Massive crowd welcomes Tessanne back - Homecoming concert a resounding success
Sadeke Brooks, Staff Reporter
Fireworks and confetti were the perfect end to a jam-packed event that to celebrate Tessanne Chin's major achievement.
Jamaicans from all walks of life apparently wanted to welcome Tessanne Chin home, packing Ocean Boulevard in downtown Kingston. People stood in the road and some even made their way on to the tops of high buildings just to get a proper view of proceedings on Sunday evening.
The sea of people on the street and on the waterfront screamed as Tessanne took the stage, singing The Reason, while confetti filled the air.
She went quickly down memory lane with older songs like Black Books and Messenger, the audience singing along.
The mayor of Kingston, Angela Brown Burke, also got in on the act, presenting Tessanne with a gold medal of recognition for her winning display in American talent competition, 'The Voice'.
"I couldn't do it without every single one of you. I thank you for the support," Tessanne said, while the tears flowed.
Her passionate rendition of Bridge Over Troubled Water came as quite the fitting follow-up.
She also admitted that she was somewhat terrified when she was told to sing Whitney Houston's I Have Nothing while on 'The Voice', but when she sang the song, no such terror could be heard in her voice and the audience looked on in amazement.
"Jamaica, I have to thank you so much for coming out. I just want you to know I love you," she said, before making the crowd go wild to Hideaway.
The evening was filled with performances from the very beginning. Past and present students from Tessanne's former school, St Hugh's Preparatory, delivered a medley of songs and paid homage to her.
Dance Xpressionz also made their mark, and dub poetry group, Colas, made people laugh.
Moving on from Colas, a group which finished second in Tastee Talent Trail some years ago, there was Jah Bouks, who made his mark in Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall last year. Bouks also left an impression on Sunday evening when he sang Angola. The audience responded with singing, dancing, and waving.
The evening also saw a performance from Alaine, who entertained with songs such as Lighters Up, You Are Me and No Ordinary Love.
Ity & Fancy Cat and Delus did quick stints to make way for Christopher Martin's Paper Loving and Cheater's Prayer.
Protoje was also quick with Rasta Love and Kingston Be Wise.
Jah Cure seemed as if he came to please. While he only did two songs, Longing For and Unconditional Love, he made them count.
BURST OF ENERGY
Tifa came next and seemed to have an extra burst of energy as she did Move Yuh Body and rocked out to Crawny Gal and Spell It Out.
While Wayne Marshall started with his relatively popular I Know, for the second time in as many performances, the showstopper came in the form of his eight-year-old son Giomar, who thoroughly entertained the audience when he sang Stupid Money line for line, almost outshining his father and Assassin.
Later, Assassin collaborated with Marshall for Go Hard. And out of nowhere came Damian Marley with his locks sweeping the ground to ignite the audience with his verse of the song and a taste of Welcome To Jamrock.
When the others exited the stage, Assassin continued his set with Hand To Mouth. This was followed by one of the biggest crowd responses for the night, as Shaggy had the audience eating from his palms.
There was non-stop movement in the audience and most hands remained raised for the duration of Strength Of A Woman and Church Heathen.
The event flowed smoothly with hosts Paula-Anne Porter-Jones and Miss Kitty at the controls, while Juju Royal and Renaissance Disco entertained the audience during the breaks.