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» BREAKING NEWS, EVENTS, Featured » STEPHEN MARLEY, RICHIE STEPHENS GAVE MEMORABLE SUMFEST PERFORMANCES, SEAN KINGSTON FAILED TO CONNECT!

STEPHEN MARLEY, RICHIE STEPHENS GAVE MEMORABLE SUMFEST PERFORMANCES, SEAN KINGSTON FAILED TO CONNECT!

By Simone Morgan

 

Multiple Grammy Award-winner Stephen Marley’s performance could easily go down as one of the most entertaining in Reggae Sumfest history. Within seconds of his entry on stage, the singer connected with patrons inside the Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre in Montego Bay, on Saturday night.

Stephen Marley

Stephen Marley

The first segment of his well-rehearsed set included hits No Cigarette Smoking (In My Room), Tight Ship, Top Rankin, So Strong, and The Mission.

The excitement intensified when he invited his son, Jo Mersa, to partner with him for a few minutes. Marley’s set grew more exciting when he was joined by the ‘Fireman’ Capelton to perform their collaboration Rockstone. Captelon’s short and energetic set was filled with jumps and waves, much to the delight of the receptive audience.

Marley closed with a bang when he delivered the lyrics to one of his latest hits, Options, a collaboration which was recorded with American hip hop artist Pitbull.

Sean Kingston

Sean Kingston

Following Marley’s performance, well-received sets came from Sean Paul, Queen Ifrica, Beenie Man, Christopher Martin, and Sizzla Kalonji. Before them were Meluke, Deej Jahi, and Kabaka Pyramid.

Cancer survivor, Feluke sang his way into the hearts of patrons. The dreadlocked singer — who confessed that at one point, he had given up — was seemingly enjoying his new lease on life as he moved from corner to corner on the huge stage, delivering his well-received songs.

Feluke — who recently returned from Mexico where he was being treated for stage 4 colon cancer — sampled Buju Banton’s It’s Not An Easy Road in a set which included Building on Israel, Keep Our Souls Alive, among others.

Richiie Stephens

Richie Stephens

Before Marley, acts including Richie Stephens and the Ska Nation Band had patrons dancing and singing along to ska and reggae selections.

Mad Cobra was also a crowd-pleaser, delivering a solid set comprising mostly of 90s hits, an era when dancehall music was in its heyday. He ignited the crowd with favorites like Dun Wife, Cellular, Press Trigger and Teeth A Pull. He turned his set up a notch with his 1992 crossover hit Flex. He later invited Stephens back on stage to perform their collab Legacy. However, the two reversed roles, with Cobra doing the singing while Stephens was the deejay.

Sizzla

Sizzla

Cobra’s set came after American hip hop artist Sean Kingston failed to impress the Reggae Sumfest audience, even when performing some of his popular songs. There were very little applause as he delivered songs like Take You There and Me Love. He was joined onstage by two female dancers, but that did little to spark a positive reaction from the crowd.

“He sounds and look like a 12-year-old reciting a poem for his parents,” a female jokingly said to her friend. “He looks tired, too,” she added.

He managed to get a bit of crowd response to Beautiful Girl and Dutty Love.

Queen Ifrica

Queen Ifrica

While performing 911, a social media personality posted: “Someone needs to call 911 and get him off that stage.”

Despite not having a receptive audience, Sean Kingston thanked his fans for their support before gracefully exiting the stage

During the evening’s proceedings, Montego Bay Mayor Homer Davis presented the Key to the City to the Reggae Sumfest organisers, which was collected by Chairman Josef Bogdanovich. Awards were also given to representatives of the Sumfest body, including Tina Davis, Worrell King, Robert Russell, and Johnny Gourzong.

The organizers of Reggae Sumfest must be commended for a well-executed festival, which boasted all the features they had promised, including an acoustic café and food village. There was also a smooth flow of acts with hardly any lengthy band changes.

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