Jamaica Magazine

Review: Luciano Up Close & Personal at ‘The Garage! – New York May 2012

‘Dem have some likkle man nowadays, using the music, abusing the music.  Them not playing any music anymore, they abuse the minds of the people, making a bunch of noise and deceiving of many of the youths.’


Backed by the Ruff Stuff band, Luciano return to NYC at ‘The Garage’ night club in the Bronx was very appropriate and fitting for the Mother’s Day Tribute. For three straight hours “the messenger” brought joy to the Mother’s Day celebration. I entered the venue just as the singer was being introduced.  And I heard Luciano’s voice before seeing him.  He was dressed in full military attire. Opening the show with ‘I Remember When’, a song celebrating Africans when they were Kings and Queens, he saluted Emperor Haile Selassie & Empress Mennen before going right into his signature song ‘Messenger.’ I thought his performance was initially subdued, which might be due to him being a little tired from what was, apparently, an electrifying performance in Brooklyn the previous night. 


The stage was very low at the Garage, so Luciano was able to reach out and touch his fans which he did many times over the course of his performance.  As he performed ‘Messenger’ the audience began whistling and singing along and just holding a good vibe.  ‘Bronx are you ready?’  Luciano yelled out to the audience.  The audience responded in a thunderous ‘Yes.  ’Next up, ‘Give Praise to Rastafari’ as you could feel the energy rising.  ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ he shouted out as the instrumental introduction of ‘Sweep over My Soul’ came from the ‘Ruff Stuff’ band.  Luciano looked great and his sound was just as pristine as when we first heard him all those years ago.


Before he went into ‘This One is For the Leaders’ he issued a warning to President Obama to ‘be careful of the decisions you make.’  He also said that President Obama was elected to ‘serve the people, not to mislead the people.’ He did not elaborate if this was in light of Mr. Obama’s recent voicing of support for gay marriage and same sex couples.  He said that this was a message that he was sending to all leaders all over the world.


‘These are the last days!  These are the last days!’  he said.  As he spoke very sternly about negative forces in the music.  ‘Dem have some likkle man nowadays, using the music, abusing the music.  Them not playing any music anymore, they abuse the minds of the people, making a bunch of noise and deceiving many of the youths.’  He warned the audience to prepare themselves for ‘terrible days’ ahead.  None like we have ever seen before ‘because the weapons that they have prepared themselves with are more destructive than the force’ as he skanked and flashed his locks like he was ready for the ‘Gideon War.’


It was about 40 minutes into the show before he sang the title track from his recent album ‘Jah Is My Navigator’ the crowd was a little less vocal on this song as it might not be as familiar.  This was followed by the Bob Marley classic ‘Jah Live.’  He sang some familiar classics by some of the greats such as Dennis Brown & Garnet Silk interspersed with his own chart-toppers.  Luciano called for a moment of silence as he honored and remembered Phillip ‘Fattis’ Burrell, the reggae producer who died on December 5, 2011.  Mr. Burrell was the man who shaped Luciano’s career and was also a mentor to him.  It was only fitting that the next song would be ‘It’s Me Again Jah’ before leading the audience in The Lord’s Prayer while the Ruff Stuff band played ‘Heal The World’ and he sent a ‘big up’ to Michael Jackson!  He sang all his big hits and then some as he jumped and flipped.  He is still very agile even on a small stage.


The night wasn’t over yet.  Luciano showcased local artists like Ragga Lox, Culture Wise, Ras Progress and Survivalist in that order.  Each performed one song, except for Survivalist who did more than one and was kind of wearing out his welcome.


Over-all, a very nice, well-packaged show.  There weren’t any glitches or false starts. 


About the Author:
Michele ‘Di Riddim Queen’ Anderson was born in St. James, Jamaica and migrated to the United States at an early age.  She host internet radio show‘Di Riddim Palace’ E2 on Air and she host an internet radio show on Mature Radio, and King Barka Radio. Di Riddim Queen is a ‘music head’ who never lost sight of her roots, especially reggae music.  She enjoys sharing her music! She has a vast collection of music of all genres dating back to her childhood days.

As a presenter on various internet radio stations, she has interviewed government officials, musicians, producers and writers, to name a few.  She has scored exclusive interviews with musician Julian Marley, Chezidek, Anthony Cruz, Sister Nancy, Althea Hewitt, Hezron, Ras Myrdahk, Warrior King, Brave Heart, Admiral Tibet, Khalilah Rose, Lady G, Kali Blaxx and roots producer, Kemar ‘Flava’ MacGregor

About the author

Michele ‘Di Riddim Queen’ Anderson