sing All of Me by John Legend, the ladies in the crowd cheered, screamed and sang along. But, “wildness” could be the only word used to describe what happened in the crowd when he began to sing Buju Banton’s Love Sponge as people jumped, danced and screamed rather than sang the lyrics.

Riley closed off his set around 1.10 am with Gimme Likkle One Drop and promptly left the stage as his band began packing up its equipment. Audience members called for an encore but they were denied as radio personality Sonny Bling informed them the concert was over and treated them to an impromptu performance of his own. Although taken aback by his sudden departure however, many seemed satisfied and left the stadium as well.

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