Rising deejay star Mavado eclipsed his mentor Bounty Killer on Thursday night’s ‘Dancehall Night’ segment of Reggae Sumfest ’08.
Bounty gave up the throne on Thursday by giving a performance which ended in boos, expletives, and his arrest bythe Mobay police – leaving Mavado to rock the Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre, in Montego Bay, with an awesome set.
Hitting centre stage at 3:27 a.m., the dapper Mavado, sporting all white, went straight into his bag of hits, reeling off songs such as, Sniper, Amazing Grace and Real McKoy in rapid succession against a backdrop of flaming torches and blasting firecrackers.
Mavado, who his known for his gangster style and violent lyrics, surprisingly took time out to launch a broadside against the ‘shottas’, who have been murdering innocent women and children, before igniting further excitement with, Press Trigger, Gangster Life and Don’t Cry for Me, which collectively elicited raucous cheers.
To close his set, the dynamic Mavado was joined on staged by a mix choir, whose members were also clad in full white. In a most moving experience, they all joined voices in belting out, On the Rock and We Shall Overcome, which left the fans having to no need to request an encore.
However, perennial performer and self proclaimed King of the Dancehall, Beenie Man was also in his element, using his charisma, stage antics and powerful lyrics to whip up a sustained frenzy among his fans.
Name it and ‘the doctor’ Beenie Man did it. The show-closer drove the fans wild as he made his mark with songs such as, King of the Dancehall, Memories, Old Dawg and a string of other favourites from his awesome catalogue, which left no doubt that he remains reggae’s premiere crowd-pleaser.
D’Angel, estranged wife of Beenie Man, disregarded a few boos and delivered a fine set. Busy Signal matched his spectacular entry through the centre of the stage with a blazing set, and Ninjaman, who was at his spontaneous best, was also quite entertaining.
Vybz Kartel, who performed on track, and Elephant Man, whose only bright spark came with Gully Creeper and No Linga, were somewhat tame and were surprisingly overshadowed by Erup, Voice Mail, Assassin, Demarco and Serani, who all justified their places among the dancehall elites with decent performances.