Paul A. Reid, Staff Reporter
WESTERN BUREAU: THE POLICE came out in full force for Reggae Sumfest 2000 and up to Saturday's show, the fifth of six nights, there were no major incidents.
Assistant Commissioner in charge of Area One, Linton Latty told The Gleaner, 180 officers were deployed to the site on two shifts each night. In addition Mr. Latty said a contingent from the Mobile Reserve was also on standby in case they were needed. Mr. Latty also emphasised that no firearms would have been allowed into the venue, but patrons somehow escaped the searches and thousands of fire crackers got inside the Catherine Hall park.
For the first time in the eight-year history of the music festival, Reggae Sumfest closed well before daybreak on Monday morning. The final show had everything from the eclectic offerings of the Kingston-based Zinc Fence which opened the show to the X-rated dancehall stylings of Lady Saw, the smooth sounds of Devonte and Tanto Metro, the hardcore rap of Jay-Z and finally to the enigma that is Shaggy. In fact, Sumfest 2000 closed on a high just before 5:00 am.
The crowd compared favoura-bly with that of the previous night, but fell short of the estimated 12,000 and 11,000 which attended Thursday and Friday nights.
The set changes were crisp and the show ran ahead of time mid programme.
Based on crowd response, American rapper Jay-Z and hard core female DJ Lady Saw were the favourites, as their fans made their presence heard throughout the performances.
Both performances were, however, laced with obscenities and lewdness, but that did not seem to matter to the fans at all. Lady Saw who struggled without much success to cover her breasts in a tiny gold see-through dress, managed to raise the level of her performance with a song against pedophiles which she did along with another DJ, Major Sample.
Jay-Z, who took the stage wearing a white T-shirt and mid-shin length red shorts, along with diamond encrusted watch, chaparitta, necklace and stud earrings, scored well especially with the younger set who rapped along with him word for word, obscenity for obscenity.
After a slight hold-up following his introduction in order to clear the stage of those who were not a part of the Roca-fella crew, including the television cameramen, Jay-Z delivered a good set including his big hits, Jigga and Hard Knocks Life along with his newest single Big Pimping.
The aerosol spray/cigarette lighter torches came out for the first time since Friday night as Memphis Bleek joined him on stage.
Mixing his old standards, That Girl, Carolina and Mr. Boombastic with cuts from his new album Hot shot that was set for release yesterday, Shaggy closed the show on a high.
The duo of Brian and Tony Gold, along with Rayvon, also added to the potent mix that rewarded those who had stayed till the end. Angel a duet with Rayvon and the uptempo Dance and Shout were two of the songs from the new album that were showcased.
Devonte and Tanto Metro presented a classy 30-minute set, with Devonte declaring at the start of the set that " since this is not dancehall night, we cannot say the things we normally say, so we will do it in a decent way and we will give you an international show."
Sean Paul did not get going until he brought Mr. Vegas on stage and was led off by one of his dancers, just as he was about to get into a dance with another.
Zinc Fence with Ravleta Frazer delighted the hundreds of spectators who were in the audience when the show started just after 9:00 p.m.