There were few tired faces in the Garfield Sobers Sporting Complex as reggae lovers danced from Friday night into Saturday morning during the Digicel Vintage Reggae Show and Dance.
The massive crowd packed the gymnasium for what was one of the anticipated events for this the 11th staging of the Digicel Barbados Reggae Festival.
Filling the venue from as early after eight in the evening, patrons came ready for their trip down memory lane through the presentations by the night’s line-up. At 10 p.m. exact, the reggae train began its journey, and all on board were treated to hit after hit during an entertainment package that saw local and regional acts gracing the stage.
Getting things started was local entertainer, Super Ruben, who paid tribute to the late Gregory Isaacs in song. He was followed by Biggie Irie who received a warm welcome from the audience. He had patrons singing along to renditions like ‘Dr. Love’, ‘The Tide is High’ and ‘Sweetie Come Brush Me’ during his tribute to the late John Holt.
Biggie Irie also paid tribute through his performance of songs by Third World to the late William Bunny Rugs” Clarke and to persons who are now deceased but previously orchestrated, performed or attended the show annually.
Around 11:14 p.m., the conductors of the train switched from local acts to regional ones. It was at this time the group FAB 5 hit the stage. Singing ‘Sweet Pea’ and ‘Shaving Cream’ among other hits, they whipped the crowd into a frenzy. The energy levels in the auditorium were through the roof!
Just when it was thought that the highest level was reached, entertainer, Leroy Gibbons, took things up several notches. The first timer to the Reggae Show brought lots of energy and his songs, though vintage, sounded like new music to the ear.
Loud screams and cheers filled the gymnasium when he sang selections including ‘Lovers Questions’, ‘Cupid’ and ‘Four Seasons Lover’. He ended with ‘This Magic Moment’ – a song title which fittingly described his set. Also giving an impressive performance was Marcia Griffiths, yet another first timer to the show.
Griffiths invited some patrons on-stage, one of whom was Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss, to do the electric slide while she sang ‘Electric Boogie’.
This was but one aspect of her presentation that stood out. She additionally received a thunderous applause and loud cheers after singing a mixture of golden oldies paying tribute to music icons Bob Marley, Desmond Dekker, Damian Marley and Rita Marley.
Though there was a dip in the crowd’s energy during the set by Chaka Demus and Pliers, it quickly rose again when Admiral Tibet came on-stage. He brought the roughly six-hour event to a close on a high note.