Mon | Aug 21, 2017

Sounds Of The Caribbean Grenada Concert A Hit

Published:Sunday | February 21, 2016 | 2:00 AMDave Rodney
Luciano leaped from the stage, blessing those fans in the front row with handshakes.
A group of carnival dancers and models kicked off Sounds of the Caribbean festival in Grenada.
One of the excited female fans trying to get to Dexta Daps who is performing on stage.
Pandemonium reigned in Grenada when Jamaica's Dexta Daps hit the stage.
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Grenada's national stadium was recently turned into a mosaic of red, green and gold - the colors of their flag - as a first-time festival called Sounds of the Caribbean rocked the venue with sizzling performances from the genres of reggae, soca, and jab. Jamaica was represented by Luciano, I-Octane and Dexta Daps.

Thousands of local residents, tourists, and music lovers who came in from nearby islands of Carriacou and Petit Martinique, packed the venue for a night of superlative performances, dazzling carnival costumes, gravity-defying dance moves, fireworks, confetti rain, smoke clouds, and laser displays.

Make no mistake, Grenada is only a few hundred miles from Trinidad, so the love of soca music and the carnival culture there is fiercely passionate. The promoters know this and the event came close to carnival time, so, appropriately, an assembled group of carnival dancers and models, kicked off the show. They were followed by the Levelz Mas Band, a local sensation of soca-stomping stallions covered in black paint from head to toe. The crowd screamed for more as both groups whipped the audience into a frenzy and the prolonged applause opened up the stage for an absolutely brilliant performance from another Grenadian, Mr Killa, who made jaws drop with his masterful showmanship. Soca and jab stars Ajamu, Talpree, Jarvis 'Muddy' Cuffie, and Cloud5 also put in fine performances.

But the spice island also celebrates a fanatical love for and deep devotion to reggae, and something magical happened when Jamaican reggae icon Luciano chanted his way onto the stage, dressed in green military garb, waving an African rod in one hand and the microphone in the other. The audience roared as the Grammy nominee worked through his catalogue of hits, and, as if to add fuel to raging fire, Luciano leaped from the stage and jumped onto the barrier fence, blessing those up front with a handshake.

GIRLS GO WILD

Pandemonium reigned supreme when Jamaica's rising star Dexta Daps hit the stage. Dressed casually in designer jeans and a fashion vest, and fresh from carnival in Trinidad, he pulled out all the stops and hit every pedal to deliver a blistering performance. It was clear that the Grenadians hold Daps in great esteem, and screaming, gyrating, delirious female fans held on to his every lyric as if they were on a roller-coaster ride. Some of the girls had to be restrained from jumping over the security fence and leaping on the stage. One female fan actually made it on the stage in the middle of his performance from a backstage entrance, pretending to be a member of the technical crew. It was unclear what her on-stage intentions were. She was quickly removed, allowing Daps to introduce his sidekick, Blakkman, and bring his astonishing performance to completion.

Reggae hit machine I-Octane closed the show with a lengthy and well-received performance that journeyed through an anthology of favourite songs. His performance started with a blaze of fireworks and confetti and, after establishing a commanding presence on stage, he did the unthinkable. I-Octane dived from the stage into the crowd and, slicing his way through thousands of music lovers, he ended up on the sound stage located in the middle of the venue from where he performed for the remainder of the night. Towards the end of his performance, he did an impromptu collaboration with local soca and jab artist Lavaman. Together, they brought the house down, delivering reggae, soca and jab magic into the early hours of the morning.

Sounds of the Caribbean was co-hosted by Robert Christopher Riley, a Trinidadian-American film, television and stage actor, and the star of VH1's popular drama series, Hit The Floor. He was joined by New York-based Grenadian goddess Amanda St Louis.

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