Capleton delivers explosive set at Rebel Salute 2024
The ‘King of Fire’ Capleton delivered an incendiary set at the 30th anniversary of Rebel Salute at Grizzly’s Plantation Cove in St Ann on Sunday.
Hitting the stage at dawn, as the sun coloured the morning sky, the temperature spiked immediately in the Plantation Cove venue as the audience heard Capleton singing from backstage: ‘burn dem, burn dem’.
Dressed in a fire-red outfit under a black trench coat with gold and Rasta patches, Capleton appeared onstage to a huge cheer, announcing: “This is the King of Fire….keep it burning…all who wish me a Happy New Year, all those who never sell out? Free Up!”
And ‘free up’, they did, as Capleton whipped the audience into a frenzy as he launched into the high-tempo Tun it Up.
“Mi no like lazy people, mi no like lame people,” he exhorted as the Fireman got them dancing to shake off the dampness of the early morning dew.
“Never, ever be a traitor to your heritage, culture, philosophy, or your curriculum. All who value yuself and believe in yourself, two hand inna the air,” he preached and then delivered a series of high jumps and kicks as the band played Tun It Up.
“Tell dem say mi wi mash up in ya, bleached out face bwoy, yu nah get weh, the bwoy dem who ah feel up the girl dem, nah get weh, paedophilia and incest nah get weh, the bwoy dem who ah kill the woman dem, no get weh, the rapist no get weh….Rebel Salute the only place, this is the space, evil and corruption ah get erase,” he raved before doing ‘Consuming’.
The audience loved the teachings from the King of Fire. He was totally in his element and could do no wrong. At one point, he used the band to pump up the audience, directing the individual musicians with a flair and flamboyance like a music conductor at the London Philharmonic.
“No man caan bring down no man, ah yu bring down yourself with your own deeds and works, everything in this life project its own energy, gave off its constellations, why you don’t pay attention to signals, to waves, why you don’t pay attention to frequency and vibration?” he preached.
Showing off his explosive energy, he did hits like Or Wah as he had the audience jumping and punching to the left and then punching to the right.
He then delivered the first few bars of his smash hit, Slew Dem, and under Capleton’s mesmerising command, the Rebel Salute crowd shouted ‘Slew Dem’ and then Who Dem?”
Capleton deejayed in a call and response style that invited active interaction with the crowd.
He deejayed: ‘Dem bow already’ and the crowd responded: ‘…and dem caan say sorry’.
Then Capleton deejayed again: ‘Who dem, a wah dat dem a try, diss King Selassie’, and the crowd chimed in: ‘watch the whole ah dem die yah!’.
As Capleton deejayed a flood of hits, white flags and white shirts waved in air, and of course, ‘sky thumps’ littered the venue like human skyscrapers.
The King of Fire then did a medley with old hits like Lotion, Dem No like We, Bad Mind ah Go Kill Dem and Cu Yah.
He then addressed the ‘pretty girls in the audience’ with songs like Gimme De Woman Dem, Baby Don’t Cry No More and Hunt Yuh.
Then he went uptempo with Inna Her Heart, before seguing neatly into the cultural segment where he delivered ‘fire in the morning’.
“When oonu see me, you know what mi a defend. Righteousness to exalt the nation. Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful,” he said.
Then the band struck up the opening strains of Small World, and the crowd sang word for word in a clear voice: ‘What dey gonna do, when nuff a dem nuh true/Who do you think you are, we’re living in a small world…”. Capleton didn’t even have to say a word.
He closed with a strong cultural segment which included songs such as Jah Jah City, Stand Tall, Murderer, and Bun Out the Chi Chi. During his performance, Capleton also mentioned the deaths of Panhead, his mother and his former manager, Claudette Kemp, who passed away last year.
Capleton will next appear at ‘Snow on the Island’ on February 3 at Hope Gardens in St Andrew.