High spirits, low turnout at Beer Vibes
THERE was not a large turnout for Saturday's Red Stripe Beer Vibes at the National Arena but those who showed up got to see dancehall artiste Sizzla Kalonji, who hosted the event, try his hand as sound system selector.
He was accompanied by established sound system selectors Black Chiney, Jazzy T, Tony Matterhorn and Firelinks at the controls.
Black Chiney got the party started with a diverse selection of reggae music before going into hip hop. Sizzla then took up the mantle, declaring: "Mi a deejay, I am not a selector. Mi know unoo plan fi gang mi tonight but mi an' unoo."
He challenged Black Chiney to a friendly clash to which patrons whistled their approval.
Black Chiney 'hurled' several dub plates, some directed at Jazzy T, Matterhorn and Firelinks. Sizzla's salvo was built around freestyles and dub plates of his own.
Renaissance's Jazzy T dedicated the opening of his set to singer Tessanne Chin. Drinks were raised as he played her rendition of Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Waters and her hit song Hideaway.
"Sizzla, yuh a mi 'fren' but mi a go kill yuh with some a the dub yuh record fi mi," he said jokingly.
Based on audience response, it was clear Matterhorn was the event's most anticipated selector. The 'sound clash' veteran did not disappoint, giving fans an entertaining set that had full participation of fans.
After Matterhorn's energetic display, Firelinks made his entrance but by this time, many patrons had left the venue.
"This was really an entertaining event. I got my money's worth, as having four of dancehall's leading selectors in one building is a treat. Kalonji also showed off a different side of him as he wasn't in his usual 'fire burning' mood," said patron Marsha Lee Simms. "He laughed a lot and interacted with his audience...this was indeed refreshing."
Beer Vibes was last held in Kingston five years ago. Its last staging took place early this month in Negril as part of the Dream Week series.
— Simone Morgan