Sound difference between VIP, free experience - Andrew Tosh revisits father's catalogue, no Beenie Man
The VIP area at Jamaican live performance entertainment events is normally closest to the front of the stage, with seating provided for those who wish to pay extra for the privilege of closer proximity, which, presumably, gives a better experience.
Saturday's Steppin' Razor Experience at the Pulse's 38 Trafalgar Road, New Kingston, headquarters, took an unusual approach to the physical VIP demarcation and pricing regimen. For not only were the general admission and VIP areas beside each other in front of the small stage, but the difference in pricing between the areas was even wider than usual.
General admission was free, while VIP tickets went for $3,000 each.
Naturally, then, the free area was packed and the VIP section scantily occupied throughout a concert that started approximately 12:30 a.m. and went up to a few minutes before 3 a.m. However, apart from a slight difference in viewing angle of the small, unadorned stage to which Trafalgar Road was a backdrop, there was one marked discrepancy between the two sections - the sound.
The VIP area offered a significantly better sonic experience than the free section, as persons in both areas listened to a concert which climaxed and ended with Andrew Tosh's excellent delivery of several of his father's - Peter - songs to recorded tracks. Beenie Man's absence went unexplained.
It was largely a performance of succeeding generations of Jamaican popular music standouts, as grandsons of two of the Wailing Wailers, Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh, performed. And with Dre Tosh performing, the family connection was made even closer with his father, Andrew. Garnett Silk Jr delivered some of his father's songs and the Informative History Man, delivered the spoken word.
Close to the end of his performance, he sang of Africa "crying for her daughters", but, inevitably, the songs of famous fathers dominated the night. After saying, "since you say let Reuben live and never die, I am going to pay one more tribute to my father," using a scaled-down band, Silk Jr did his father's remake of Mama, and then Place in Your Heart, in closing to an appreciative audience.
The connection between Andrew Tosh singing a raft of songs by his father in a space dubbed the Peter Tosh Square, just outside the Peter Tosh Museum, was clear and the audience - VIP and general admission - sang along as he opened with Bush Doctor and continued with Stepping Razor and Johnny B Goode.
His voice strong and sounding like his father's, Andrew Tosh did Brand New Second Hand, the infamous Oh B.......t, Sorry fi Maaga Dog, Mark of the Beast and Creation, with little pause or patter between songs. Legalize It provoked an especially strong response, and Andrew satisfied a request without a backing track as the experience ended.