By Lydia Patel
Dancehall artiste Mark Myrie, aka Buju Banton recently sold out the Madison Square Garden in New York on a show dubbed ‘A Reggae Extravaganza’ staged by caribbeanfever.com. It was Buju’s 10th appearance a that prestigious venue and on all occasions all seats were taken.
It was Buju and some of his close friends in performance, among them Queen Iftica, Tony Rebel,Burning Spear and Gramps & Peter Morgan.
Originally set to take place Mother’s Day weekend, many doubted that it would ever tae place again but the show went down and was definitely a huge success.
The first act to hit the stage was the original Fyah Mumma, Queen Ifrica who thrilled fans with singles such as Brown Skin, Lioness and Ccoconut Shell from her new album Montego Bay. She danced, she laughed and shared her recent success of quitting tobacco (which coconut shell is actually about).
Next up was Tony Rebel who immediately established a great rapport with his fans. He did a tribute to the late, great Garnet Silk and just to show some skills, he closed off his set with his smash hit ‘If jah’ which he sang in English, Spanish and French.
Reggae icon, The Burning Spear kept his flames burning brightly. His energy was unmatched and he proved to be the well-rounded entertainer as he sang, danced all night long.
It was 10:00 o’clock when Mr Myrie took his position centrestage. Dapperly attired in a silver suit and tie, the Rastaman was ready to rock Madison Square Garden for the tenth time. It was Buju at his versatile best as he showed his dnacehall side and also performed his roots and culture message music. During Buju’s wardrobe change, Gramps and Peter Morgan entertained.
Upon his return, the Gargamel, in a more relaxed outfit, reminisced on late King of Pop, Michael Jackson and sang the reggae version of Heal the world. The ultimate surprise of the night would have to be Shabba Ranks appearance. Shabba is yet to be equaled in the dancehall and he showed why. Fans sang along word-word the songs of Dancehall’s first Grammy Kid.