Reggae On The Beach or Dancehall On The Beach? Maybe, it’s time the promoters of the Digicel Barbados Reggae On The Beach consider a name change for the highly popular event during the annual Reggae Festival.
And the question from one of the featured acts, Jamaican dancehall artiste Dexta Daps, as to why he was hearing no reggae at a reggae-titled event should have been indication enough a name change was needed.
Thousands turned out to Daiquiri Beach Pirates Cove for the first official event of the 2016 Reggae Festival. The Bajan artistes laid the perfect foundation and hyped the crowd up to the max. In fact, one could argue that some of those artistes were the highlight of the show.
Stiffy Star Quality showed why he is still one of the “baddest” on the entertainment scene. Even before he came onstage, the fans were bellowing his name. The lad from the north came and instructed his female fans how to Ride It, Stick It and Shake That. He even included a soca segment in his set, singing Squat, Maintenance Man and Eyelid, much to the crowd’s delight. His 20-minute set seemed much too short as the beach partygoers were now getting started.
Mole and Lady Essence were on before Stiffy, and they too helped to hype up the crowd. Before their set came to an end, Mole dropped his first soca song for the 2016 Crop Over season, Pluck She, which was well received by the crowd.
Youngsters SK and Patterson brought the house down with their hit Ish Fuh Me. This dance is still a hit across the country, and the youngins onstage definitely enjoyed themselves at their first major performance.
Shac, another local performer, opened the show and should be commended for his performance.
Jamaican artiste Spice was the first of the headline acts to hit the stage and possibly the only one to really engage the audience.
If you ever saw a Spice performance, you would think you were having a déjà vu moment. But all is well that ends well, and the crowds loved it. Well, at least those directly at front of the stage. Much could not be said for the ones farther in the back in both VIP and General who were all just standing most of the time.
Spice sang hits like Jim Screechy, Romping Shop, So Mi Like It and Body Great, among others during her 35-minute set.
Dexta Dapps followed and the females in the audience loved it. Dapps sang from his repertoire: Seven Eleven, Jealous Ova and Slavery. He also offered some reggae covers into his set, stating he wanted to hear some reggae music at the reggae show.
The pretty-eyed Jamaican, who took his shirt off for the ladies, ended his set with his mega hit Shabba Mudda Pot; and the reception was phenomenal. The crowd sang along with him word for word at times, even drowning him out.
Alkaline ended the show; and it was quite an anticlimactic closure to the show. His performance was much more low-key than was expected. It appeared the crowd didn’t know many of the songs he was singing, and only really enjoyed Champion Boy, which was the final song of the night.
The promoters should be commended for choosing an excellent venue and layout. Both General and VIP patrons had adequate space to manoeuvre and party.
There were no reported cases of violence and this was probably owing to the heightened security presence.