The 2012 Montreal International Reggae Festival season comes to an end on a high note, seeing a sold out audience pack the Old Port for 3 days of sweet Reggae and Dancehall from the Caribbean’s best artists.
Fans were given a variety of talent and themes to enjoy. Night one, deemed Dancehall night, featured Cham and his Wife O. Canada’s #1 DJ, DJ Poirier, who also hails from Montreal, rocked the crowd with a combination of musical selections from Shabba Ranks, General Degree and Busy Signal. Joining the veteran DJ on stage was Juno Nominee Face-T who slick Dancehall delivery had the audience chanting for more, as did the fiery presentation and performance of Fiya Lion who had patrons form the Usain Bolt pose during his performance.
The official after party was enjoyed by Sound Clash diehards who backed EB Lounge to witness Rootsman Sound from Toronto, Showtime from New York and hometown favorite Little Thunder battle each other for the favour of the crowd. Toronto’s Rootsman Sound won the Clash taking all three rounds played.
Night two featured Konshens, whose chart topping singles “Gyal Ah Bubble,” “Ah So Mih Tan,” and “Good Girl Gone Bad” earned the screams and cheers from his adoring female fans, and fire salutes from the male fans in attendance. Another crowd pleaser was Christopher Martin who had to wheel up his sizzling song “Cheaters Prayer” several times, and the newest Dancehall sensation, Popcaan worked the stage and the crowd into a frenzy. Hotta Maestro also touched the crowd prior to Assassin who’s moving performance called for encore’s.
Night three, Reggae night, featured Romain Virgo and his soul moving song “Who Feels it Knows it” had the audience singing along with him. Tarrus Riley, backed by Ruff Kut band gave fans so much of what they wanted to hear, tweets about Mr. Singy Singy were sent the moment he was announced to be at the venue to the end of his set. Fans knew every word to every song, and acted as his backing choir when he performed “Stay With You” which was truly moving.
Froggy Madd Squad had the audience in festive spirits, opening for Jimmy Cliff! His set include Reggae anthems that had lighters and flags in the air! Remembering the milestone of Jamaica’s 50th year of Independence from Great Britain, the Madd Squads leader included rare Festival music from his music library, impressing fans both mature and young!
Undoubtedly, Jimmy Cliff was the shining crescendo to an already perfect Festival. Donned in his red green and gold scarf and leather suit, the legend and Order of Merit holder gave Montreal his heart and soul as he performed his hits that made him famous (“Many Rivers to Cross,” “Reggae Nights” and “Miss Jamaica”) as well as songs from his new album recently released.
Backed by his band, Jimmy reminded all of the years he’s put into the industry, and his undeniable role in shaping the path that others have followed. He is truly a legend!
Look out for the Montreal International Reggae Festival 2013 where Eric Blagrove, the Festival’s producer, celebrates 10 years with surprises and feature presentations!
Shout out to L3 Magazine for the pics!