Rebel Salute 2024 comes to an abrupt end; Capleton, Ifrica, Louie Culture, Etana gave standout sets
The 30th anniversary edition of Rebel Salute came to an abrupt end on Sunday morning when the microphone was cut during I Wayne’s performance as the show had gone past its appointed time to wrap up this year’s staging.
The promoter’s decision to use 30 acts, consistent with its ’30 for 30′ tagline celebrating its 30th year of existence, appeared to be going well until the show’s abrupt ending, stranding at least two acts, one of whom was Fantan Mojah.
Police stormed the stage and band members exited quickly as the crowd inside Grizzly’s Plantation Cove in St Ann dispersed.
Earlier, there were several standout performances from the likes of Capleton, who delivered a masterful set, as well as Luciano, Etana, Queen Ifrica, Louie Culture, and dancehall superstar Sean Paul who graced the Rebel Salute stage for the first time in its 30-year history.
Louie Culture was outstanding with songs such as ‘Bow Down Low’ while Beenie Man, dressed in a fantastic pumpkin yellow suit with matching fedora, cheered him on from the VIP section. He wowed the crowd with the story of a gangster character called ‘John Tom who ah run the place warm, and shopkeeper have to grease his palm’ to forwards. Louie Culture informed the audience that ‘Coco Tea was kinda sick but him coming up’ before doing a Coco Tea favourite called ‘Stand Up Strong’.
Luciano joined him onstage to do a well-received ‘In This Together’, a hit song which also featured Terror Fabulous back in the day.
He had the crowd rocking with favourites like ‘Tune In’ (a Gregory Isaacs combination), ‘Grab Yu Lass and Come’, and an amazing dancehall medley with songs like ‘Old Before Young’, ‘Excellence’, ‘Big and Bold’, ‘Babylon Find the Herb’ and ‘No Gal’ on the Pepperseed riddim. But his biggest forwards were reserved for ‘Ganga Lee’, his timeless hit that had Beenie Man dancing.
Queen Ifrica aka the Phoenix was in her element with songs like ‘Below the Waist’ and ‘Assisted Genocide’. Barefoot, and dressed in full green with her hair coiffed in a powerful letter O, she commanded the stage with her songs and her unapologetic beliefs. She even invoked humour in her set.
“The titty dem nice even though dem a show, so it go, we anno Christian soldier, we ah rebel inna real life, yu hear that? Titty! Wah do some bwoy roun ya? Wah some bwoy a suck roun ya?” she asked to cheers from the crowd.
Queen Ifrica criticised producer Rvssian for dropping a riddim and not calling any cultural acts, only ‘girl who want all kinda tings down dem throat’, before she did a freestyle on the Dutty Money riddim saying she ‘used Satan as target practice’ and ‘dancehall turn go go club, wah a gwaan/think me coulda ride out the storm/but mi have to bun a fire pon the man dem who ah murder girl inna school uniform’.
Ifrica called out her daughter, Tanzie, to do a rendition of Cynthia Erivo’s ‘Stand Up’ where Ifrica forced a pull up of the song. She closed her set with ‘Lioness on the Rise’.
Capleton delivered an emphatic performance, waking up a slumbering crowd, with a fiery performance full of huge leaps and non-stop hits. With arguably the performance of the night, Capleton peppered the crowd with hits such as ‘Bun Out the Chi Chi’, ‘Turn it Up’ , Hunt Yuh, and Baby Don’t Cry No More. The audience sang ‘Who Dem’ word for word during his performance that lifted up the venue and had the audience interacting every second, waving their flags in glee, or punching the sky in unison with his songs.
Other standout performances came from Luciano, Etana and Yellowman.
I Wayne delivered a decent set full of moral exhortation such as ‘mi no care if the wicked have whole heap of K/bun out all bwoy weh gwaan like Petagay’. I Wayne also had some interesting takes on oral sex and lewd sexual acts that proved amusing to the crowd. He brought up a full-figured singer called Jahn’ll and they serenaded each other, much to the amusement of the crowd, before the show ended abruptly with the intervention of the police.
The event, which initially started as a birthday party for founder Tony Rebel in 1994, is now one of reggae’s most anticipated festivals beloved for its exposition of musical and cultural experiences.
The audience turnout was much better on Saturday night than the previous night, and they delighted in watching acts such as Mortimer, Josie Wales, Horace Andy, Peter Metro, Linval Thompson, and The Rebel Clan. Fantan Mojah, however, did not make it to the stage.
On Friday night, Anthony B delivered a stellar performance with hits such as Plant Di Corn, Fire Pon Rome and Damage.
Other reggae acts on Friday night were Third World, Sanchez, Mikey Spice, Benji Myaz, Glenn Washington, Richie Stephens, Leroy Gibbons, Lone Ranger, CC Foster, Tappa Zukie, and Tony Rebel himself.
– Claude Mills