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Jamming in the rain!

by Leigh-ann Worrell

reggaeonthebeachtouchMost of the people interested in this review are those who looked up to the skies and were scared off by grey clouds and persistent weekend rains.

“Did I miss anything?”

“Should I have gone to Digicel Reggae on the Beach?” they are wondering, probably with the unsold ticket still in possession.

Well, it depends. If you are a diehard Aidonia fan who has followed his career from 2005 until present, you might have missed something good.

Appearing on stage at 10 p.m., dressed to death in an orange three-piece suit with a grey shirt and accents, the Jamaican dancehall star sang something for everyone. For the ladies, it was 100 Stab, Ukku Bit, Tip Pan Ya Toe and Siddung Pun De Jockey — which they soaked up. From the time DJ Indian started the riddim, female patrons dressed in an interesting and colourful array of dresses, shorts and other lace and spandex concoctions bent swiftly into a 45-degree angle to dance to the smash dancehall hit.

Aidonia even called up a “fluffy” girl on the stage to help with his performance — and help she did.

For the “real bad man dem”, Aidonia performed tunes like Bookam and Man Cyan Call Me No Baby among a slew of other songs. He ended the 45-minute set with some blessings and of course, a reprise of the song the ladies came out for: Siddung Pun De Jockey.

If you are not really one for Aidonia and was going to Brandon’s for a glimpse of Elephant Man, you missed out as well. The “energy god” has not been on a Barbadian stage for a few years, and more than made up for it with his agility, which he showcased in songs like Pon de River, Jook Gal, Nuh Linga, Signal de Plane and Willie Bounce.

The Too Bad Mind singer stood on the monitors, splashed around in the rain and even found a “Lady Elephant” to jump on the “anaconda”. Elephant Man also showed his softer side, bringing his daughter Hailey to strut her own dancing moves to the cheering crowd.

The rest of the show was a series of hits, misses and isolated downpours.

Bounty Killer certainly had some highs during his half hour on set, but it was less than electrifying. He dusted off tunes from early in his career, including The Lord is My Light, Wutless Bwoy and Can’t Believe Me Eye as well as the more conscious My Eyes Can See More Clear and Says She’s Leaving. Bounty’s freestyle was also a big hit — even if other pockets of his set were not. Throughout the crowd, male and female patrons alike were seen checking their phones, leaning on friends or saying, “dem couldda bring Konshens instead”.

Mad Dawg was the first Jamaican artiste last night and despite the persistent rain, he tried to work up the crowd with the familiar Early Morning, Wine It and Send Rum. However, how he was able to get a spot on Brandon’s Beach was not clear, since he has not had a popular tune in a few years.

Local acts entertained the growing crowd for around three hours. Each artiste crossed the stage for five to eight minutes, depending on their popularity. In a true sign that the Bajan reggae and dancehall were gaining momentum, some artistes were able to get a lot more “forward” than in previous years. Notable mentions include 10 (formerly Ben 10), Brutal the Crankstar, the Dirty Team, Crimeson and Crab Soldier and Vizion.

Lady Essence also gave her male counterparts a run for their money. Accompanied by different sizes of backup dancers, Lady Essence rocked the stage like “no man” could. Jamaican singer Tifa represented for the ladies as well.

As an overall package, Digicel Reggae on the Beach has seen more exciting years, but the highlights of the night made it worth the mud and rain.

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