In the midst of the battering rain over various parts of the island, the GT Taylor Extravaganza kicked off to perfect weather conditions on Wednesday, December 24 at the Independence Park, Black River.
The night saw some wonderful and not so great performances and a surprise ‘blessing’.
Christian converted DJ Lt Stitchie gave the St. Elizabeth patrons a surprise as he passed through.
“Love is not supposed to be kept in the confines of the church, love should be spread unconditionally,” the Christian DJ said before launching into his song ‘Pray For My Friends’, a wistful number that had him praying for all his singer and DJ friends who are still unsaved.
Earlier in the evening, performances came from Irie FM’s Big Break winner Live Wyaa, Step By Step Band, Easy Wayne, Spotlight, Delly Melody, Andrew & Wada Blood, Meeky Melody, Little Hero, Prince Oret and Nigger Mikey.
Sample Man ‘mash up di place’ with some wicked jokes. Some patrons were overheard commenting, “a whey dah man deh come from sah!”
Following an enjoyable set by LMS, it was time for Morgan Heritage to kick off the ‘startime’ segment of the show. From the word go they had the audience spellbound as they sang ‘Down By The River’, ‘Don’t Haffi Dread’ and ‘What We Need Is Love’.
Hot gal CéCile came on stage at 2:56 am and generated a lot of heat in the cold morning air as she teased, tantalized and gave the ladies something to cheer about. Among the numbers she performed were ‘Hot Gal’, ‘Do It To Me Baby’ and ‘Rude Bwoy’.
Kip Rich was next and he came on stage amidst much fanfare. He had the ‘rude boys’ in the house saluting and sending off fire crackers.
The cool ruler Gregory Isaacs was next and he could do no wrong for the St. Bess massive as he went into ‘Tune In’, ‘Rumours’, Ragamuffin’, ‘Night Nurse’ and many others. Isaacs had no trouble getting a response from the audience who at times were stiff with some of the performers.
Another winner for the night was George Nooks who came on stage at 3:40 am and promptly took command of the crowd. Among the many favourites he performed were ‘Tribal War’, ‘My Brethren’, ‘God Is Standing By’, ‘No Power On Earth’ and ‘My Children’.
Junior Reid took time out in his performance to chastise fellow Rastafarians for appearing in a movie like ‘Shottas’. “How come Rasta fi star show like Shottas and Third World Cop?” he queried. He finally got down to the business at hand performing ‘One Blood’ and ‘Survivor’.
Michael Rose followed and gave a wonderful performance, going back down memory lane with ‘Solidarity’, ‘Party In Session’, ‘Shine Eye Gal’ and a few more. However, the crowd was unappreciative of his effort and made their impatience known. Rose left the stage. MC Richie B reminded them of Rose’s importance and respect overseas.
Following Jah Mason, it was time for Coco Tea who had no trouble getting the audience’s respect. He was easy like Sunday Morning as he went into his many popular numbers. The crowd hardly wanted to bid him leave.
Anthony B could do no wrong for the over 2,000 that turned out at Independence Park. Wherever he led, they more than followed.
Captain Barkey and Wickerman were their comedic self and had the audience cracking up in enjoyment.
Ninja Man had his many fans going crazy as he carried on his usual stage antics.
Predator got a lukewarm response and made way for Vybz Cartel. The fans were greatly disappointed as he only did about three songs and left the stage explaining that he was sick.
Tanto Metro & Devonte made up for Kartel’s shortfall, giving the audience their money’s worth and then some.
At approximately 6:00 am, Doctor Beenie Man took the stage and worked for over an hour for the fans who refused to budge. He brought the curtains down on an incident free production.
In between band changes and prior to the beginning of the show, sound systems GT Aggregation and Danga Zone kept the dancehall vibes alive.
Providing MC duties for the evening were Richie B, GT Taylor and Ron Muschette, while backing bands were Gumption and Step By Step.