Essence of Tarrus in the rain
Davina Henry, Staff Reporter
Undeterred by the pouring rain, hundreds of Tarrus Riley's avid supporters converged on The Essence, King's Plaza, Constant Spring Road, St Andrew, on Tuesday night to get a dose of his Love Situation.
Performing songs from the recently released album, including 123 I Love You, Love Situation, Dem A Watch, Five Days and Burning Desire, Riley had fans in a trance as they swayed along to the music. When Riley informed the audience that it was "pretty girls time", a number of females quickly made their way to the front of the stage.
Even the rain could not put a damper on the performance. Riley's voice soared above the sounds of intermittent showers, to deliver tunes such as Far Away, Never Leave I and Push It To The Limit.
"How you feeling? Unuh wet? Well, you done know say unity is the strength. So dis part a di show name respect due," Riley said, before inviting his JukeBoxx stablemate Alaine onstage.
The two engaged in playful back-and-forth banter, which excited the audience.
Alaine opened her mini set with a cover of Tracy Chapman's Baby Can I Hold You and Riley responded with Gregory Isaacs' Front Door. Alaine countered with Isaacs' Tune In, before exiting the stage.
Riley's high-energy set was punctuated with social commentary and interaction with his fans.
"People love faas inna mi business. As far a mi know, mi a nuh jacket. Mi look like mi father. Big up mi mother, she's a doctor. When the doctor and the musician link up, you get healing music," Riley said before launching into his father Jimmy Riley's Love and Devotion.
The surprises did not end there. Riley was joined by crooner Chevaughn, who did a cover of Larry Graham's One In A Million. He was followed by Duane Stephenson, who sang August Town.
By now 'Singy Singy' was moving deeper into his catalogue. Backed by the Blak Soil Band, with saxophonist Dean Fraser, Riley took the audience down memory lane and back to the present day, as the crowd responded affectionately. "If you love the vibes, say gwaan Singy Singy!" Riley stated and was met with a deafening response.
This set the stage for artiste Whippa Demus to join onstage for their collaboration, Special Occasion.
While fans sang along to Lion Paw, Sorry Is a Sorry Word and My Day, Riley was surprised onstage by Jah Cure. Members of the crowd could hardly contain their excitement as Jah Cure sang his version of John Legend's All Of Me.
Fan favourites Stay With You, Gimme Likkle One Drop and She's Royal were all extremely well received by patrons.
The evening would already have been memorable had it ended there, but Riley was not done. The intro to the next song brought the crowd to fever pitch. 'Blak Soil, Russian, Head Concussion," Riley belted out and the audience went wild.
After ending his set on that high note with Good Girl Gone Bad, Riley was called back for an encore and willing obliged his fans with Start A New.