Monday, 25 July 2011

BEST OF REGGAE SUMFEST: The Top 10 Performances at this year’s Festival (Part 1)

#1. Beres Hammond
Buoyed by superb accompaniment from his Harmony House band, the high priest of lover’s rock had the attentive Catherine Hall in his thrall throughout his hour-long set, culminating with a presentation from the show’s organisers, who bestowed on him the Reggae Icon Award – and a touching appearance from Marion ‘Lady Saw’ Hall. You never grow weary during a Beres performance, always replete with timeless hits, and all equally memorable it would seem. A+

#2. Bunny Wailer (aka Jah B)
The real thrill in Bunny Wailer’s performance in the wee hours of Saturday morning rests not only in his wistful renditions of classics like “Cool Runnings” and “Trench Town” and “Don Dadda,” but additionally in the sage arguments he put forward between the songs, highlighted by his call for reggae to be further bolstered as a vehicle to encourage a spike in tourism interests in the island. A

#3. Nicki Minaj
She really is some spectacle in person, and her live performance just as fascinating. She may have employed pre-recorded tracks during her roughly 45-minute show, but she more than made up for any shortfall with her unrelenting energy, striking facial expressiveness (those eyes!) and sprightly hip-pop anthems. Not to mention excelling in the dance choreography with her spirited sextet (all girls) of bodacious dancers. A-

#4. I-Octane
You know you have skyscraper-tall ratings in the dancehall when your devotees herald your performance with bonfires and fire-breathing cans. As such, I-Octane’s fans made the biggest impression at Dancehall Night, and deservedly so as the singjay delivered a set as hot as the flames blazing out in the crowd. The YouTube footage is a must-see. B+

#5. Tanya Stephens
If there’s one thing Tanya Stephens’ Friday night performance proved it’s that she cannot shake the storyteller inside her – the one with the keen insight into intimate adult relationships and a stunning knack for sharp, sexy lyrics and melody. B+

>> Part II: Best of Sumfest 2011

(Photos cred: Adrian Creary, and TALLAWAH)

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