Best of the Best Concert 2013 Maintains Quality – Looking Forward To 2014
Affirms the Brand as the Best Annual Reggae Show in South Florida Currently
by Dr. Michael Barnett
The Best of the Best Reggae Concert, held on Sunday, May 26, 2013, re-affirmed to this writer that this particular Reggae concert, in its seventh annual staging, is undoubtedly the number one annual Reggae show in South Florida. Why do I say this? Well for one thing – there is its consistency in terms of the quality line up of artists on the show. Additionally, there is the quality of its production. These are the notable aspects of the show that have impressed me. In its seventh staging, because of the particularly astute selection of artistes by the promoters, with Beres Hammond as the headliner, the show still ended up a crowd –pleaser, despite the notable non- appearances (through no fault of the promoters) of Chronixx, Mad Cobra and Cocoa Tea. Interestingly enough Chronixx would have made his North American debut at the Best of the Best show had he been able to attend. He is undoubtedly one of the new emerging generation of Reggae stars to captivate the minds and hearts of Reggae aficionados worldwide. Unfortunately, because of visa technicalities he was unable to attend this time around, but no doubt based on the strength of his musical repertoire, will be featured on upcoming shows.
For this patron the un-advertised appearance of veteran super weight Reggae artist, Frankie Paul, more than made up for the no-shows. Rarely seen on stage these days (both in Jamaica and the US), Frankie gave an all time history book performance as he sung some of his monster hits like “Tidal Wave” “Alesha and “Kushen -Peng”. Then not too long after we were treated to the sweet tantalizing vocals of the one and only Sanchez. A true gem among the long list of Jamaican crooners, Sanchez could do no wrong so far as the ladies were concerned. After performing just his first track he had them hooked. (Thumbs up must go to the promoters for having added him to the bill.) Some may question the relative early scheduling of Frankie Paul and Sanchez, but so far as this patron was concerned it was a perfect warm up for what was to come later on down in the show.
As the evening progressed we were treated to the scintillating vocals of Freddie McGregor , as well as a Dancehall segment that included the likes of Elephant Man and Beenie Man. Kudos must go to Elephant Man for continuing to be so outrageous and entertaining with his on stage antics. After inviting an ever so fluffy female patron on stage, Elephant Man, affectionately known as Ele, proceeded to display to the audience that he was still very much the energy god, when he invited her to jump into his embrace, at which point frenetic whining ensued.
The highlight of the show was undoubtedly that of the the stellar headline performance given by Beres Hammond, who is a true Reggae legend among legends. The whole park was visibly lifted by his performance. I have seen many a performance by Beres Hammond and he has never disappointed in my book. I was so pleased that the promoters had seen it fit for him to get the Keys to the City of Miami right there on stage. This was another significant highlight of the show, and one that I felt was very moving. Shaggy was another surprise artist on the bill, and it was so fitting for him to be there to share in Hammond’s special moment of recognition, especially as he himself was bestowed the Keys to the City of Miami at the Best of the Best concert just the year before, (2012).