Date: Sunday 19th July 2009
Location: Greensboro Coliesum Complex. Greensboro, NC
Promotions: Brightworks Promotions & Kode Blue Ent.
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The toughest challenge in the promoting business, I am sure, is to surpass your last successful event. The most worry some part of it however, is waiting for that day, time and hour to come to bare witness to the outcome. After speaking with Brightworks Promotions man in charge, Michael Stephens, he gave testimony to both concepts as he has been in similar situations before.
This time around, Brightworks teamed up with Kode Blue Entertainment in an effort to combat the highly successful 4th Annual Reggae Fest held in Charlotte, NC last August. This show featured the likes of Beres Hammond and Morgan Heritage, making the decision to even host a 5th Annual even harder. Come on people, "How can you compete with Beres Hammond ... Morgan Heritage ... Courtney John?" Well ... for one, you host your 5th Annual One Love Fest outdoors so you can hold just about three to five thousand people, and start the show earlier in the day to allow families to attend. Also, you construct a massive stage, hire two of the strongest Caribbean MC's in the likes of Jamaican born Jason Walker of WRFG Radio in Atlanta and Cool Breeze of the Bahamas Islands. You add in representatives from the Best Global Caribbean Entertainment website in TrinijungleJuice.com along with a handful of food and African & Caribbean Artifact vendors. Add a serious sound system by Kode Blue, throw in a couple of top of the line DJ's like Mix Master David and DJ Chisel of Earth Ruler, then compliment all of the above with an all-star cast of reggae and dancehall artists.
Included in the cast for this year's show were the likes of Bounty Killer, Mavado, Tanya Stephens, Inner Circle, The Movement, Rock City, The New Kingston Band and S.K (a local duo that placed themselves on the reggae scene after this show). With the right ingredients in place and the logistics well managed, this concert certainly was a success. I wonder how they plan to out do themselves next year? Go figure!
As TJJ walked into the car park located opposite the actual Greensboro Coliseum, vendors were in abundance and that's always a good sign. From fried fish to fried shrimp to jerk chicken to jerk pork to coconut water to sugar cane and not to mention a mango or two, keeping us in check and assuring us that a little taste of the Caribbean can be found even in the Carolinas. Making our way through the area, the crowd was easy to shoot as DJ's from Kode Blue Ent. had everyone up on their feet, even the ones who brought their lawn chairs. The music from DJ to DJ was consistent. After Kode Blue, Atlanta's very own Mix Master literally tore the place into pieces with probably every Bob Marley song on the planet. Earth Ruler's Chisel caught the pass and ran with it playing a plethora of sounds from the old skool days.... and you guys know the tunes from the old skool days... right? And just for the record, every DJ for the evening, gave tribute to the King of Pop during their time slots. What a treat!
By 4.50pm, THE MOVEMENT, a reggae band from Philadelphia, did a great job opening the show. They were then followed by the group S.K who hit the stage after a great intro from Jason Walker. These guys performed well. At 6.00pm the DJ's took over again for just under an hour before the famed band, INNER CIRCLE, the original reggae 'Bad Boys' enlightened the two thousand plus crowd to some real reggae oldies. Just before the end of the first half of the show was special guest and reggae sensation, non other than MR. SEAN PAUL himself. Sean took the time to sing a couple songs off his new album 'Imperial Blaze', set to release on August 1, 2009. And as always, Sean Paul was a hit with the ladies. Closing out the half was ROCK CITY, a duo from the Virgin Islands. Well my goodness.... Rock City's performance was certainly solid as a rock. Very entertaining, versatile, energetic and full of positive vibes. After well received 45 minutes, they and they left the crowd wanting more.
As another band entertained the crowd for just about 35 minutes, we took a pit stop by the # 1 Caribbean Restaurant in Charlotte, Caribbean Hut, to grab a quick bite of some serious Jerk Chicken ... serious. Thanks guys! While munching on ah leg (chicken that is ), Cool Breeze and Jason Walker were fighting to have the honor in introducing the next act. Now if I do not say this, I will be defeating part of the purpose I made the trip. Of course, the first part was to bring spectacular coverage of a fantastic event to you, our fellow viewers. The second part of my purpose was to see ... uuuuuhh, ummm (clearing my throat) ... meh dahlin, TANYA STEPHENS!!! As she was announced, there was almost a deafening roar from the crowd. It was well deserved. Tanya took the stage by storm at 9.45pm and gave a great performance to her loyal fans.
When she sang "These Streets", the entire crowd was in harmony with her words. However, this reaction was equaled when she sang her hit song "It's A Pity". Tanya, great job. And by the way, Stephens took the time to do a "5 Mins With" interview for us. Look out for it soon. SERANI was up next. The first of three members from the newly found 'Alliance.' Serani kept the flow going at the One Love Fest and the now large crowd, had all gathered directly in front the stage, in efforts to capture photo ops of the artists and to be part of a true experience.
Serani left the crowd with his top ten hit, "No Games" making way for the "Ghetto Warrior", the "Poor People Governor", the "War Lord", the original BOUNTY KILLER who took the stage as usual.... cross, angry and miserable!! Bounty performed quite a few of his tops songs for about 30 minutes before making way for the most prominent 'Alliance' member, MAVADO. And as Mavado says most often in his music, "Anywaaaaay" .... all hell broke loose again with some of his best work in songs like "Money Changer", "I'm So Special", "Squeeze Trigger", and most definitely, one of his best "Shotter Nuh Miss".' Mavado has also created a tradition in giving younger artists an opportunity to showcase their strengths under him. Both FLEX and CHASE CROSS were featured on this night, and did not disappoint.
By 11.55pm, Mavado gave thanks to his fans and exited the stage. This was certainly the best One Love Fest to date, without question. Brightworks and Kode Blue Entertainment did a great job in getting the best in the business to perform in the Carolinas. Good work guys. Much respect from the TJJ crew. Thanks for the love. We are looking forward to the 6th Annual already. Now we on our way to the After Party at Club Genesis. And people, if you are ever in Greensboro, North Carolina .... Club Genesis is where you need to be!