Shabba performed with an air of professionalism and verve and proved that he has lost none of his youthful exuberance and stage craft.
From the moment he hit the stage, the Grammy Award-winning deejay was in the pink of form. He gave a lesson to his younger colleagues in the business on how to perform and keep the audience thoroughly entertained.
“A me man! Big, dutty, stinking Shabba!” he roared as the audience cheered in approval.
He flowed through his timeless dancehall hits seamlessly. ‘Idle Jubbie’, ‘Ting a ling’, ‘Trailer Load’, ‘Love Punany Bad’, ‘Shoot fi Kill’ and others roll smoothly off his tongue as he jumped, pranced, grind and enjoyed himself during his 50-minute set.
Bushman was also a cut above the rest.
Stymied by time constraints, the baritone voiced Rastafarian left no hole unplugged as he brought his message of love, hope and peace to Miami.
It was easy for him to praise Jah even though Uptown doesn’t love when rain falls and Downtown was flooded out. The women were thrilled when he expressed his desire to be wrapped up in their arms. Bushman made the art of performance look simple and the audience lapped it up hungrily.
Super cat was not at his best but still managed to hold his own. Dapperly dressed like a gangster out of a 1970s flick, the ‘Don Dadda’ reeled off his lyrics with aplomb.
Special mention must be made of General Degree who displayed a level of professionalism that is so sadly lacking among many of the younger acts today. Degree displayed excellent stage use and interacted with the audience with ease. Smiling all the way through, he gave the paying patrons their money’s worth.
Opening act Stylo G has a bright future. With more performances under his belt, he should be one of the standouts in the dancehall genre in the near future.
There were also good sets from Roundhead and General B, Mavado, Jahmeil and Alkaline.
The lone female act, Vanessa Bling was also impressive.
Caribbean fare was on hand inside the packed Bayfront Park and patrons could be seen having their fill of jerk chicken and other delights.
The promoters of this annual event have managed to carve out a niche on the entertainment calendar and have promised that next year will be bigger and better.