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Tempo Rises to the Occasion

While Tropical Storm Wilma lashed the island with torrential rains, a few determined Jamaicans braved the weather, and were justly rewarded with a star-studded stage show at Tempo's Caribbean Rising II.

THE FIRST show slated for Saturday had initially been delayed until Monday, but promoters made a 'last minute' decision to combine the two nights into one 'main show.'

Armed with umbrellas and high spirits, patrons were given an energy boost at 8:30 p.m. from the selections of Bass Odyssey, delivering hit tracks like Car Man by Vybz Kartel and Welcome To Jamrock by Jr. Gong, as promoters organised the show's commencement.

At minutes to 10:00 p.m., Little Hero took the stage, signalling the start of the much-anticipated performances. Though the dampened spirits of the crowd was evident in the initial response to Hero, the deejay eventually garnered support from the audience.

There seemed to be some tension between MC 'Papa Keith' and Vybz Kartel when the deejay, who was slated to perform next, did not come onstage at the exact moment he was announced. As the MC awaited Kartel's entrance, he attempted to lay down guidelines for the performances, saying that their should be no profanities or negative songs.

GUN LYRICS

Kartel, however, did quite the contrary, delivering an explicit stint of 'gun tunes', much to the delight of the patrons. Delivering hit after hit of his lyrically risqu? songs, Kartel received an immense crowd response, especially for Emergency and his new single Car Man, for which he insisted that the selector lower the rhythm so as to make his fans hear the witty lyrics.

Patrons were given a surprise treat as Tri-state's Bling Dawg shared the stage with Kartel, and kept the 'vibes' in stride with his own singles.

"Bwoy di vibes of these people is amazing. Is a splendid ting fi see di show a gwan despite the rain ... mi afi big up di crowd, yu afi appreciate how dem stand up ina di pouring rain," said Bling Dawg.

After Voice Mail brought their usual dancing-driven performances with hits like Ready To Party and Mr. Wacky Tribute, the dynamic duo Leftside and Esco entered the stage to a tremendous response for their single, Tuck In Yu Belly, ending the first stint of performances on a high note.

After a brief band change, highly anticipated reggae act, Toots came onstage at 11:20, and breathed life into the soaked crowd. Clad in a black and silver leather vest with matching pants, the reggae veteran delivered a string of his greatest hits, including Bam Bam and 54-46. Toots had previously been slated to perform on the Saturday show, but the promoters stated that even though that night was cancelled, Tempo had requested that he and Jimmy Cliff perform that night.

After a brief pause and an MC change, Wayne Marshall took stage at midnight, sharply dressed in a red and white Adidas blazer, and gave a short performance of his hits, including Marry Wana.

CeCile brought the 'sexy' into the night's performances at 12:20, dressed in a provocative brown top, and denim jeans splashed in gold, and accompanied by two attractive dancers. The crowd had an immediate response to her hit single, One More Time.

WET CROWD 'REVVED' UP

It became evident at about 12:30 a.m. that the show itself was staged mostly for broadcast purposes, as the entire event was halted as the Tempo production crew changed tape, but after a quick 10-minute delay, the show's energy was recharged with the entrance of Busy Signal.

Though a virtually new act, the response for Busy was immense as he stepped out onstage clad in full black, performing his hits Step Out and We're Not Going Down. After Busy had left the stage, the crowd could be heard chanting the deejay's name.

Chants for Busy soon turned to cheers at the sound of the warlord, Bounty Killer over the microphone. Giving the crowd a solid 15-minute performance, Killer got the wet crowd dancing to hits like Can't Believe Mi Eyes, and brought onstage numerous acts, including Buju Banton, who 'revved' the crowd with his new single Motorbike. Patrons evidently needed more 'Killa,' chanting Bounty's name, and despite the heavy rain, the deejay returned on-stage, giving patrons a few 'old school hits'.

With his usual antics, the energy god, Elephant Man opted to climb atop a 10-foot speaker box to perform his string of dancing hits, including Willie Bounce, and Lighters Dem Flash, and called on General B.

At 1:35, reggae icon, Jimmy Cliff took the stage, showing his musical prowess on keyboard, as he played background music for his hit, Rebel In Me. Dressed in full red, Cliff gave the waiting crowd more reason to stand in the pouring rain. Cliff surprised patrons with his dancing abilities as the singer performed the latest moves, including the 'Willie Bounce' and 'Chaka Chaka'. He also delivered several of his hits which delighted the crowd.

After a 20 minute delay, rap star The Game took stage shirtless, and upon seeing the drenched state of his fans, promptly went to the front of the stage, while stating that if they were getting wet, then so would he. Despite the adverse conditions and the limited crowd, the international star gave a splendid 25-minute performance of his hits, including Dreams, Take You Higher, and Hate It Or Love It.

The Compton rapper made it clear that he was no longer with 50 cent's group, G-Unit, making repeated negative remarks toward them.

"I ain't doing that G-Unit thing no more ... In Compton, we don't say G-Unit, we say G-U-Not!," stated the rapper while onstage.

Though patrons had to endure the rain, the combination of performances from the two slated nights of 'Caribbean Rising' made the night's adverse weather conditions somewhat bearable.





Source: Fabian Ledgister, Gleaner Staff Reporter




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