Mr. Vegas closed the Dour Festival show in Belgium with a high-energy, rain-soaked performance that captivated the large crowd which had flocked to the site for the final day of the annual four-day music festival.
Barefoot and soaked as the skies opened and a deluge descended on the festival site, Mr. Vegas had the festival-goers jumping, raving and cheering for well over an hour. Once he took off his shoes and socks, and waded into the crowd to show the fans how to do the Raging Bull, he had the audience mesmerized by his onstage antics.
With the competent backing of his band, Mr. Vegas wowed the audience with a slew of hits such as Hot Wuk, Tek Weh Yuself and Nike Air. And he got one of the biggest forwards of the night with his 1998 Billboard chart hit, Heads High. The crowd also roared its approval or the gospel-tinged I Am Blessed before Mr. Vegas exited to cheers and screams from the well satisfied audience.
The festival featured megawattage reggae names such as Israel Vibration, Anthony B, and Buju Banton, but over 34,000 stood and waited for Mr. Vegas to bring a fitting climax to a festival that had thrilled and captivated huge crowds for over four days. It is clear that Mr. VegasÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ fan base is bigger than what most reggae writers, journalists and industry insiders give him credit for. And his ability to rock a show in pouring rain merely underlines his strength as a performer on the European continent.
The Dour Festival was held at a new festival site in Belgium this year, where over 200 bands rocked six stages over a four-day span. Once again Dour Festival was able to score muscular box office numbers: 34.000 tickets sold on Thursday, 35.000 on Friday and 36.000 on Saturday and Sunday. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s over 140.000 tickets sold over 4 days in Belgium and abroad. There were also 850 journalists present this year to sample a lineup which had a decidedly international flavor. Out of the 200 bands playing at Dour this year, there were 51 Belgian bands, 41 American bands, 30 French artists, 29 hailed from the UK, there was one Russian combo, two Japanese, two Swedish, two Brazilians and one Australian band.
Mr. Vegas would also like to express his heartfelt thanks to fellow dancehall performer, Buju Banton who was gracious enough to lend his band a keyboard after VegasÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ band members lost their luggage on a Delta flight from Kingston to Italy. On reaching Belgium, Vegas sought the help of Lenky, Buju BantonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s key board player, and they extended the hand of friendship. Buju Banton even insisted on staying onstage to ensure a smooth transition and to ensure that his bandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s keyboards were used to back Mr. Vegas. BujuÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s exact words were: “I can have 7 keyboard and you want one and I leave? Wi nah leave, gwaan guh mash it up” in his distinctive deep gravelly tone.BujuÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s engineer Solji and monitor engineer also helped as well to ensure that the rain did not affect VegasÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ performance.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“This is one of my best moments of unity in music. God bless the Gargamel Buju Banton,Ã¢â‚¬Â Vegas said.