Thu | Sep 20, 2018

C'bean music makes BET Experience

Published:Wednesday | July 1, 2015 | 12:00 AMJerome Reynolds
Mr Vegas
Machel Montano

Jamaican music and culture took over the Los Angeles Convention Centre, downtown Los Angeles, California, on Sunday, as Vegas and Gyptian proudly represented the black, green and gold.

It was an afternoon into evening of high energy, flag waving and dancing as the Jamaicans gave thrilling performances at the BET Experience: The Carnival Experience. The free concert was part of the BET Awards weekend and among a series of events put on by the Los Angeles Culture Festival as part of the 2015 staging of Hollywood Carnival.

The event as masterfully hosted by VH1 star and self-proclaimed 'Soca Ambassador,' Robert Christopher Riley.

Gyptian's performance could easily be classified as being 'all for the ladies', as the reggae singer was like the Piped Piper. From his first step on to the stage, he had female attendees screaming his name and professing their love.

The entertainer's smooth, melodic voice had couples drawing closer to do a rub-a-dub as he sang some of his reggae soul songs.

Gyptian had no need for on-stage back-up singers, as the ladies in the crowd took on that duty during a short but exciting set.

He made way for dancehall/reggae mainstay Mr Vegas, who had the hundreds in attendance dancing and singing up a storm. The energy was pulsating as the sounds of Jamaican music echoed in the venue, both from the speakers and audience.

The performance was a dynamic mix of oldies and current dancehall and reggae songs, with a splash of hip-hop and reggaeton. Whether they were hits from the 1990s, early 2000s or present day, Vegas could do no wrong as he had the welcoming crowd in a good mood and ready to dance. His interaction with the crowd was pleasurable and added an engaging touch to the performance.

Paying homage

This was especially so for one female attendee who 'bruk it dung' on the entertainer when he came into the crowd, to the delight of his fans.

Paying homage to Jamaican icon and global star Bob Marley,Vegas did a segment of popular songs from the undisputed King of Reggae.

Vegas, who is never short of social commentary, used the segment to speak out against hate, segregation and discrimination among races. He encouraged members of the audience to unite and live together in peace, not to be affected by negative images in the media.

Before them, Canadian-Jamaican recording artiste Kreesha Turner gave a compact, power-packed performance. Highlighting her roots, Turner presented an excellent blend of reggae, dancehall, hip hop and rap.

From the dancing to heavy beats and remixes, the Wolmer's High School for Girls past student showed her star power to the interactive crowd. At one point, in true dancehall queen style, Turner and her female dancers took to their 'head tops' and showed off their wining skills.

steel pan and calypso

A different kind of wining took over when the man from the island of the steel pan and calypso, Machel Montano, took to the stage.

There was a sea of flags, rags, jumping and waving from the first beat. The crowd knew it was in for an energetic set when Montano opened with his 2015 soca mega hit, Like a Boss. Other hits he performed included Happiest Man Alive and The Fog.

The songs flowed with ease, as did waistlines and smiles of jubilation. Included in Montano's performance were fellow soca artistes Nadia Batson, Lyrikal, and Alison Hinds.

The crowd erupted into a frenzy and the dancing intensified when he called on compatriot Angela Hunte and they performed their smash hit Party Done.

Even after the music ended women were still on the barriers, wining and 'getting on bad'.