Last week’s Mas Camp, Kingston, leg of Chronixx’s Chronology tour, made a huge impact, not only in terms of the audience turnout, but also his performance. And that goes not only for him but Protoje as well, both putting on extended showings with their respective bands which they would not have been able to do in the accustomed stage-show format of numerous performers.
While much has been said about last Saturday’s performances, what was happening on the stage behind Chronixx and Protoje was as noteworthy as their performances. The large screen was used effectively to enhance the performances in a way that is not normally a part of the large-scale concert experiences I have seen in Jamaica.
It showed not only thought but independence as, at most other events I have been to, where a screen on which images can be projected is used as a stage backdrop, it has been utilised to project sponsors’ messages to the audience. This makes the performer, in large part, a living component of the advertisement, even if a company’s branding message is not run throughout their performance.
At Mas Camp last Saturday, though, when Protoje and Chronixx were performing, there was a series of images in sync with their presentations. There were not only large still images of them, but, at points, also videos in which they were featured.
The moment when Chronixx came on stage was especially striking. The cover of his Chronology album, in which he is seen from the left side of his face, was projected on the screen, and he walked on facing his own profile.
For a brief moment, looking from the rear centre of the audience, it was like Chronixx facing Chronixx, and it worked very well.
There seemed to be very few sponsors of the event, and, while they were acknowledged, there was not a flood of advertising from the stage in words and images, as often happens. This made for a significantly improved concert experience, where the music was the central focus and I did not get the feeling that the primary objective was to ram home the sponsors’ messages.
This was a reflection of the event’s independence the control of the creators and not the financial backers, and it was literally a good look.