Dancehall star Movado (left) was the saviour of the show and had the audience in the palms of his hands. (Picture by Christoff Griffith.)
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Jamaican dancehall star Movado lifted the FAS7STAR/Yello Hennessy Artistry to a higher level in the early hours of yesterday morning.
At about 2:55 a.m. Movado, real name David Brooks, swarmed the stage to awaken an almost lifeless crowd of thousands who packed the grounds of the historic Kensington Oval. It was like all of his fans emerged from the woodwork as soon as he arrived to reel off his hits. I’m On The Rock, Full Clip, Guns Out, House Cleaning, Money Changer, All Dem A Talk were but a few of the tracks that excited the throngs.
The promoters should be pleased with the attendance for this year’s production. Dancing space was at premium. Couples were pressed into one, almost. Singles had little breathing room.
But none of that mattered. Women screamed while the men expressed their approval with loud chants that ricocheted across Kensington and into the environs of Fontabelle.
Movado had something for everyone: “bad man” tunes, lovers’ tunes, you name it: No Care Who Like Me, Fresh Cash, Big League, Destiny and Caribbean Girls.
The 36-year-old however had a word of caution for those members of the audience who tried to spoil things as they created a scuffle.
He ordered security to usher the aggressors out and continued with I’m So Special, followed up by Beat and Teach and Clear Di Way before ending his hour-long set with Hope and Pray.
Beres Hammond was the consummate performer with irresistible love songs in his 60-minute set. However, he too was in keeping with the reserved tone of the night. Nevertheless, the audience was happy to hear, sing and dance along to their favourites from him.
Dressed in his usual cap, vest and unbuttoned calico shirt, Uncle Beres’ sweet tenor voice floated richly across the beat.
Opening with Can’t Stop A Man, he stuck to romantic songs like Come Back Home, Step Aside, What One Can Do, She Loves Me Now and I Wish, drawing screams from women who offered him their undying devotion.
At 62 years old, Beres took a couple moments to interact with his adoring fans but was quickly back to the job at hand.
In his wrap-up, he brought Love Means Never To Say I’m Sorry and a rendition of the incomparable Rockaway which he sang acapella, assisted with the so-called “Kensington Oval choral”.
Rihanna, who was featured on the Give Me A Try remix with Sizzla, was among the large audience at the Oval enthralled by Sizzla Kalonji’s dynamism.
Sizzla could have gone on much longer and the people would have loved every hit: Simplicity, Guide Over Us, Praise Ye Jah, Be Strong, Holding Firm, Woman I Need You and Dry Cry. He incorporated several local reggae acts into his set, like Buggy Nhakente and Red Star Lion.
Burgeoning Canadian rapper/singer Tory Lanez has, for good reason, apparently built up a considerable following locally. The 20 minutes he appeared on stage here for the first time were filled with many highlights. The 25-year-old brought songs like Luv, Litty and Controlla. He however performed too many covers, including those of Beenie Man, Bob Marley and Gyptian.
The Bajan acts in the soca session got the ball rolling with the orange-haired songstress Nikita setting a high standard straight out of the gates at 10 p.m. She was followed by Fadda Fox and Lil Rick who closed the 45-minute session.
DJs Bard The CEO, Jon Doe and Tammy, along with Indian and Chris Gayle, kept the crowd entertained during the breaks. (SDB Media)