Mon | Sep 23, 2019

Great performances at Unity in the City

Published:Wednesday | August 21, 2019 | 12:06 AMMarcia Rowe/Gleaner Writer
Fred Hammond performs at Unity in the City.
Fred Hammond performs at Unity in the City.

There was a tremendous show of audience support for Christendom’s youngest concert series, Unity in the City, last Saturday at the National Stadium. Neither the several long pauses between band changes nor the lengthy concert proved a deterrent to their steadfastness.

The magnets were international gospel vocalists Fred Hammond and Tasha Cobb-Leonard, as well as local acts Rhoda Isabella, Marion Hall and Rondell Positive. Advertised act Travis Greene was absent without explanation.

Melissa was one of the many who remained to the end of the concert, that ended 1:00 am. She thought it was an amazing show. “I was here for Fred Hammond and Tasha Cobbs, mainly.

It was around 11: 00 pm before her desire was met. Hammond’s entrance ignited the audience who, especially in the bleachers, had chosen to entertain themselves, during band changes. The American delivered songs he had “put together” for the Jamaican concert. They included Nobody Greater than You and Bring It All to Me. He concluded his relatively short set with the hope that he had touched the life at least one person and a promise to return and continue his sermon in songs.

At exactly 12:00 am, Cobbs-Leonard, like Hammond, attired in black a T-shirt and a pair of jeans, made her entrance. When emcees, Alaine and Ian Ellis, announced the American mega gospel artiste’s arrival to the stage, the audience got in a frenzy. And for 55 minutes, with testimonies and songs, she held the congregation captive. Her set included songs such as Put a Praise on It,I’m Getting Ready and Hear I Am, and ended with Break Every Chain.

The Jamaicans, more than showed up too, they delivered, as noted by Renardo Taylor, for whom the concert exceeded his expectations. “Marion Hall did a fantastic job and Rondell Positive really took it tonight.”

Hall began her “job” by “pushing back everything, with the blood of Jesus”. This was done with up tempo songs such as My Amazing Grace and I Won’t Worry. Then she lowered the tempo with favourites Over flow and There’s a Room In my Place, using her personal testimonies, as backdrops

Rondel Positive, had the fans singing-along and dancing, to Your Purpose a Call You and More Than a Conquer. He also threw in a love song for his wife and sealed it with a kiss.

Later, he told The Gleaner that his preparation for such a concert is a listening process. “For me it is a listening process. I am about messages and about what God is saying. What I do might be entertaining, but that is not my priority. My priority is what God wants the nation to hear. So, it is about listening.”

Isabella’s set was quite short with the new soloist performing two songs, You Lift Me Up and I am Still Breathing.

Also, a pre-show segment kept the crowd entertained. Overall, Unity in the City, was successful audience wise, but there is much room for improvement in the transitions between acts.