By: Maliika Walker
Photos © Reggae Reflection
The anticipation for the Sounds of Reggae Concert were high from the moment it was announced this fall. A show featuring Shaggy, Third World and Ky-Mani Marley, all on one bill was surely not to be missed. The recently refurbished Kings Theatre was the chosen venue for the event. The venue reopened February of 2015, after being closed since 1977. This beautiful theatre was originally established in 1929 and served as a theatre and vaudeville location. The venue has hosted such celebrated artists as Diana Ross and Jill Scott but now reggae was going tear the roof off.
The first artist to grace the stage, that evening, was a fresh new voice in reggae music named Amber Lee. Ms. Lee perfectly displayed her beautiful voice for the audience. Not only does this young lady have a beautiful voice but she also showed she had great energy by dancing during the show. She closed out her performance by performing her single titled, I Wonder, currently available on iTunes. I am looking forward to hearing her and seeing her perform more in the future. Her light is shining bright.
Next to hit the stage was Antiguan reggae artist, Causion who was introduced to the audience by Third World’s Stephen “Cat” Coore. The artist kept the crowd growing with his roots sound.
The crowd responded positively to his performance and left the audience wanting to hear more. Third World immediately followed, entering the stage to their classic hit Reggae Ambassadors. One thing I immediately noticed was AJ Brown was back as lead singer. I had the opportunity to see Third World on the Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise, where AJ Brown was not present, so it was refreshing to see him performing with the band. Hearing AJ’s voice over the band’s instrumentation was something I was glad to experience. The band performed such hits as Sense of Purpose, 96 Degrees and Forbidden Love. Drummer Tony Ruption brought Africa to the stage by way of the drum to a rousing applause from the crowd. You really felt the presence of the motherland in the venue with us. Cat Coore performed Redemption Song on Cello. It is a moment I always look forward to during Third World’s performances. Ky-Mani Marley joined Third World on stage to perform Could You Be Loved to a standing ovation from the audience. Ky-Mani, who released his latest album Maestro this summer, also treated the audience to his single Love Over All, which is featured on the album. Ky-Mani’s brief time with Third World was closed out with his father’s song, Jammin. The audience stayed on their feet while Ky-Mani and Third World performed the classic tune. Ky-Mani’s voice can be reminiscent of his father’s and that night was one of those occasions. He definitely left the crowd wanting more once he exited the stage. Third World kept the crowd on their feet by performing Try Jah Love. Everyone then danced in the aisles to their hit tune, Now That We Found Love.
I felt the floor shake as everyone danced with joy while the group performed the classic song.
The final artist of the night was a reggae veteran of over twenty years, Shaggy. The crowd let Shaggy know his presence was appreciated with their roaring applause once he entered the stage. Shaggy, also a Gulf War veteran with the U.S. Marine Corps, performed hit after hit. The audience danced and shouted during Boombastic. Rayvon joined Shaggy for several songs including My Angel. Many women swayed with him when he performed his hit tunes Strength of a Woman and Summertime. The show was Shaggy’s return to his Brooklyn roots. He reminisced about his time working hard to be noticed in Brooklyn back in the day. Shaggy took time to thank the first man to record him, Don Juan, who was in the audience. A hysterical moment came when Shaggy had women making sure he knew he could still “get it” after he took some time to whine for the ladies. It was also great hearing Shaggy perform Love Mi Jamaica and I Need Your Love. Pitbull may not have been present to perform their tune, Only Love, but Shaggy did just fine without him. The crowd erupted once Rayvon joined him onstage once again for It Wasn’t Me. The response from the audience was nothing by positive vibes song after song. Shaggy performed an encore that included his classic dancehall tunes from the 90’s. The show turned into a bashment party with people whining and partying in the aisles. He closed out his show to Mr. Lover. Shaggy kept us on our feet his entire performance. Definitely one of my favorite performances I witnessed in 2015.
Sounds of Reggae was filled with great performances from new artist Amber Lee, to the sounds of Antiguan reggae in Causion, to over forty year veterans Third World w/guest Ky-Mani Marley, and finally the Mr. Loverman himself Shaggy. Be sure to check out all the performers when they come to your city. You won’t be disappointed.