Rototom Sunsplash 2017 #celebratingafrica – Review part 2
Day 5 – Wednesday 16th, August 2017
Beenie Man was probably one of the best, if not the best performer of this week. He has performed no less than 25 tracks. Beenie Man spitted hit after hit flawlessly. “Come Again,” “Row Like A Boat,” “Badman Story,” “Who Am I,” “Romie,” “Let Him Go,” “Bookshelf,” “Toy Friend,” “Miss L.A.P.,” and the list goes on. The self-crowned King of the Dancehall, was unstoppable despite the fact that he’s “not 25 anymore and cannot jump on stage” like he used to as he said. But I assure you, he’s one of the best live performer of his generation in the Dancehall industry.
Still, my only regret was that he performed first that night and after his show, Raging Fyah seemed too quiet. I wouldn’t go as far as saying their performance was boring because they were actually quite good. It’s just that after one hour of high level Dancehall, you only expect the next performer to spread even more energy.
Later on, the young Reggae/Dancehall crooner Christopher Martin also delivered a quite good performance. He mostly performed love songs and goal tunes like “Baby I Love You,” “Paper Loving,” and “Cheater’s Prayer.” Beenie Man joined him on stage to throw and old school Dancehall medley.
Then, the Senegalese artist Youssou N’Dour had the mission to wrap up the night on the Main Stage. After that, hardcore Dancehall fans could go check out Aidonia on the Dancehall Stage.
Day 6 – Thursday 17th, August 2017
On the sixth night, it started calmly on the Main Stage with the UK-based Roots Reggae band, the Black Roots. There wasn’t much people in the audience to welcome them. Still, the band, and especially the drummer, proved to be musically point. They have played some tracks from their latest album “Son Of Man,” like “One Girl Ebony.”
After Black Roots came Hempress Sativa, the daughter of the well renowned Albert ‘Ilawi Malawi’ Johnson. She was one of the few ladies who occupied the main stage during this week. Surprisingly, she happened to be very good on stage, as well as the band that accompanied her. After her show, she came back on stage to perform a duet with Mellow Mood. Much later then, Bugle and Lutan Fyah were performing respectively on the Dancehall Stage and the Lion Stage.
Day 7 – Friday 18th, August 2017
This year, Chronixx was here not only to represent the Reggae Revival Movement but also to promote his official debut album “Chronology.” As usual, the young Reggae artist was very laid-back and humble. He entered the Main Stage with much sobriety. He didn’t waste his energy jumping around all over the stage, even though he did dance a little alongside.
He started his show with “Alpha & Omega,” followed by “Eternal Fire.” He performed a few of his hit songs like “Roots and Chalice,” “Capture Land,” and “Who Knows.“ And, of course, he performed tracks that were featured on “Chronology,” such as “Majesty,” “Skankin’ Sweet,” “Smile Jamaica” and “Likes.” I particularly liked the old school-flavoured medley that followed “Spanish Town Rocking,” on the “Prison Oval Rock Riddim.“
At times, The Zinc Fence kind of jammed between tracks. The show was smooth and seamless. I wasn’t very fond of the final, which looked more like a Rock concert than a Reggae show. Nevertheless it was a good show overall.
After Chronixx, it was time for the international recording Reggae artist Alpha Blondy, representing for Africa, to entertain the crowd.
Day 8 – Saturday 19th, August 2017
Nadine Sutherland was performing in Europe for the first time of her life. She was very excited, and you could truly feel it. Throughout her whole performance, Nadine has danced, and shared with us a lot of positive vibes. She sung some of her biggest Dancehall hits including “Wicked & Wild,” “Baby Face,” and “Action.“ And, she also performed some Reggae songs like “Inna Mi Blood.“
U Roy seemed a little fatigued, which is normal at his age. Nonetheless, he did the job performing his greatest hits like “Ghetto Youth Stand Up,” “English Man,” and “Natty Rebel.“
Big Youth was very energetic on stage. He had much more stamina than U Roy. He’s quite a character. It’s very entertaining to watch him perform live. The way he moves is unique. He performed the classic “I Pray Thee,” on the “Satta Massangana Riddim,” and a couple of his covers of classics like “Every Nigger Is A Star,” and “Hit The Road Jack.” U Roy also joined him on stage for a couple tracks.
Then, last but not least, Luciano with The Mafia & Fluxy. That night, Luciano was in very good shape. He delivered an impressive performance. All the way through his concert, his vocals were on point. He also showed his physical abilities, doing a couple of backflips and the splits.
He performed some of his classics, such as: “Give Praise,” “Messenger,” “Rainy Days,” “Sweep Over My Soul,” “Serve Jah” to name just a few. In reaction to the Barcelona attack, the Reggae artist sent his sincere condolences to the families of the victims. He also paid tribute to Dennis Brown, Bob Marley, and Marcus Garvey.
Luciano’s performance was kind of eclectic too. At times, it got kind of dubby or jazzy. You wouldn’t get bored. Overall, it was a good performance. And, you can’t deny the quality of his vocals. However, it was surprisingly odd to see him cover Michael Jackson‘s 1991 single “Heal The World”. And, it was even more surprising that he ended the show with “Oh When The Saints.“
Looking forward to next year’s edition
As usual, the team of the Rototom Sunsplash put up great efforts to deliver one of the best festivals of Reggae music in Europe. We only covered musical events but in addition to all those amazing shows, there were many conferences and forums. During the day, you could learn a lot about African and caribbean cultures, music etc. at the African Village or the Reggae University. Every day, there’s entertainment and music for everyone.
In 2018, the Rototom Sunsplash will be celebrating their 25th anniversary. Until then, you can check out their official website for more info, pictures and videos: rototomsunsplash.com