From the moment Al’s voice belted from the speakers, patrons at the Peace Mobile Peace Day concert held in Flankers in Montego Bay were in a frenzy.
As the other members of the One Third trio sauntered on to the Peace Mobile stage, singing their own ‘peaceful’ version of One Republic’s Apologize, the audience erupted into deafening screams.
They sang a slew of popular hits, many of which they infused with their own lyrics.
When the rhythm of Omarion’s Icebox and T-Pain’s Shawty Snappin’ blared from the speakers the crowd seemed to lose control. The song got crazy forwards when Al threw in his own lyrics which declared that “Flanker man na stray”.
The finale was one that could have been expected, based on the earlier performances. In an attempt to get residents to be peace messengers, the Flankers Peace and Justice Centre recruited residents who were interested in performing items that focused on peace, unity and forgiveness. The proclaimed ‘vibe master’, Jerry D, injected his brand of energy into the concert that was to continue for the whole night.
From the opening moments of the concert, when Jah Verrol took the stage rod in hand, the crowd was engaged, singing along to his hit Good Evening. Then there was little Jamari Harrison, aka Wizzla, who held the crowd with his piece entitled Mama For You I Sing.
Dancing Dynamites entrants Famous White had the audience cheering. Other artistes who got the crowd’s attention was the nimble Ras I Mortal and Ashaundi, who cried for peace.
When Mark Faulknor took the stage in his large dark shades and started belting out the words to his massive hit Flanker, restraint did not come easily for the crowd, and after many ‘forwards’ he came back on the stage to thrill the crowd with Wait ’til Granny Gone.
Other home-grown hits for the evening were Phondiz and Great Student. Vonglobe, who is a part of the Just For Peace group, thrilled the crowd with love songs providing a prelude to singer Inga Stewart.
The audience was quite receptive as Stewart sang a slew of hits and serenaded a young man, who seemed quite enraptured with all the attention he was receiving.
Tashena McKenzie also did her thing at the concert, singing her original Nah Lef as well as Etana’s Wrong Address. In a plea for an end to the violence, Tashena sang the song which she wrote for her brother Romeo, who was a victim of violence.
The Peace Mobile is an initiative of the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) of the Ministry of National Security.
“The concept is very exciting,” said programme manager of the CSJP, Simeon Robinson. “Jamaicans are hugely talented, especially where culture is concerned, so we have decided to use it to mobilise residents.”