The Sir Arthur Guinness Celebration concert, held on Thursday, at the National Indoors Sports Complex in Kingston received a huge turnout, as patrons from near and far came out to absorb some great performances… from the likes of Kerwin Dubois, Destra Garcia, Popcaan, Sizzla and Mavado.
From as early as 6:30 p.m., there was action inside the venue, as selectors Boom Boom and Harry Hype entertained the audience by playing popular dancehall and reggae songs.
The calming effect of reggae music created an atmosphere of tranquility in the air-conditioned venue as patrons made their way to the bars where they were given complimentary Guinness until 7p.m.
Host for the night, Lady Renae, got the audience involved during her on-stage antics, and did special toasts to Arthur Guinness.
“When I say Arthur, you say Guinness,” was her popular tagline.
Patrons were also educated on some of the developmental projects that the Guinness brand was involved in this year via short, informative video displays. Each display was aired in between the musical juggling and the organisers managed to pull it off smooth enough, keeping patrons engaged.
Sir Arthur Guinness Day was celebrated around the world with other concerts in Malaysia and Ireland, among other countries.
Live performances commenced at 8 p.m., when Kerwin Dubois appeared from a darkened main stage dressed in full black. Representing soca music, Dubois found favour with the audience as few Trinidad flags swayed at his feet during his set. Dubois delivered singles such as I Am Soca and Bacchanalist.
“If there is one thing I know ’bout Jamaican people, they love to party like Trinidad people. If a baby born they party in the hospital and they love to drink Guinness,” he said.
After 20 minutes of energy and waving, Dubois made way for Popcaan, the first local act for the night.
Popcaan represented the dancehall fraternity, delivering a hardcore set. The Mobo award nominee performed songs such as Nuh Tek Program, Gangster City, Nuh Box Pon Jaw, Naughty Girl and So Bad, which was perhaps the most hard-hitting during his set.
“Big up all who love and respect Arthur, yu kno it’s a Guinness celebration” he said.
He then performed other hits, namely Party Shot and Summer Wave, and exited on a high note.
After a brief intermission the second segment started with Soca Queen Destra Garcia chanting the lyrics to her dancehall single You Give Good Love, before singing I like It.
The queen was in her usual energetic element and proved to be very entertaining. She had many male patrons glued to the stage as she whined her hips.
Destra also advocated for world peace by performing an exclusive peace song. During this segment she was adamant that patrons hold hands.
The third segment was by far the most anticipated and exciting as reggae icon Sizzla Kalonji graced the stage backed by the experienced Ruff Kutt band. Based on the roars at his introduction, it was no surprise that the veteran delivered a high-calibre performance that literally raised the standard of the entire show.
Dressed in full white, Sizzla gave the audience a solid set crammed with roots reggae singles from his timeless catalogue.
The display saw him performing favourites including Take My Self Away, Mash Dem Down and Simplicity. His performance lacked nothing and each single seemed to garner the same reaction from the audience. He performed just one dancehall song in Get To The Point.
At the end of his performance Lady Renae did not have to tell the audience to applaud, as they took initiative and gave a well-deserving encore to the icon.
Dancehall stalwart Mavado was charged with the responsibility of bringing the show to a close and he did a decent job, thrilling his fans with a plethora of hits. Ranging from hardcore songs such as Touch Di Road to love songs like Come Round.
“Big up Guinness and big up Arthur and big up Vybz Kartel the world boss,” Mavado said during his set.
Arthur Guinness was an Irish brewer and the founder of the Guinness brewery. He was also an entrepreneur, visionary and philanthropist.