Stellar performances from Beres & Shaggy at historic reggae concert at Barclays Center

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Brooklyn, NY: The newly minted Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn was the venue for the recently concluded ‘BioLife Sounds of Reggae Concert’ on 12.12.12 with headliners Beres Hammond, Ali Campbell, Shaggy and Maxi Priest and what a smasher it was! Jay-Z and the incomparable Barbara Streisand are just a few of the marquee stars who have played sold out dates at the new facility that is now home for the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets.

Maxi, who got the concert started threw down a glittering performance for over 10,000 screaming fans in a glam-filled coming-out reggae party. His energy ricocheted throughout the jam-packed venue as the legendary reggae crooner belted out classic hits like “How It Feel To Be Loved,” “Just A Bit Longer” “Wide Wide World,” “I Believe In Love” and “She Gives Me Love.” Maxi was later joined by NJ based dj Beniton who lite up the stage, partnering with him on crossover hits ‘House Call” and “Jamaica Nice.”

It was a homecoming party of sorts for international reggae star Shaggy, who at one time called Brooklyn home. Performing with his long time friends from the area Rayvon and Red Fox, the former US Marine demanded the entire arena get on their feet during his energetic set and fans obediently obliged, danced up a storm for the duration of his performance. Shaggy’s set was spiced with all his big hits and more including ‘Mr. Boombastic,’ ‘It Wasn’t Me,’ ‘Big Up,’ ‘Angel,’ ‘Church Heathen’ and the ballad Strength of A Woman that he dedicated to Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller who celebrated her birthday last Wednesday.

Reggae singer Beres Hammond, who made a scheduled stop at NBC’s Late Night show with Jimmy Fallon and the Roots band prior to his performance, had the women in the palm of his hands from the moment he crooned his first note. The Grammy-nominated reggae hit maker could do no wrong as he reeled of hit songs from his catalogue including ‘Step Aside,’ ‘Putting Up Resistance,’ ‘Come Back Home,’ ‘Give Thanks,’ ‘Doctors Orders’ and ‘Rockaway.’ 90 minutes later when the sweat drench singer made his way off stage, the consensus was he was the “Boss” for the night.

Having Ali Campbell close a reggae concert in downtown Brooklyn could be a dismal disaster. Campbell however being the consummate performer pushed those concerns aside. While he did not enjoy the same crowd support that Beres or Shaggy enjoyed, he certainly made a good first impression and connected with fans as he belted out ‘Would I Lie To You,’ ‘Running Free’ and the curtain closer ‘Red Red Wine.’

Earlier, Ann-Marie Grant, Executive Director of the American Friends of the University of the West Indies (AFUWI) organisation accepted a US$10,000 donation from title sponsor BioLife for the University of the West Indies Scholarship fund. Also present at the concert was the Hon. Herman LaMont, Consul General of Jamaica, New York who endorsed the event. Promoter George Crooks and his hardworking team at Jammins Entertainment must be congratulated for producing one of the biggest reggae concert for 2012 inside the tri-state area.

As the reggae thirsty crowd slowly filed out of the arena at 12:05am in the morning, their pleasure for the concert’s solid lineup and superb coordination was palpable.

photo credit – Ajamu
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