WITH THE news of Tropical Storm Charlie looming, nobody could tell that the real storm was inside the National Indoor Sports Centre on Tuesday night.
Third World unleashed a powerful show inside the venue which will be talked about for quite a while. The band, which admittedly has never performed here since Sumfest last year, made up for the wait with a rousing show.
To witness the musical onslaught were thousands of patrons, who although seated in air-conditioned comfort, frequently abandoned the chairs as the music hit them. Everyone, it seemed, wanted to party with Third World before the storm.
Not to be overshadowed was the team of To-Isis, which was electrifying. Although known for more sober and sedated salutations onstage, To-Isis exceeded expectations with a pumped-up, high-energy set which pulled patrons out of their seats and onto their feet dancing.
Their secret was the selections they chose to cover. From Sean Paul‘s Like Glue , to Wayne Wonder‘s No Letting Go , to their own Real Ghetto Pain among others, they gave acceptable renditions of the tunes. The six voices worked in almost perfect harmony to add notes which the original singers never did when recording the tracks. For what was to come, they were suitable appetizers.
Third World gave Jamaica a show.
From they blasted off with Reggae Ambassador, there was not a dull moment until their set ended and they earned two encores. Even at the final encore the venue was still full of people who had no intentions of leaving until they heard the band’s last note.
The classics they did still sounded like classics. From their kick-off tune Reggae Ambassador, to Reggae Party, to Now That We Found Love, to Try Jah Love, lead singer Bunny Rugs‘ voice blasted through the speakers with the same clarity and force as it did nearly 30 years ago.
Stephen ‘Cat’ Coore had his share of the limelight as well. During the set he went centrestage, and for 10 minutes he picked at the strings of his guitar like a possessed man. The assault on the guitar made such sweet music that patrons rose from their seats inside the air-conditioned and pranced about totally carefree.
This reaction was similar to that received by drummer Tony Ruption, who went centrestage as well with his instrument. He placed the drum at his waist and delivered an almost chaotic scene. His delivery on his drum mixed in with his dance moves lifted the young people from their seats to try and match their ‘fan dem off’ and their ‘tunda clap’ dances to the beat. No one minded.
In the end, even as Third World left the stage, again, the slow, lazy trickle of people unwillingly leaving the venue was testimony enough that Third World is a scarce commodity here which is appreciated.