The lead up to what could easily be deemed as the show of the century was in itself legendary. The Long Walk To Freedom tour was one of the most anticipated events in Jamaican history and people were talking about Buju all over. Whether it was to say he shouldn’t have used that title for the concert or to say ah dem seh Buju, straight, the build up was monumental.
On the day of the concert Good News Jamaica was on the scene to talk with
Gargamel fans to get a feeling of what they were expecting from the night. We were very pleased to see that at 6PM when we arrived, the venue was already lively and filling up quickly. People came out early to setup their area for the best viewing. The gates opened at 4 and from what we heard, there was a line waiting to get in.
On the way to the venue it seemed that every street entrepreneur was going to ‘eat a food’ that night. Most drive ways were opened and “Buju Parking” signs were hung on gate posts. The vendors were out in their numbers and from what we heard, the Jerk Chicken back vendor on Mountain View, ran out of food.., which is a good thing…. for him.
Before the show, there were questions about whether Buju was in good enough shape to keep a stage show. When he was released from prison everyone was talking about how thick and bulked up he looked. Up to concert time some people were wondering what to expect. Sheldon Shepard of the NoMadz Bongo Band was not on that at all. When he spoke with Good News Jamaica he had no expectations at all.
Other patrons were keen in hearing their favorite song and even new songs. But the overall consensus was just that they were able to see Buju live, even if it were for the first time. Everyone just wanted to be a part of this historic moment.
Super fan Donna Diedrick had a time in her life that just linked her to Buju and his big heart. Listen to her explain how Buju marched in and placed an indelible mark on her from then until now.
We had the pleasure of speaking with the Director of Public Relations at Destine Media, Ms. Ronnie Tomlinson, who gave us an in-depth look into the journey that got us all to this point. It was a lesson in things unseen as we learned just a little more about Mr. Myre’s heart.
We give thanks to all the musicians that graced the stage and gave their all. The audience felt it through and through. We give special kudos to the bands that kept the music flawless throughout the event. Without them, we would not have had such a memorable experience. When you realize that The Shiloh band has been with the artist for over 10 years, you smile knowing that that loyalty has been paying off.
There was also the First Lesson band which did most of the accompanying for the night. The way they smoothly moved from one sound to the next, with intricate detail was just amazing. The veteran of the ensemble was none other than Dean Fraser so you know everything was on point. We can’t leave out the Zinc Fence band which supported Chronixx’s set pristinely. Our music wouldn’t be what it is without the musicians so we take this effort to thank you all for being the foundation of who we are as a nation family.
What can we say about Cocoa Tea that has not been said already? This larger than life individual has never let down the music fraternity. Hit after hit, Cocoa can and will always impact our music sphere positively. We had a chance to talk with him before he went on stage and what he said, was quite prophetic. If you don’t believe us, watch the video below the audio.
We caught up with the Fluffy Diva Ms. Kitty and got her thoughts on what this Long Walk to Freedom meant to her. Like most others, seeing Gargamel back on the road was as exciting as seeing him perform.
Agent Sasco was interested in one thing and one thing only. Being on stage was not it. Performing at this event was not it. Getting highlighted as one of the top acts was not it. His only concern was that this event could not miss him.
We noticed that this was the sentiment for most of the patrons whom we spoke to before they went inside the venue. We also noticed that most of the people we spoke to, while in the venue, used one word more than any other. That word was ‘legend’. Either the show was legendary or Buju is a legend. Our word is ‘epic’ both the show and Buju are epic.