Great vibes at Red Stripe Live

By Aaliyah Cunningham
Observer writer

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

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RED Stripe Live Concert pulled a massive audience to 'Stand Up Fi Di Jamaican Music' at the Red Stripe Oval on Spanish Town Road last Friday.

The event is the first of a series of shows geared toward the promotion and preservation of reggae and dancehall music as part of Jamaica's legacy.

Patrons began pouring into the venue minutes after 9:00 pm, but by midnight, it was filled to capacity. Agent Sasco, Tifa, Rygin King and 2017 Red Stripe Big Buss winner Stephen “Pastor” Blake were rostered to perform. DJ Log-On, alongside the spirited Red Stripe dancers, had the crowd fully energised before the live segment.

Stephen “Pastor” Blake was the first act to hit the stage. He delivered a sermon through his dancehall gospel songs such as Way Maker, Every Day Above Ground and a rendition of George Nooks' Ride Out Your Storm. Blake, who is a pastor, also performed Give Peace A Chance with his father Paul Blake.

The self-proclaimed 'Pastor of Dancehall' excited the crowd with his version of Stylo-G's Touch Down. His performance was well received.

In speaking with the Jamaica Observer, Blake said he was happy to be a part of the Stand Up Fi Di Jamaican Music movement.

“Africa a do dancehall, Europe a do dancehall and reggae; America a do dancehall and reggae and dem a hit! Suh if we nuh careful or respect wah dem a do, we'll get drowned out and we won't be needed again. So when you see Red Stripe come and seh: 'Yow, we a guh defend our music from our place, put we money and invest in it', it's only showing the world that, 'Hey, we're not dead and buried',” he said.

Tifa, the lone female performer for the night, echoed his sentiments and highlighted that the show brings quality entertainment at an affordable cost.

“They (Red Stripe) have afforded the neighbouring communities, Waterhouse, Spanish Town Road, Seaview, Riverton to come to a show for $500. It's like you buy two beers and come in for free. Regular civilians (patrons) wouldn't be able to see people like us, so it's a great initiative by Red Stripe,” she said.

Her performance had the crowd in a “spell” with hits including Spell It Out, Dash Out, Wedding Chapel, Matie Wine, So Sick, and Bottom of The Barrel. Her performance was accompanied by the dance moves the Red Stripe promo girls.

Agent Sasco was determined to not be deterred by the time constraints. He also had an electrifying set as he swayed the audience with Carry On, Nothing At All, Winning Right Now and Do It If You Bad. The crowd recited the lyrics to Banks Of The Hope.

Rygin King brought the curtain down on the evening. The audience members were intent to capture his entire set by cellphone. The Montego Bay-based deejay did a number of songs from his catalogue including Legacy, Learn, 3ZN and Tuff.

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