His moniker is Mr Singy Singy, and that is exactly what Tarrus Riley came to do as he stole the hearts of Hennessy Artistry patrons on Saturday night at the Kensington Oval. The velvet-voiced crooner was the first international act to hit the stage at just around midnight. He held the audience in the palm of his hand from the time he emerged.
Tarrus’ hits songs, including Simple Things, Love’s Contagious, Sorry, Never Leave and Don’t Come Back, were but a few of the tracks that the Jamaican artiste belted out as he cemented his place in the hearts of his large Barbadian fanbase. Saxophonist Dean Fraser added extra finesse to the set.
Tarrus is a phenomenal performer and to see him in the opening slot was a shock to many. By the end of the night many were of the firm view that the decision was ill-conceived since only one other artiste came close to delivering comparable performance.
The long-running show has been failing to attract the same level of interest as its earlier editions. Close attention needs to be paid to not only the artistes that the organizers bring but also the structure of their running order so that music lovers are not left disappointed. The size of this year’s crowd compared to previous years sends a clear message as well.
Anthony B was the other performer who was the full package. His frenetic energy did not wane throughout his entire set. Even though he pranced across every inch of the stage, at no point did that compromise his vocals. He satisfied attendees with favourites like I Understand, Damage, Raid the Barn and Storm Winds. He, like Tarrus, had the patrons singing along with practically every song he delivered.
Typically, Barbadian audiences are known as one of the hardest audiences to please. Nigerian-born and Lagos raised Davido was one of the artistes who got that rude awakening on the night. He only got a rise out of the audience with the songs with which they were familiar. They gave him love for Assurance, Fall and If, but he received a subdued response for other tracks like One Ticket, Bum Bum and Skelewu.
The advantage that artistes like Tarrus Riley and Anthony B have on some of their younger counterparts is that they sound identical to their records. Having popular songs does not mean you can deliver on stage. Sadly, that was the case with Masicka. Despite having a catalogue that would have resonated more with local audiences, he failed to capture the patrons’ attention. He lacked stage presence and that was his major downfall.
Dexta Daps was the closing performer of the night. The energetic artiste caused an uproar when he burst on stage. He thrilled with Shabba Madda Pot, 7 Eleven and Leader and sent the ladies wild when he exposed his physique. Though he started on a high, he failed to maintain the same energy throughout. Fans were left disappointed when he prematurely disappeared from stage in the hype of what was to be his final song.
Earlier in the night, the locals soca acts added some diversity to the cast. Edwin Yearwood was entertaining as always with Sak Pase and Pump Me Up. He was followed by a dapper looking Hypasounds with Fair Sa and Bubble. Leadpipe & Saddis were also solid. Local rapper Teff added some punch when joined in to do the recently released collaboration Barbara. (STT)