Sadeke Brooks, Staff Reporter
Numerous persons turned up at Redbones Blues Café, New Kingston, last Friday, to support birthday girl Alaine's charity concert, Walking On Air.
The venue was so packed that persons without presold tickets were being turned back at the gate. Inside, there were no empty chairs and persons even sat on the ground.
On arrival, loud music could be heard coming from a function that was being held next door. But when Chronixx took the stage, that was a mere memory. Wearing a knapsack, tam, and cargo pants, it was obvious that he was in a no-nonsense mood. At first he took on the topic of love, before getting very militant with Warrior. He certainly entertained when he sang, "Dem dress inna straight jeans, mi inna khaki suit ... all when a you alone a sing righteous song, don't follow nobody."
After doing a lovers' rock song, he was followed by Sherieta Lewis. Sweating as she belted out powerful notes, the young singer did songs like Problem Free and I Shall Sing.
At 10:15, Alaine finally took the stage in a white dress singing Rise In Love.
"Now to get rid of these very uncomfortable shoes. They look amazing, but ... wow!" she said, removing her pumps and thanking the patrons for attending the event from which proceeds will go to the Allman Town Primary School and Mary's Child.
Later, she would go on to sing Selena's Dreaming of You, making it her own with fancy ad libs. This had patrons rocking and waving from side to side. She put somewhat of a dancehall slant in her set when she did Without You, and she went dubstep for parts of Deeper.
Adding something different to her performance, she performed Gregory Isaacs' Tune In with one of the musicians. Alaine continued to remind the audience that she also had dancehall songs and reeled off favourites like Anything, Chaka Chaka Love, and Make Me Weak. While her dance moves were a bit rigid, Alaine seemed to enjoy herself as she did Wine. With the absence of Shaggy, she deejayed some of the For Your Eyes lyrics.
Following a 15-minute break that turned into 40 minutes, the show restarted with comedian Christopher 'Johnny' Daley, who poked fun at Alaine and at himself during the London Olympics.
He was followed by Voicemail, the duo performing some of its newer material, while keeping the audience abreast of the latest dance moves.
Tarrus hits the stage
Temperature levels inside the venue increased markedly when Tarrus Riley's voice was heard. There were screams as he uttered, "Can't touch the lion."
Riley did Never Leave I Jah and Human Nature, which were definite crowd pleasers.
Inviting Alaine on stage, Dean Frazer, from Riley's Blak Soil band, then played a song for her while Tarrus gave her a rose.
"This is the best birthday ever in life," she said, after singing Forever More with Riley.
After receiving a birthday cake, Alaine seamlessly dipped into her catalogue, presenting songs like Open Your Eyes, Still Smiling, Like A Magnet, and Revolution.
After being on the sidelines all night, her two back-up singers joined her centre stage where they all sang You Are Me.
Having laughed at the soft voice in which she sang Bye Bye, Alaine asked Daley to join her. He had the crowd laughing and even singing as he interchanged "galang" and "guh weh" in place of "bye bye".
Before performing Walking on Air, Alaine explained how the song had inspired her to do the show.
Again, she was given a cake. This time by her band, 1Thirty1, and her back-up singers.
Delving further into her catalogue, she did Sacrifice. But there was an impromptu "fix the keyboard" song before she could thrill with No Ordinary Love.