Yesterday was such a wonderful experience at 56 Hope Road, Kingston, Jamaica. The celebration of what would have been the 74th birthday of the undisputed King of Reggae. The enjoyment started in the early morning with the sounding of the abeng and ended with the entire audience engulfed in fire. Ok, that might sound a bit dramatic but the show ended with King Shango a.ka. Capleton a.k.a. The Fire Man. Enough said?
The vibe in the venue, which was transformed into a cultural mecca, can only be described as Peace, Love, and Harmony. People from all over the world made the sea of patrons a colorfest matching all the bright colours of the red, green, gold, and black. Everywhere you turned, there was another cultural celebrity mingling with people as if they were in their back yard. If Bob was alive, he would surly correct me and say, ‘Dem inna dem back yaad… Cho!! Yuh kno!!!’ So I stand spiritually corrected.
As far as the concert went, patrons, fans, friends and family were treated to a wide array of talent. The MC Emprezz Golding did a great job keeping fans engaged and entertained between the acts along with the DJ Rassarella of the Zion Train Sound System. Even fans of the “Gong”, Bob’s nick name, were given a chance to grace the stage with their talent. And when the quirky ones took the mic, they audience loved them and cheered them on. There were shouts of approval at one point from the audience for one such act, insisting that ‘him ah guh buss, watch it!!’ Fun all round.
Celebration into the night
Of course as the celebration got more ripe for the veterans, the audience got thicker, along with the smokey ‘cologne’ as Emprezz called it. In good order, the all the acts delivered their best, even with slight technical and time difficulty. This didn’t hinder the fun in any way. Who would have the energy to have strife in an environment where open mouth smiles, half closed eyes, high fives, and skanking were prevalent? Even when a pick-pocket was announced and I looked to see a mass ‘Exodus’ – I had to – but no one move out, they all just moved in closer. It seemed that the security for the night was the need to ‘unite for the benefit of all people’. Sorry, I had to again.
Thanks to the Bob Marley Foundation and Museum for hosting us all. The time was well spent for everyone. From Babies to 80+ year old veterans, ( I saw my 87 year old aunt leaving the venue at 1:30am…), had a blast.
So, enjoy the photos below of the celebration. I hope you get to see yourself in them. Even if it’s a projection of next year. ‘Time alone, oh time will tell…’ Sorry!!! Last time….