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Keznamdi, Kabaka light up Earth Hour Concert

Published:Tuesday | March 31, 2015 | 3:00 AMSadeke Brooks

Lanterns lit the sky as lights were turned off for Earth Hour, but that beautiful view had to take a back seat to the performances from Kabaka Pyramid and Keznamdi, who were the highlight of the concert held at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre on Saturday.

Lights were turned off at 8:30 p.m., for an hour, as part of the Earth Hour celebrations where the intention was to raise awareness about climate change. Solar lights and candles were all around the venue, creating a relaxed and intimate vibe. Recycled products and T-shirts were also on sale.

Title sponsor, Gleaner Online, was not left out of the mix, as it hosted the Gleaner Online Earth Hour Photo Competition, which was a partnership with the Jamaica National Foundation's Resolution Project. Members of the programme were asked to submit pictures depicting Mother Nature in all her glory and a second set of photos that show the stark reality of what man is doing and the effects on the Earth. Persons in attendance were then invited to visit the Gleaner Online booth and asked to vote for the best photo in each category.

While patrons visited the different booths, they were extremely fascinated with the performances that came as part of the Earth Hour Concert package.

Acoustic set

Black As Cole provided a smooth and intimate acoustic set while the lights were still off. But Keznamdi seemed to light up the venue before he even took the stage, as patrons screamed at the mere announcement of his name. He then thrilled patrons with songs like Hold On and Darkness. The crowd would later come alive when Chronixx made a surprise appearance, and with Keznamdi, he sang My Love For You, that had patrons singing along. When Keznamdi sang High Grade, he also got a good response.

Later on in the show, Kabaka Pyramid took the stage in a militant fashion with Warrior, that immediately moved the crowd.

"Mek mi see if mi a big artiste or likkle artiste. Can I get the people to stand please?," Kabaka said, and the audience stood. He continued with other popular songs like Never Gonna Be A Slave and No Capitalist, that seemed to resonate well with the audience. Chronixx also joined him on stage to sing, Mi Alright, and at this point, the already-standing patrons moved even closer to the stage. There was also a display of camaraderie when the two exchanged lyrics during a fun medley that included Who Knows and Like A Whistle. After Chronixx's exit, Kabaka placed much emphasis on Well Done, with the audience singing along and clapping.

Earlier in the night, Keznamdi's sister Kelissa also graced the stage, but was much tamer than her sibling. She also did duets with her brother and Chronixx. There was also a modern performance by gospel group UIM 7 that did melodious gospel songs with a mix of reggae and pop sounds.

Behind schedule

While he had a strong voice, Sheldon Senior may have overstayed his time on stage, as the show was way behind schedule. Nonetheless, his songs like Conscious Rebel and Dark Skin Girl, got a decent reception from the audience.

Indonesian Ras Muhammed was the special guest on the show. Although this was his first time in Jamaica, the singer seemed relatively versed on reggae and dub and interacted well with the audience, including bits of Patois in his set. He had the patrons singing Salam, and let down his floor-length locks as he sang Real Education with Kabaka.

Conkarah came later in the show, but had the hard task of following Kabaka's set. As he sang Island Girl, the once-full chairs were left empty. While acknowledging that the size of the crowd was now less than half the size it was earlier in the evening, the animated Rukus still gave a lively performance with his Old Skool Band. With his quirky style of deejaying, singing and rapping, Runkus did songs like Murderer, Rain Start Falling and Victims, to end the show as it neared 1:30 a.m.

entertainment@gleanerjm.com