Damian Marley Receives Standing Ovations at Reggae Sumfest

The Gleaner focuses on the hugely well-received performance of three-time Grammy Award-winning reggae singer Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley and R&B performer R. Kelly at the recent 2010 Reggae Sumfest in Montego Bay as well as the way in which the late Bob Marley’s spirit permeated the event. See excerpts with a link to the full article below:

The 20th staging of Reggae Sumfest witnessed a historical, awe-inspiring performance, from an artiste who drew heralded and worthy comparisons to the world’s greatest reggae icon.The fact that comparisons were being made between Bob Marley, and his son Damian Marley, between Tuff Gong and Jr Gong, made the event seem even more historically important.

Entering the stage to his Confrontation instrumental and his locks flowing to his ankles, Jr Gong did not set out to prove he was the best Jamaican artiste. The way he performed, he sought to prove he was the best artiste in music, period. Following an internationally renowned R&B superstar could have proved difficult, but Jr Gong took his act to a level many entertainers only dream of reaching. Creating a high with his performance of More Justice, as the night went on, Jr Gong never peaked. Rather, there seemed to be no limit to how great he would be. From Beautiful to Still Searching, the fans received a show, and then some.

The flag man, the backup singers, the band, Marley himself, all fostered an engaging show while providing unbridled joy for those at the Catherine Hall Sports and Entertainment Complex in Montego Bay. The Mission received such a thunderous ovation, he had to ‘pull-up’ the song. Move, a song sampled from his father’s own Exodus, also received a deafening ovation. Needless to say, the audience did not have to be prompted. They were moved. As the greatness of his performance increased, Jr. Gong serenaded the women with Affairs of the Heart, which naturally garnered the loudest response from the women.

It Was Written, one of the songs which placed Marley on the map internationally, continued the epic performance. By then, the audience was not only watching the show, they were performing along with him. Paying homage to Bob, Jr Gong sang Could You Be Loved to undeniable approval from the fans. Those fans would not let him leave after that, and he delivered an encore that included a chill-inducing and soul-stirring exit with Welcome to Jamrock.

[. . .] For the American R&B superstar R. Kelly, no matter how well he performed, it would not be worth the 90-minute wait patrons had to suffer through for his arrival. And while he did not apologise for being late, he did ask for his “tipsiness” to be pardoned.  The same fans that blew their air horns in protest now used the instruments to show him love. For his fans, it was better late than never. The Pied Piper of R&B got the crowd going by doing a compilation of some of the greatest songs he has featured on, including Hotel and Wonderful. After performing Snake, he received a huge ovation for calling on old-school R. Kelly fans. [. . .]

For full article, see http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20120723/ent/ent1.html

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