R Kelly woos Sumfest patrons

By Cecelia Campbell-Livingston Observer staff reporter

Monday, July 23, 2012    

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PATRONS at Reggae Sumfest had to endure a near hour-long set change before seeing American Rhythm and Blues star R Kelly at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Complex in Montego Bay Saturday night.

Everyone stood their ground, not wanting to give up their vantage point.

But after the set was complete and MC Francois St Juste announced that everything was ready, he said there was another hitch. The artiste was just getting into his caravan at the hotel to be escorted to the venue by police.

This did not go down well with the crowd who had to wait another 40 minutes before R Kelly appeared.

The moment he took centrestage, however, the crowd instantly embraced him.

"What's up, Jamaica?" R Kelly asked. The audience was then his for the taking.

So Sexy and Snake were his start-up songs before he exclaimed: "Let me get my sound right or I can't do this can't do this f**king show!"

Whatever the problem, he seemed to have worked it out before going into a medley of early hits such as Bump 'N' Grind, Sex In The Kitchen and Strip For You which drew deafening screams from women at the front.

Their enthusiastic response influenced him him to the edge of the stage, wooing the ladies as he shook one hand after another.

One female fan grabbed on to his shoes to which he commented, "Take my shoes off!" She was more than happy to oblige!

R Kelly continued with Slow Wine, You Remind Me, Seems Like You're Ready, When A Woman's Fed Up and the gospel smassh I Believe I Can Fly. He made on female patron's evening when she caught his sweat-drenched towel which he tossed to the crowd.

Following his performance, some of the fans made their way out of the venue. But many who stayed enjoyed the performance of Damian 'Junior Gong' Marley who took command with Set Up Shop, More Justice, Still Searching and Affairs of the Heart.

Bunny Wailer brought the curtains down on the 20th staging of the festival in fine style as he took the crowd down memory lane with One Love and Simmer Down, songs he did in the early 1960s with the Wailers.

Earlier, good performances came from Jedani, Q-Ban, Rain Seville, Conkarah and hometown boy AJ Brown who was making his first appearance on the Sumfest stage.

Protoje and Christopher Martin also gave strong performances.





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