With one leap into the crowd Sunday night, popular dancehall artiste Aidonia cemented his position as the headline act at this year’s Magnum Tonic Wine Reggae Beach Party. This year’s event created a lot of buzz amongst reggae and dancehall fans after it was first announced Aidonia would be leading the charge on the stage Sunday, with DJ Puffy, Ding Dong and the ever so lovely Shenseea out of Jamaica. FAS Promotions once again held the annual beach fete on the grounds of Pirate’s Cove to open Barbados’ signature Reggae festival.
Patrons flocked to the Bay Street location and were entertained from the start by Deejay Riggo Suave, The Energy Squad, DJ Ras and many others. The rain threatened to involve itself in the event during the beginning stages, however, after a few sprinkles, the clouds gave way to the groovy, pulsating acts on show.
Kas Katee and Jagwa de Champ were among the first out of the gates to perform for the fairly packed crowd. Although their time on stage was brief compared to the headliners, they used it to the fullest and earned their keep amongst the star-studded cast. Kas Katee has been around for a while, so it was refreshing to see the local act still pushing hard to hone his brand of music.
Ding Dong and Co were electric on stage as they took us on a journey through popular dancehall tunes of yesteryear, including ‘Willie Bounce’ and ‘Wacky Dip,’ just to name a few. These guys came out to party, and with the help of their back up dancers, they easily had the crowd rocking from side to side in tune with the infectious songs. The Barbadian Dancehall sensation Lady Essence had her time on stage also, and with her official Fluffy Girl Anthem, the women in the crowd sang along proud as soon as the DJ dropped the beat.
Shenseea, the popular dancehall diva out of Jamaica, made her first appearance in Barbados this Sunday; however, [that wouldn’t have been obvious to] a casual onlooker. In simple words, Shenseea was amazing on stage; her command of the crowd with her biggest songs, even Bob Marley’s powerful hit: Is This Love, was awe inspiring. Her presence Sunday was a notable one, and we can only look forward to seeing more of her on the local scene, perhaps at some of the premiere events that are usually held at the end of the year.
This review would not be complete without mentioning the main act of course; Aidonia. It was worth the long wait through the previous performers, who though entertaining, were but a taste of what was to come. What can we say about Aidonia’s performance? Mesmerising? Enthralling? In other words, it was ‘tun up.’ Performing all of his greatest hits including his 2017 hit Hot Tool, one could see why the FAS promoters saw it fit to bring him to the beach party.
All in all, one can say the beach party was a success. Though I must mention, the general audience, in my opinion, had the best view of the performers, since they were directly in front of the stage; while VIP was seemingly tossed to the farther side of the stage as though it was an afterthought.
This Friday’s edition of Vintage Reggae should be one that’s not to be missed.