Among the finest music events on local soil, the Shaggy & Friends charity concert remains a big draw primarily on the merit of its crowdpleasing lineup of singers and deejays (including the likes of Miss Lauryn Hill), an exquisite setting, and its organizers’ obviously painstaking attention to detail. In the end though, the success of any show of its kind is largely hinged to what unfolds centrestage. Below, the 8 bonafide highlights from Saturday night:
Shaggy and Maxi Priest revivify “That Girl”
This scorching collabo from two of reggae’s most celebrated all-stars was a high-point for concertgoers who are always up for a nostalgic trip down music’s memory lane. The charismatic duo provided just that with a refreshing take on their 1996 duet.
Assassin keeps it real
Ace entertainer Assassin’s arsenal of hit songs perpetually includes those resonant meditations on the status quo – like the fan favourites “Hand to Mouth,” “Same Ting Again” and the prayerful “Jah Guide and Protect” – which made him of the most crowdpleasing performers of the night.
Lauryn Hill finishes with “Doo Wop (That Thing)”
Show-closer L-Boogie’s performance in the wee hours of Sunday morning was marred by technical flaws (which seemed to upset her), but the set – crammed with solo hits given the uptempo treatment like “Ex Factor” and popular anthems from the Fugees era like “Ready or Not” – culminated with the long-awaited rendition of Doo Wop (“That Thing”). No Lauryn Hill performance is complete without that monster number.
Sexy E-V-E and her platinum ponytail
Besides her obvious niceness on the mic, the seasoned raptress possesses an uncanny knack for super-fly style statements. She didn’t disappoint, appearing in a figure-flattering black ensemble with a lengthy, sleek ponytail that swayed in sync with her performances of sizzlers like “Tambourine” and “Who’s That Girl?”
Stephen Marley and Junior Gong initiate “The Mission”
The Grammy-winning Marley bros have earned renown for their militaristic brand of reggae, and there’s hardly a finer example than their hard-hitting anthem “The Mission,” which never fails to insistently raise the collective spirit of their audience.
Deniece Williams is truly “Amazing”
Don’t be fooled by her small size; Williams is a vocal dynamo with exceptional stage presence and charm, as evidenced by her very well-received renditions of classics like “Lets hear It For the Boys,” “It’s Gonna Take A Miracle” and “God Is Truly Amazing.”
WTF sails to Swagville
The persistent appeal of Wayne Marshall, Tifa and Fambo’s 2011 smash “Swaggin” was certainly not lost on the Jamaica House crowd, which responded with the anticipated zeal when the high-riding trio seized the spotlight with the tune.
Upon hearing that the night’s surprise performance will come from none other than the King of Lover’s Rock, it became practically impossible to not look forward to a musical delight. The thunderous response that greeted Beres’ entrance to the opening strains of “Pull It Up” said it all.