Euphoria of giving
The first annual Euphoria charity concert, put on by dancehall artiste Mr Vegas, was staged on Sunday at the LIME Golf Academy, New Kingston. Although early showers threatened to put a halt to the evening's proceedings, as soon as the rain eased, it was music business as usual.
Though the show's start was delayed for over an hour due to the inclement weather, patrons waited patiently for the organisers to rearrange equipment and reset the stage for what would turn out to be a night of good, clean music and quality entertainment.
'Rising Stars' finalists Latty J and Natel opened the programme. Their short, yet entertaining, set proved to be the perfect start to the evening as their soulful reggae originals did enough to get the audience warmed up for the night's better-known performers.
Kevin Downswell was the first big act to grace the Euphoria stage, and he took the audience - which, by this time, had grown to fill the space used for the venue - to church with a plethora of gospel hits. Starting out with some classic gospel songs, Downswell had the audience members in a praise frenzy, with persons getting out of their seats, shouting hallelujahs.
Although the audience enjoyed the trip down memory lane, it was Downswell's most recent hits that earned him his biggest crowd response for the night. Already Done, If It's Not You and You Make Me Stronger proved to be huge crowd favourites.
DANCING UP ASTORM
Downswell made way for veteran Ernie Smith. Backed by Lloyd Parkes and the We the People Band, the seasoned entertainer moved the audience. As he delivered some of his most popular hits such as Duppy Gunman, Pitta Patta and That's the Kind of People We Are, audience members were again moved to stand and dance up a storm at the venue.
As he brought his set to a close, Smith offered his congratulations to the event's organiser, saying that he would not have missed the event for anything and that Mr Vegas' heart was in the right place. He made way for the captain of the Big Ship, Freddie McGregor.
Based on the reaction, it may be safe to say that the captain was perhaps the audience's favourite act. He had the crowd totally captivated by his performance from start to finish, thrilling them with hits such as Loving Pauper, Push Come to Shove, and Prophecy.
Calling him a "brave youth", McGregor also heaped praises on Mr Vegas for organising an event that sees to the needs of those less fortunate, before making way for Karyn White, the first of two international acts for the night.
With hits such as Superwoman and Can I Stay With You heavy favourites among Jamaicans, White could do no wrong. Stating how grateful she was to be part of the event, White thrilled the audience with powerful vocals and some smooth dance moves before making way for Champaign.
Despite performing hits such as Try Again and How 'Bout Us, the R&B headline act left many disappointed. Patrons paid scant attention to the international act and only turned their full attention to the stage again when Christopher Martin entered for his set.
The night's other acts were Romain Virgo and Leroy Sibbles.
The event's proceeds went to the Mustard Seed Communities as each ticket purchased helped to ensure that a child is fed.
Thanking everyone for supporting the initiative, Mr Vegas promised that in coming years, Euphoria would continue to grow.