Large catalogues had audience groovin'
This year, the approximately nine-hour reggae and R&B festival, Groovin' in the Park, was all about the artistes' catalogue.
The concert began 30 minutes after the expected 1 p.m. start time with the vocal stylings of Marcia Aitken. The singer kick-started the vibe inside the Roy Wilkins Park in New York with all the women present singing along to singles like I'm Not A Queen and My Man.
From outside the fences, passers-by and patrons waiting in the line could hear the powerful voice of Aitken giving a rundown of songs like Three Piece Suit by Trinity and Uptown Top Ranking by Althea and Donna.
The early afternoon performances also featured chart-topping reggae performer Pam Hall, known for her introduction into the music industry as part of a duo, Pam and Woody, alongside Orville Wood, and Someone Loves You Honey singer JC Lodge a celebrated reggae star from the early '80s.
Then, it was time for the male entertainers to show their individual strengths on the microphone, beginning with young reggae talent Romain Virgo. From the moment the Groovin' in the Park virgin stepped on to the stage, he had the audience's attention. The singer made certain that none of his hits old or new - were left out of the set. From start to finish, patrons exclaimed that Soul Provider and Lovesick were what their ears wanted to hear. Virgo also performed a couple covers of singles, like Michael Bolton's When A Man Loves A Woman, in true lovers' rock style.
Although the rising star helped to pull the audience forward, it wasn't until Busy Signal, Babyface and Damian 'Jr Gong' Marley graced the stage with their sets that people began climbing fences. Busy Signal, who was called to the stage to settle what the promoters labelled "unfinished business" got the patrons dancing. Babyface was all about the females in the audience, and he ensured that he pleased them visually by removing his shirt to reveal his physique just before running through the crowd.
Meanwhile, Marley did his father proud by giving a part performance of Bob Marley's Crazy Baldhead and Could You Be Loved in front his own son.
When THE STAR asked patrons what held their interest most, they said that it was the number of upbeat and soulful hits that Busy Signal, Babyface and Marley could find to perform. Capleton also had the patrons moving, but his encore performance with Jr Gong was what had them screaming, "More Rasta".
Groovin' In The Park ended at precisely 9:30 p.m., with US law enforcement having minimal issues with crowd control or criminal activity inside the park.