Thu | May 23, 2019

Local, international acts thrill at Unity in the City

Published:Thursday | April 5, 2018 | 12:06 AMMarcia Rowe/Gleaner Writer
J J Hairston in performance.
Israel Haughton
Travis Greene gets into the groove.
Members of the audience enjoying the show.

With three international headliners along with some top local gospel acts performing, Unity in the City was designed to be successful.

From the erected stage in the centre of the National Stadium field to the seats in the grandstand, and selected sections of the bleachers, the music ministry transcended the segregated ticket prices.

Shevonn Dawkins, was seated in the grandstand.

"It was fun because I grew up in the church and a lover of music. I love the songs performed, as they were very encouraging to the young people," said Dawkins.

The line-up was impressive; and anyone could have closed the show. But the anchor-leg was given to Travis Greene, to close the Easter Monday concert. It was a good decision, too.

He was mesmerising from his pleasant stage demeanour to the captivating lyrics of his songs and his display of talent, switching from straight vocal to guitar and keyboard.

Ashlee Price, a grade-nine student, was among the many who came to see him perform.

"I am here because Travis Greene is here. And he is amazing."

Her favourite Greene song is He Waited. And to the young fan's delight, the international gospel artiste and pastor ended his electrifying set with an altar call performance of the song.

Also making the list of songs performed by Greene was I just Want You, Without Your Love, Intentional, and On a Hill There's A Cross.

Anastasia Rittiet, however, thought "Travis Greene could have done more, as there are a lot more new songs rather than Made Away ... but people love Made Away, it can't get stale."


Spiritual frenzy


International acts J J Hairston and Israel Haughton and the New Breed preceded Greene. They, too, had the audience in a spiritual frenzy with songs such as I'm Trading my Sorrows, He Can Move Mountains and Shine the Light; Let the Whole World See, with Chevelle Franklyn.

Hairston had the congregation raising their voices in one accord with My Hallelujah Belongs to You, and Nobody Greater than You.

The likes of DJ Nicholas, Kevin Downswell and Jermaine Edwards were just as demonstrative, while comedic duo Ity and Blakka added another dimension to the programme.

"Last year it was Bello and Blakka, but this year it is Blakka and Ity," Owen 'Blakka' Ellis told The Gleaner. "I am blessed to be here and the promoters value our performance and input, not as Christians, but as comedians, and the audience seems to agree."

Jermaine Edwards also one of the organisers, said, "It's giving God praise at another level.

"It is a really good feeling to see the thousands of people here tonight. And in performing, you can feel the love coming from the audience."

Patron, Sutaanya Johnson, believed the concert was exceptional and worth the money spent. She enjoyed the performances and "will be coming back; a round of applause to the organisers".

A round of applause, too, for emcees Nadine Blair and Markland Edwards.