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Virgo, I-Octane light up Montego Bay - Rainforest Seafood Festival includes incredible performances

Published:Wednesday | February 20, 2013 | 12:00 AM

 Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer


After his superb performance on the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival, it was The System's Romain Virgo who showed supremacy and battled with I-Octane and Beenie Man for the best in showmanship at the inaugural Rainforest Seafood Festival on Ash Wednesday.

Not one bad act appeared on the Catherine Hall Entertainment Complex stage in Montego Bay, and this was evident when Ken Boothe, the epitome of professionalism, graced the stage at 7:30 p.m.

Establishing early in his set that this could easily turn into a musical love fest, Boothe drew for his 1970s' hit, When I Fall In Love. He transitioned into his 1966 hit Artibella, the former Stranger and Ken artiste's voice was as fresh as morning dew and as smooth as the summer breeze.

Full of energy and sweating profusely, it was the man who sang Journey and Goodbye Baby who became the precursor to what the majority of the approximately 15,000 persons who filled the complex have tagged the crème de la crème of staged concerts.

Boothe made way for the sole female on the programme, a slim and downright sexy Tifa, who brightened the grounds at Catherine Hall.

Tifa came to impress the Montego Bay audience, and she did with flying colours. Dashing Out lyric after lyric, the crowd became So Sick with her brilliant performance.

It was also apparent that No Gyal Can Wine like Tifa. Engaging the audience, she showed her prowess and stage appearance when she selected the bass guitarists' guitar as a prop. Her introduction of Matey Wine brought laughter to the Seafood Festival.

Returning to his flock, Prodigal Son was the next artiste to grace the stage.

Though his set was short, his stinging criticism of rapists was memorable. Allowing the Church access to Catherine Hall, Prodigal Son burnt all obeah men and women during his set.

His positive vibrations were followed by a militant Chronixx, who undoubtedly brings the memory of Peter 'Stepping Razor' Tosh into sharp focus.

Declaring tribal war on Libya, his performance was a reflection of one unafraid of politicians and gunmen.

There was no pretence from the artiste. Like a prophet taking the message to the people, Chronixx burnt like the fire on the screens that acted as a backdrop as he delivered Warrior, Odd Ras and Behind Curtains, connecting with youths, in particular.

Virgo, the former Digicel Rising Star who tore down the 2013 Jamaica Jazz and Blues stage three weeks ago, left his name firmly imprinted in the minds of the members of the audience.

Dripping with perspiration 10 minutes into his set, Virgo, who shocked many seeing him for the first time, changed his uptempo pace with R. Kelly's When a Man Loves. The reward he received were screams of admiration from the women. And when he belted Don't You Remember and Rich in Love, he had won the hearts of all and sundry.

Virgo used his set to show he was in a class by himself, but he had to prove he could light the same type of fires I-Octane and Beenie Man were known for.

Making way for the Energiser bunny I-Octane, Virgo exited the stage singing System.

I-Octane's Lose a Friend and Puff It made instant connections with the audience. He drew from a compilation that included hit after hit. With it, he delivered one of the most powerful performances ever experienced at Catherine Hall.

Then it was time for the man known for his incredible footwork and stage appearance, Beenie Man.

Bringing the curtains down on the Rainforest Seafood Festival, the Grammy Award winner and musical 'Doctor' administered the perfect medication for Montegonians.