Usain Bolt’s 9.58 Super Party had its own kryptonite to deal with last Saturday night in the form of the police. About 4:20 a.m when deejay Vybz Kartel was about to take the stage at Richmond Estate, St Ann, emcee Richie B announced that the show would abruptly end as the police ordered that the music be turned off because the event was in breach of the Noise Abatement Act.
At first, it appeared to be a prank for a dramatic appearance by Kartel but as the minutes passed with no sound, no music, nothing from ‘Di Teacha’, fans began clamouring for Kartel, who was at the back of the stage with an entourage that blanketed the VIP area.
“Gaza. We want Gaza. Gaza mi seh,” shouted patrons in the pricey $7,500 ultra-VIP section.
“A diss dem a diss the ambassador,” one man shouted, referring to Bolt.
Even more dead minutes passed as show organiser Walter Elmore and senior police officers discussed the matter, but the lawmen were steadfast.
Host of the night Bolt eventually took the stage apologising to the fans, most of whom had remained.
“People, I’m really sorry about this but is not my fault,” Bolt said as his voice cracked. “The police seh the sound have to lock off.”
Almost immediately, police hurriedly ushered Vybz Kartel onstage, the light coming on on cue and fans cautiously screaming. Bolt then apologised personally to Kartel, who gracefully accepted before singing the first line of Mr Officer a cappella.
“Me a drive een from Grange Hill wid a pound a di marijuana …” would be the only words from Vybz Kartel on the night. Coincidentally, Kartel was actually coming from Negril where he performed at another show.
A statement from the Jamaica Constabulary Force yesterday said the police were more than lenient in granting additional time for the show.
“A permit was granted by the police for the staging of the event,” read the press release. “The granting of this permit allows the organisers under the Noise Abatement Act until 2 a.m. to conduct the event. A further request was made for a two-hour continuation until 4 a.m. This request was granted. The St Ann police halted the event approximately 4:20 a.m. after onstage performances were still continuing and there were no visible signs that the stage show was coming to an end.”
Elmore said though disappointed, he respected the police’s decision.
“We went over the time a bit and they were very kind to us but we have to obey the law of the land,” said Elmore. “It was a semi-dancehall show so it runs a bit late … that’s how it is. The crowd came out a bit late too but hopefully we can do it again next year and run on time.”
HIGHS AND LOWS
For the most part, Usain Bolt’s 9.58 Super Party was a see-saw affair with more lows than highs. American artistes The-Dream and Ludacris were well received, dancer Mystic joining the latter onstage and offering some salacious moves to his new song How Low Can You Go. The-Dream, with his very pregnant wife Christina Milian taking snapshots at the rear of the stage, had a tight and well-executed set with songs such as Rockin’ That and Shawty is a 10.
Elephant Man and Tony Matterhorn appealed to the ladies primarily, the Energy God warning the fairer sex “don’t stare in my eyes or you’ll fall in love”.
Earlier, Bolt’s DJ debut got stuck in the blocks as a technical glitch left him and Jazzy T sorting through wires rather than CDs. He soon had it figured out, though, and released a trio of Beres Hammond hits. He also appeared onstage several times, including during D Major and Ludacris’ performances.
Marcia Griffiths had started the party shortly after 11 p.m. and had the more mature audience members doing the Electric Boogie. Nickeisha Barnes, Cherine Anderson, G-Whiz and Etana also made a connection with the patrons.
Dance exhibitions were provided by Crazy Squad, a trio of women displaying the real provocative side of dancehall and THE STAR’s9.58 Super Party dance-off competition winners Shady Squad.
A 10-minute display of amazing fireworks was also part of Usain Bolt’s 9.58 Super Party.