ST ANN, Jamaica — The annual Rebel Salute, hosted by singer Tony Rebel, has once again proven that a reggae/dancehall show can be just as exciting and entertaining without the use of expletives and derogatory lyrics.
While the turnout on Friday night wasn’t as huge as previous Rebel Salute shows, for the most part, patrons present inside Richmond Park Estate in St Ann got their money’s worth with artistes such as Damian ‘Jr Gong’ Marley, John Holt, Bugle, and Peter Metro at their best.
At 3:30 am, after a slew of artistes had their time on stage, weariness and exhaustion was evident on the face of several patrons.
And during a band change some even took the opportunity to have a nap on makeshift beds of blanket or cardboard. However, when Jr Gong’s voice emerged over the microphone almost an hour later everyone was instantly awaken.
Horns were blown at their loudest and the Ethiopian coloured flags waved vigorously as the younger Marley spat the lyrics to songs such as ‘Set up Shop’, ‘More Justice’ and ‘Make it Bun’.
His set was not only energetic but captivating. Close to the end he invited Wayne Marshall on stage for the ‘Go Hard Medley’ (the original which features Vybz Kartel, Aidonia, Agent Sasco, Bounty Killer and I Octane). Deejay Baby Cham also shared stage for a few minutes with Jr Gong.
Earlier in the show veteran reggae singer John Holt pleased fans with his staple hits, ‘Love I can Feel’, ‘Ali Baba’, ‘If I were a Carpenter’, ‘Police in Helicopter’, ‘Up Park Camp’, and ‘Be Careful’.
And known as one of the better young songwriters in the dancehall era, Bugle delivered a very receptive set. With his creative story-telling abilities he delivered songs like ‘Non Compatible’, ‘Don’t Give Up’, ‘Journey’, ‘Exercise’, ‘Pearly Gates’, and ‘What have I done to You?’
Meanwhile, Peter Metro’s set was not only educational and informative, but amusing. Throughout his time on stage fans were given lessons in chemistry, math, linguistics, and social studies, and they were only too eager to learn. The audience hung on to every word as Metro sing-jayed songs including his hits ‘Police inna England’ and ‘No put it Deh’.
Spanner Banner, Dwayne Stephenson, Tony Rebel, Bunny Wailer, Kabaka Pyramid, Max Romeo, The Tamlins, Chuck Fenda, and Max Romeo also delivered impressive sets.