Pinchers, sporting a fluorescent, confederate-style jacket suit, trimmed in white and gold, could do no wrong as he smoothly crooned his way through chart-friendly oldies such as For Your Eyes Only, Bandelero,Agony on the celebrated King Jammy’s rhythm, bearing the same name and his set-closing Benti Uno, complete with collaborator, Bounty Killer’s verse and his version of the absent Bounty’s customary ‘level’ for good measure.
Admiral Bailey, football coach by day and gyrating entertainer by night, brought a lot of energy with his performance, which produced a lesson in stage presence and crowd interaction. The Admiral, who joked that he was doing his best to stay within his 15-minute time slot after being “excited by the crowd”, took the stage with Think Mi Did Done before putting on a dance class with the Della Move.
“Remember when dances used to last long? A nuh like now when as you learn a dance a new one come in,” said Bailey.
His jacket went and so did the uncertainty from some members of the audience as Admiral Bailey took the crowd through a page of his catalogue with ageless crowd-pleasers such as Jump Up, Big Belly Man, God Pickney, No Weh Nuh Better Than Yard and his 1986 effort with Chaka Demus, One Scotch.
Admiral Tibet led a brief set highlighted by his Leave People Business, before making way for gospel stalwart Carlene Davis, who paid homage to deceased South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and former president Nelson Mandela with Thank you, Mr Mandela.
With his usual chant of ‘Si Martin ya’, Christopher Martin got up close and personal with screaming fans with hits such as Paper Loving,Cheater’s Prayer and Mama.
The ‘Money Goddess’ Macka Diamond surprised fans as many did not know she was billed for the event. All of that was quickly forgotten as the crowd quickly belted out the lyrics to her popular Dye Dye. Macka Diamond took her performance up a notch, with the Spanish remix to the song.
Not to be outdone, the Energy God, Elephant Man, lived up to his moniker. Anticipation was high for the artiste’s attire and his antics, and he did not disappoint.
“Ladies, don’t look in my eyes or you may fall in love,” he told patrons before reeling off hits such as Higher Level, Nuh Junjo and Too Badmind.
After pulling a young girl from the crowd on to the stage and teaching her how to Signal The Plane, Elephant Man proceeded to put her on his back as he danced across the stage.
The dynamic duo of Ity and Fancy Cat provided comic relief for the patrons, many of whom were just getting to the venue, having had to contend with long lines of traffic.
Wayne Marshall’s set was well received by patrons, but it was his eight-year-old son, Giomar, who stole the show.
Proving that the talent to perform runs in the family, Giomar brought the house down when he performed Stupid Money with his dad.
The two were joined on stage by Agent Sasco and Damian ‘Jr Gong’ Marley, for the hard-hitting Go Hard.
Marley performed a snippet of Welcome to Jamrock before exiting the stage.
With his extensive catalogue on display, Agent Sasco had hands in the air from the start of his set till he walked off the stage.
Something’s Gotta Give, Hand Inna The Air and Jah Guide and Protect were just some of the songs he unleashed on the excited audience.
With bacchanal season fast approaching, Kes had soca fans gyrating and screaming. Songs such as Wotless forced patrons in the platinum section into leaving their seats.
As the night progressed, more performances from Konshens, Tarrus Riley, Ne-Yo and Shaggy all had patrons dancing along.
Ne-Yo delivered a brief but scintillating set with Give Me EverythingTonight, Let Me Love You and Miss Independent, hitting the spot. The last of the tracks had women pointing at themselves.
But the night belonged to Tessanne Chin. With fans anxiously anticipating the songbird’s set, popular vlog host Dutty Berry, introduced ‘Chinita Goodaz’ in his usual hilarious style.
Before a note was sung, audience members were already screaming for Tessanne.
Opening her set with The Reason, 2013’s ‘Voice’ moved on to songs done throughout her journey on the talent show.
Chin delivered a world-class performance with songs such as Try,Redemption Song and Underneath It All.
She also brought on Matthew Schuler midway her set. The youngster, who just missed out on a semi-final berth in NBC’s ‘The Voice’ last month, belted out Percy Sledge’s When a Man Loves a Woman andHallelujah.
While those were good, it was his surprise cover of Wayne Wonder’s No Letting Go that garnered the most cheers.
Tessanne returned shortly after in a new outfit and brought the house down with Hideaway.