BUJU IS READY! - Patrons told to expect unforgettable Gargamel performance
Although the common emotion among fans heading into Saturday's big show at the National Stadium in Kingston is excitement, some concert goers have voiced concerns about what to expect from Buju Banton when he graces the stage for his first live performance in eight years.
With limited interaction with his fans since his release in December (save for a few posts on social media), some fans are on the fence about the quality of show they will get.
Questions about the artiste's mental state have arisen, as well as concerns surrounding his sound. Will his voice be the same? Is he ready to perform for a sold-out show? Will we get the same Gargamel?
Well aware of the concerns some patrons may have, some industry insiders believe all the questions now swirling around is 'much to do about nothing'.
Coleen Douglas, a member of the public relations team for the Long Walk To Freedom concert, has assured fans that all their questions will be addressed at the event.
Having interacted with the artiste since his release from prison, Douglas disclosed that Buju has not 'lost' his passion for the music and will be bearing his soul on the stage.
"Somebody being incarcerated does not for a minute suggest that they have an inability to move. I think he's very much in shape. I think he's worked hard at rehearsals. I think he has a special synergy with his band, and I think he has tapped more into his humanity. We're gonna get the best of Buju Banton on Saturday," she said.
"Buju has always been a great performer. He's always given top-class performances to his fans. What he loves most is music, and his time away from the stage has not taken away from that. In fact, I think his time away has enhanced who he's become. I believe as human beings, we are a sum total of all our experiences - good and bad. And I think his experiences - being alone, being away from the stage for a while - would have given him a different type of outlook on life generally."
speaking his mind
Douglas said that she believes some of the concerns people are now having are stemming from the fact that the artiste has decided to remain out of the public's eye until the big day.
"What I think has happened to the nation is that they're disappointed that he hasn't been open to a dialogue. But monologues are quite OK, and he has a lot to say and will be speaking his mind come Saturday. I think when he gets on the stage, he will say all he has to say in a performance that will be unforgettable. I am a hundred per cent sure of that," she said, adding that she believes Buju is entitled to his space.
Yaniq Walford, of Bass Odyssey, shared similar sentiments. Walford, who has also visited Banton since his release from prison, said that he is in a good space and will not disappoint his fans on Saturday.
"I have visited Buju since he's been out. And, honestly, it just feel like is somebody you nuh see in a long time. There wasn't anything to say: 'This person has been away for 10 years and something is different'. He was pretty much the same jovial man who's very calm and pensive. I was shocked at how 'normal' he was," she told THE WEEKEND STAR.
"It's one of those shows that you will have to just show up and see what happens. We know Buju as an artiste that delivers. And if we just look at how consistent he has been over the years, we will know what to expect. He is a man that is very confident in himself and his talent. I don't think he has wavered. If anything, I think he'll be coming back stronger."