The Concert: Best Of The Best
The Venue: Bicentennial Park, Miami, Florida
The Date: May 25, 2008
Top Performers: Tarrus Riley, Jr. Reid, Barrington Levy, Buju Banton, Sizzla, Beenie Man, Supercat
Other Notable Performers: Screechie Dan, Etana, Assassin, Demarco, Bugle, Serani, and Brick & Lace
The Crowd: A good representation of the Caribbean islands, Bahamas, Trinidad, Haiti a whole lot more. As always, Canadians and New Yorkers were there in full force.
The Show: Best Of The Best has the reputation of being best reggae stage-show north of Jamaica. Most years, patrons are treated to a high quality show, filled with top billing artists. This year, there were a good amount of top performers, but the line-up was a bit lighter than usual.
It was announced that Bounty and Movado would not be at the show. Two of the top artists missing…a big disappointment for many dancehall enthusiasts. It didn’t seem like the absence of these two artists had a big effect on ticket sales. As the day progressed the crowd grew thicker and thicker.
In the early going, comedian Rayzor kept the crowd entertained between artists and band changes. As the night progressed, the crowd was pleased by Miami’s own DJ Khaled, and a cameo appearance by T-Pain. Band changes were relatively quick and the hosts, guests and DJ’s made them appear to go even quicker.
Notable Performances: Tarrus Riley. Stage presence, soulful singing, working the crowd, and of course that voice, made Tarrus’s performance simply divine. Each time I see him perform, he takes it to a higher level. If he keeps this up, he will definitely be around for many years to come.
Barrington Levy: Classic dancehall at its best. The crowd loved him, even the younger patrons had to salute Mr. Levy on his performance.
Buju – Full of energy, full of life with a smidge of politics and world events, Buju was phenomenal as usual. He is a true entertainer, each time he performs you can feel that he is on stage to give the people what they paid for.
Beenie Man – An abbreviated performance. Timing is always in issue at these public park venues in North America. Beenie didn’t have a chance to get the crowd energized, a big disappointment to Beenie fans throughout the crowd.
Next Year: I am looking forward to North America’s premier reggae event. Best of The Best is always a superb show, this year was no different. I rate this year’s show a B+. That grade is mainly due to the absence of two top performers. Looking forward to an A+ event in 2009.