Valiant, Masicka, Teejay & Tommy Lee starred in the 30th edition of Reggae Sumfest
Mobay-native artistes pleases fans; the dancehall stars deliver impressive sets with Moyann, Jahvillani, Kabaka Pyramid and the Big Ship Family also contributing solid sets. A review of the two nights
R-L: Teejay, Valiant & Masicka, all gave solid performances (Jamar Cleary)
Reggae Sumfest 2023; what a way to celebrate 30 years, the most decorated festival event in the Caribbean occurred traditionally at the Catherine Hall complex in Montego Bay.
The star-studded lineup of night 1 featured the younger generation, trending dancehall acts however the Mobay-native artistes delivered in fine form. Tommy Lee Sparta who returned to the center stage for the first time since his release from incarceration gave his hometown an impressive mature performance, and the Uptop boss, Teejay, enjoyed the local support from the thousands of patrons with resounding ovations.
Teejay gave a powerful set of hits including; 'Rags To Riches', 'Uptop', 'Bitcoin', and his current smash hit single, 'Drift', which he had to encore over 3 times. The deejay also introduced rising talent, Malie Donn who made a surprise well-received appearance with his viral hit, 'V6'. Teejay, definitely among the top-performing acts for night 1 with one of the most versatile sets.
Teejay, gave a powerful set, while Malie Donn also delivered (Jamar Cleary)
One of the most anticipated acts of the event and closer to night one, Tommy Lee thrilled the audience with his greatest hits; 'Psyco', 'Under Vibes', 'Protocol' and 'Buss A Blank' all included in the 35-year-old set. His reflection of a previous conversation held with fellow incarcerated artiste Vybz Kartel has already gone viral on social media platforms.
Accompanied by his Diplomats Crew, Romiech's new signing, and current man of the moment, Valiant, made his debut at the renowned event with an impressive set that included his biggest hits, 'North Carolina', 'Speed Off', 'Glock 40', 'Expensive', just to name a few. Valiant was crowned by most as the best performer of the night with explosive reactions from the crowd during his set.
L-R: Shane O, Valiant, Topmann & Roze Don on their sets (Jamar Cleary)
Not to be out done, Masicka also delivered what can be argued as the top performance for the night. With an undeniable amount of hits, the dancehall superstar gave an hour-long set that electrified the audience from start to finish. The deejay delivered countless bombs from his never-ending catalog including; 'Top Form', 'They Don't Know', 'Pieces', ‘Update’ and his current trending single 'Tyrant', where he included several dancers, the likes of Colo Colo, Energy, and Pata Skeng during the high-energy set.
There were also noteworthy performances from Jah Vinci who introduced the talented Nordia Mothersill, Jahvillani and Shane O. Among the youngsters, 450 represented for his camp with entertainers, Deno Crazy and Skimask while Roze Don & the young Pablo YG made their debut at the event. Topmann also had his own stellar performance for his hometown fans after his introduction to the Sumfest stage last year. Another highlight for the night was Bayka who was in a no-nonsense mood during his performance that was ultimately cut short because of his use of expletives during his set. It was reported that the artiste was arrested immediately after.
R-L: Stalk Ashley, Bayka, Masicka, Tommy Lee Sparta, Moyann & Pablo YG (Jamar Cleary)
On the female side, Stalk Ashley Showcased her marvelous vocal ability that she is now widely known for. Moyann gave an impactful set, riding a motorcycle during her performance and welcomed the famous dancer, Shelly Belly who delivered some of his familiar dance moves. Vanessa Bling also delivered her usual impressive set to magnificent receptions.
The ‘Boombox 90's Badness’ segment also delivered as expected. Veteran artistes such as Jigsy King, Nitty Kutchie, Harry Toddler, General B, Silver Cat, Tony Curtis among others graced the stage and had tributes for their fellow artiste Boom Dandimite, who recently passed away.
Night 2: Freddie McGregor & Marion Hall in Tears
Night 2 also contained some remarkable moments. The tribute to legendary producer King Jammys happened earlier than expected but included short performances from veteran deejays such as Admiral Bailey, Lieutenant Stitche, Pinchers, Bunny General, Chaka Demos, and more.
One of the hosters, Jade from Romeich Entertainment (Jamar Cleary)
Reggae legend Freddie McGregor was honored by the festival after he delivered what could be described as the most emotional set. Still recovering from a stroke he received early last year and accompanied by the Big Ship family members – Stephen and Chino, the captain delivered; 'I Was Born A Winner', 'Big Ship', 'To Be Poor Is Crime', and more to a heartfelt standing ovation that led to the Red Stripe Living Legend Award.
Minister Marion Hall, formerly Lady Saw, also returned to the main stage, brought the Bible with her as expected and presented a softened repertoire of some of her songs mixed with some new material. Another emotional performance for the night which brought her to tears as she gave a speech from the New Testament.
Riding the success of his Grammy Award achievement, Kabaka Pyramid enjoyed a successful night with a thunderous performance with most describing his set as the standout one for the night. He introduced Jemere Morgan (son of Gramps Morgan) and Tifa to perform their collaborative tracks from the Grammy-winning album, The Kalling.
L-R: Romain Virgo, Peetah and Kabaka Pyramid, such a solid performances (Jamar Cleary)
Noteworthy performances from Night 2 included; The royal family, Morgan Heritage led by Peetah, Gramps and Mojo who all excited the audience, while the wonderful Romain Virgo and the exciting Tanya Stevens delivered excellent, solid and well-received sets.
Both nights were hosted by media personalities; Jade from Romeich Entertainment, Boasy Boy Floyd, and the legendary selector Boom Boom. The stage is already set for next year’s staging of this magnificent festival.