AMERICAN Grammy Award winner Kirk Franklin watched as veteran Jamaican deejay Papa San rocked the Best Dressed Fun in the Son gospel festival at National Heroes Park, Saturday night.
Franklin tore away from his security team on his way to the exit after his performance, then ran back on stage to dance a few steps with San, who was just revving up at the time: A gentlemanly acknowledgement that San is the boss in his hometown.
And, as co-promoter of the event, Glory Music's Tommy Cowan, explained, "We have no choice but to make San close the show. We have tried different people behind Papa San and it never works, don't care who you try".
Ask the huge crowd who were swaying hands, waving flags and jumping to the rhythms of the heavy-set but talented deejay and accomplished band.
He waded through some of his best known Christian era songs like Jesus Makes Me Smile, Again, Tambourine, A Yuh Alone (Fi Get di Glory) and Step Away, perennial favourites of the Fun In The Son crowd.
But San's task was not an easy one, as the global favourite Franklin set a stunning pace, becoming so absorbed in his performance and feeding off the energy of a loyal local fan base, that he had to be reminded that his time was up.
Franklin needed no introduction to his songs, and the fans were willing to follow his commands to jump, shout or hold on to long notes. His performance was so energetic, the crowd should have been enervated at the end, except that the closer was San.
Franklin was in his element when he did crowd favourites like Hosana, Stomp, Why We Sing, Revolution and My Life Is In Your Hands, but the young people went head over heels for the newer songs and kept pumping adrenaline right through the 60 minutes he spent on stage.
Franklin took the baton from another crowd pleaser, Carlene Davis, whose 40-minute act was extremely inspirational.
She did songs like Days of Elijah, This Island and her new Jamaica 50 single Jubilee, which she recorded with Papa San, but performed with Goddy Goddy on stage Saturday night.
Davis did her Hallelujah Medley and Threshing Floor prior to her testimony and teaming with Pastor Andrew Palau on Through it All.
The show kept a very high standard, with quick band changes, short speeches and music which kept the crowd of elderly and middle aged adults, and children swaying and shouting from 4:00 pm until after 10:00 pm.
Junior Tucker, who travelled to Kingston from his home in Miami with his family for the event, did not disappoint with I am Determined and Sold Out.
Goddy Goddy, who skipped a US ministry tour to pop in the for the event he had missed it for the past two years, showed why he is such a favourite among young Christians. He did a number of his most popular songs, including Try Jesus and Chaka Chi, Chaka Chi.
He was followed by DJ Nicholas who kept things on track with Things Already Better, Cut It Off and Nah Bow.