Tributes to late disc jock Arif Cooper and the live stream with DJs juggling music from both the Mas Camp in Kingston and Pier One in Montego Bay were among the highlights of last weekend's double-venue staging of the retro party series Mello Vibes.
Upon entering t Mas Camp in Kingston at close to midnight, it was evident that something special was in the making. Patrons crammed inside the venue to dance their troubles away to music courtesy of DJ Liquid, DJ Smurf and DJ Smoke.
Meanwhile, over in Montego Bay at Pier One, Nico Bam Bam, DJ Krazy Kris, and DJ Theron kept patrons entertained.
It was DJ Theron's second time playing at the event.
"I enjoy the type of crowd that comes out; they really enjoy the type of music that's being played. As a DJ, I like to read the crowd at first and see what appeals to them. And, as an experienced DJ, I have some go-to selections, plus the knowledge to know what to give the patrons to enjoy themselves," DJ Theron told the Jamaica Observer.
He said the highlight of the party for him was the live-streaming of the party from Montego Bay to Kingston as well as paying tribute to Cooper.
Promoter Omar Perrin was just as excited about the success of the double staging.
"The event was well-received, and patrons were excited, and they enjoyed being able to experience the DJ offerings from both locations," said Perrin.
While the turnout of patrons inside the Mas Camp was massive, he said the support at Pier One was encouraging.
"We had a good turnout at both locations. Kingston, however, did show out more than Montego Bay. But we were definitely pleased with the response we received," said Perrin.
He said the objectives of the two venues, one night effort had been accomplished.
"Our team would definitely say 100 per cent mission accomplished. It was thought to be a novel but crazy concept, but the execution was done, and the concept brought to life. There were many highlights. But what stood out most was the response to the tribute to the late, great Arif Cooper and the screams and whistles when the live feed from Montego Bay was shown inside the Mas Camp."
Perrin explained the idea behind streaming from both locations.
"The idea behind having the DJs playing to both venues via the live stream was a way to unite the two cities and have the patrons experience the one Mello Vibe."
DJ Liquid, who rocked the crowd inside Mas Camp with reggae rockers, foundation music, rock and roll and dancehall from the past, said this was seventh time playing at the event.
"The experience at Mello Vibes was different. Me, Smoke, and Smurf never played before in an arena like that, and it was a fresh vibe," said DJ Liquid.
From Barrington Levy's Too Experienced, Beres Hammond's She Loves Me Now, and Dawn Penn's You Don't Love Me (No No No), DJ Liquid kept the crowd rocking.
When Jive Bunny's Come on Everybody and Elvis Presley's All Shook Up blazed, patrons could hardly contain themselves.
"What I like about a party like Mello Vibes is you have so much music that you can play. You can really come out of your comfort zone and experiment. The main focus is...the people always enjoying themselves," DJ Liquid disclosed.
DJ Smurf said he has been a patron at a few Mello Vibes parties, but this was his first time playing at the event.
"Overall, the vibes were what I expected, nothing short of the expectation. I've played at a lot of the retro events, and I just entertain the people and stick to the theme of the event," he said, adding that he had dub plates cut specifically for the tribute to Cooper during his set.
According to Perrin, the next Mello Vibes will be held July 29 at Pier 1 in Montego Bay. However, an exclusive version dubbed Mello Pon the Farm is scheduled for June 26 in Linstead.