Hey everyone! The theme for Reggae Month 2016 is ‘Reggae Mekyah‘ I like it 🙂 Ziggy Marely’s 1991 studio album with the Melody Makers was titled “Jahmekya” and people take the title and run with it, as it’s a nice term, ‘JahMekYah‘ (Jamaica) which means “Jah made here.”
Now let’s get straight into it, in last week’s Expression Wednesday post I expressed my concern about the venue for this year’s Reggae Month concerts, and after experiencing the first show, my points have been thrown out the window.
Mandela Park has a built-in concrete stage, one would say it has been gathering dust since the usage of that stage is usually once in a blue moon. The producers of Reggae Month have put it to use, I’m gonna tell you about the set up but first let me describe the park. From entrance level it descends, with grass seating areas which mimic steps leading down towards the stage, it was built so that no matter where you sit, your view of the stage would not be blocked. The area surrounding the stage and behind it was blocked off for backstage purposes.
Unto the show! I got there after 7 while Lloyd Parks & the We The People Band were performing, they rattled many heathens in the place with beautiful Gospel songs. I’m not sure if the event started on time (I doubt it) but the lineup ran smoothly, with the crowd raving and dancing to songs from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s & maybe the 90’s-as the title, “The Genesis” suggests, this concert was about the formation of Reggae, the classics.
I was thrilled to be surrounded by the music, the classics just scream “Bassline!” When it hol’ you, you just feel nice. The week before the concert I was actually playing oldies (but goodies) for a couple days straight. So I very much appreciated the performances.
When my friends came I left my seat and joined them on the flat in front the stage, and by the end of the night we were surrounded by people and vibes. Everyone was standing, in front of the stage was packed, and the ‘step seating’ was full of people rocking or skanking. I haffi drop een a big up to Stone Love sound system (they closed the show) because their mix was amazing! and the bredda had so much vibes.
To combat the acoustics issue of the concert, they just turned the sound system all the way up, no vehicle horns or motorists could be heard. My main concern was that the venue would be too small but other than the way too public bathrooms, to me the venue is perfect.