Superb veterans roll back the clock
On a night when a number of the younger acts did justice to their inclusion on Friday night’s line-up for Night One of Rebel Salute 2017, they were also taken to school by several veteran performers who rolled back the clock with scintillating displays.
New York-based recording star Ed Robinson showed that time has not diminished his capacity to bring a house down. He delighted with songs like his trademark hit, Heaven Door, and brilliant covers of Alton Ellis’ Ain't That Loving You, and Dennis Brown’s If I Follow My Heart.
Deejays Lone Ranger and his female counterpart Sister Nancy transported fans back in time, evoking memories of the dancehall in the late 1970s and 1980s with near flawless sets. While the ‘Ranger’ rode the ‘riddim’ like the proverbial ‘lizard on a limb’ as he belted out songs like Barnabas Collins, Love Bump and Girl I Know, the versatile Sister Nancy did it Jah Love Sound System style, rocking the house with Freedom Is A Must, A Me Name Sister Nancy, Pass the Chalice and her monster hit, Bam Bam.
General Trees and the show's promoter Tony Rebel, also took the youngsters to school, unleashing sweet vintage offerings to the appreciative fans. The aging Trees was at his hilarious best with Wah Eye Nuh See, Bible and Key and Mosquito, before pleasing fans with Mini Bus and Gone A Negril.
Tony Rebel played a protracted set in which he reminisced and gave thanks. He clearly had fun belting out hits like Fresh Vegetable, Know Jah, Chatty Chatty Mouth and Veteran, which he did with fellow veteran Wickerman.
Wayne Wonder and Half Pint reminded patrons of the days when singers were just as potent as the deejay in the dancehall space. While Wonder impressed the ladies with classics like You and I, Hold On and Story Of My Life, which he shared with the energetic Spragga Benz, there was simply no stopping the diminutive Half Pint as he spared no hits in 'levelling the vibes' with songs like Greetings, Winsome, Victory and One Big Family.
While Chakademus and Pliers were quite composed with their pleasing hit-fill set, and Iba MaHr left no doubt that he is a bonafide powerhouse, it was Warrior King who added an usual but pleasant taste of what Rastafarians term, as ‘Afromance.’ He invited his pregnant wife on stage and lovingly serenaded her with songs like Virtuous Woman and Empress Devine.
For the younger acts, performers like the enigmatic No-Maddz, the all-girl band Adahizeh, Belgian singer Feluke, Bobby Tenor, Chevaughn and Dann I, left no doubt that, despite the many misgivings about the future of reggae, the music is in very safe hands.