High quality performances on last Friday’s opening night of the Naniki Barbados Music Festival, set the standard and tone for the event’s next two nights.
The theme was Echoes of the Caribbean, and the night’s performers –– Phillip 7, Asher Otto and the legendary Jamaican reggae band, Third World – effectively represented such in their renditions.
Phillip 7, backed by the Energy Band, opened the show on a high note. He sang many covers and ended with his original hit song Beautiful Surprise, which remains popular with many music lovers.
Asher Otto followed after a lengthy break. The Antiguan beauty, who celebrated her birthday the same night, was backed by her own band, Ittcyfeet.
Asher displayed her vocal ability through a range of covers, and although she went a bit over time, the crowd thoroughly enjoyed her presentation.
Reggae ambassadors Third World closed the show.
They quickly stamped their authority and showed why they are one of the greatest bands around. The group took eager fans back in time through their many hits and hand them dancing the night away.
The atmosphere was electric, and the feeling of nostalgia was definitely there.
For the younger ones in the crowd, including myself, it was an eye opener and a joy to see how the older folks did it back in their day.
Seeing Third World perform live for the first time, it was almost as if one was listening to a record, even though their original lead singer, Bunny Rugs, has passed away and was replaced by A J Brown who is just as talented.
Third World’s set included Reggae Ambassadors, Jah Glory, Dreamland and UpTown Rebel. Their ever-popular, 96 Degrees in the Shade, turned the eastern end of the Ilaro Court grounds into a choir. Everyone sang along word for word.
They also performed covers of songs including Bob Marley’s Redemption Song.
Third World really enjoyed the performance, it was evident. The crowd enjoyed it, it was clear. Observing from the back of the venue, there was not a person who was standing still during their two-hour performance.
It was the perfect climax to a good opening night and a great introduction to the remainder of a music-filled weekend.