November 30, 2010
Exciting performances at Western Fest
By Ralston Barrett
The first staging of Western Fest (the Ice Breaker) turned out to be a huge success, as thousands of patrons converged on the lawns of the scenic Rhodes Hall Plantation Resort last Saturday night, to witness what turned out to be a very exciting event.
Although the event got off to a bit lat, patrons were not the least bit upset as they were kept entertained by the musical juggling of Hype Zone disco. Show time began in a rather unusual manner for a stage show, as Merrick the Magician who was not originally on the lineup, was invited on stage about 11:30 pm, by MC Dwight Findley for a brief but very entertaining performance.
The first segment of the show also featured several artistes from Hanover including Imani, Mr Groove and Lighta Secret who all did well. This segment also featured a very talented young US Rapper who goes by the name BJ American Idol; he connected well with the audience as he waxed some very catchy rhymes over heavy Hip Hop beats.
However Timmi Burrell was clearly the best act in this segment, the Negril based singer was smooth in his delivery as he closed off the first segment of the show, performing songs such as Friend In Need, Make Doh, Gi Mi A Ounce and Dark Shades White Tee. During his performance he was joined on stage by stable mate, Vengeance who made his presence felt with Pat It Dung and Weed Anthem.
After the second band change which came about 12:30 am, popular radio personality GT Taylor who took over the MC duties wasted no time and got the second segment of the show going with the introduction of dancehall duo Voice Mail. The group which was once a trio proved that despite the challenges that they recently faced, when they lost group member Oniel Ewards, they are still a force to be reckoned with. Performing songs such as Nuh Linga and Sweep, Dance The Night Way, Weddy Time, Do What You Feel Like and Get Crazy they got the crowd in a frenzy.
The next act on stage was the hard hitting deejay Aidonia, who did a scorching performance which was laced by with hardcore dancehall anthems such as Datz Up Whatz Up, Hundred Stab, Bush Kash and Empty. During his performance Aidonia also took time out to big up Bounty Killer, for his contribution to the development of many dancehall artistes including himself before launching into Bukam, to huge forwards.
He was followed by man of the moment I Octane, whose performance justified why he is being hailed as one of the hottest acts in Jamaica today. Unleashing a barrage of hits such as Loose A Friend, No More, Puff It, No Love Inna Dem, My Life, Missing You, Mama You Alone, and Think A Little Time, he earned some of the biggest forwards for the night.
The next segment of the show highlighted heavy weight cultural acts such as Etana who delivered a very lively performance which included hits such as Warrior Love, Free, Happy Hearts, August Town and I am Not Afraid.
The fiery Queen Ifrica who appeared on stage after Etana was her usual fiery self as she lashed out against the system. Her delivery of hits such as Mek Mi Grow, Below The Waist, Keep It To yourself, Daddy and Heroes was earned her huge forwards and the first encore of the night.
Richie Spice who followed next was equal to the task and lived up to his billing as a headline act on the show, as he delivered a scintillating set, which lasted over forty minutes. He took the patrons on a musical high with songs such as Marijuana Pon Di Corner, Brown Skin, Di Plane Land, Grooving My Girl, A Nuh Me Dat, Nuh Call Mi No Dawg, Mi Legal and Earth A Run Red.
Tarrus Riley was chosen to close the show and he did so in fine style. From the moment he touched the stage he kept the crowd entertained with hits such as Contagious, Super Man, Lion Paw, Far Away and Human Nature.
Western Fest lived up to expectations as it turned to be a well produced event, no doubt patrons will be more than happy to see it on the events calendar next year. Several lucky patrons walked away with brand new Black Berry phones as there was a raffle that took place in between the band changes.