Fun in the Son builds to glorious night
The Best Dressed Chicken Fun in the Son returned with a bang on Saturday. Held at the National Heroes Park, it pulled a huge crowd as persons turned out, no doubt missing the event, which was last hosted in 2014.
The organisers of the now biennial festival did not disappoint as they once again delivered an unforgettable gospel experience. With performances from Judith Gayle, Carlene Davis, DJ Nicholas, Papa San, and international gospel phenomenon Donnie McClurkin, the show upped the ante from that set at the previous staging.
The concert part of the event got under way at approximately 5 p.m. with I Worshipp, Anishca Judah, Aaron T Aaron, and Naomi setting the pace for the acts to follow. The early performers got patrons revved up for worship as they each delivered strong, moving performances. Rondell Positive, Judith Gayle, DJ Nicholas, and Carlene Davis were among the 'big-name acts' to take to the stage as it got dark. Positive, in his usual element, captivated the audience, moving people into praise and worship with his powerful voice.
Gayle and Nicholas followed up on the high energy, delivering strong performances and wooing the audience with their unique style of delivery. Gayle wowed with her sultry vocals, while Nicholas had the audience dancing along as he deejayed some of his most popular hits.
Davis also managed to give a strong performance. Sharing her testimony with the huge crowd, the singer spoke of God's mercy as she reflected on her previous life before recommitting her life to Christ in 1996. She performed songs such as Dripping Blood, Enough For Me, and a medley of popular Jamaican gospel hits before making way for Kevin Downswell.
Minister Downswell entered the stage to loud cheers and screams from the audience, and by the time he was done, it was clear why he was so well received. Downswell delivered song after song, ministering and touching hearts. He had the crowd singing along to his every word as he did songs such as All The Way, Close To You, If It's Not You, and Love Me The Way You Do. Tears streamed down the faces of some people, moved by his performance.
By the time Downswell got into the popular hit You Make Me Stronger, the crowd was in a total frenzy.
Warming up the crowd
Downswell warmed the crowd up nicely for the main act of the night: Donnie McClurkin. The audience members could not contain themselves as the man they had been waiting all evening graced the stage. McClurkin begged the audience to help him praise God as he summoned the 'radical yaadies' into worship mode. He performed hits such as Great is Your Mercy, Speak To My Heart, and Holy before taking the crowd on a musical journey across the globe.
McClurkin delivered songs in several different languages as he pointed out that in the job of ministering, one had to acquire several tongues in order to reach different people. He took the audience to countries such as Russia, Japan, and Holland before thrilling them with songs made popular in Jamaica. As he delivered local favourites such as Mind Made Up, Goodbye World, Born Again, and Under the Rock, members of the crowd couldn't help but sing and dance along.
The experienced performer gave the crowd such an experience that when it was time for him to make his exit, they begged for more. He performed We Fall Down and Stand before leaving the stage and making way for the night's closing act, Papa San.
The veteran artiste and minister, who was closing the show for the second time in a row, proved just why the organisers asked him to bring the night to an end. Giving an epic performance, San took the audience down memory lane with hits such as Teenie Weenie and Pop Style before giving them a taste of his new material with Kiss Teeth. The last was well received by the audience as it showcased the best of San's wit and undeniable lyrical ability.
In between his songs, San called for more support for gospel artistes and also spoke out against racism in America. The night's proceedings came to an end at approximately 10:35 p.m.
In the midst of the frolic and fun on Saturday, volunteer counsellors were seen throughout the venue ministering to several persons and encouraging them to accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.