Babyface’s night, but local acts ruled

Babyface’s night, but local acts ruled

Written by Editor

Topics: Music

“An Evening with Kenny ‘BabyFace’ Edmonds”, which was staged at the National Indoor Sports Centre (NISC) on November 13, kicked off with the high-energy act of the night  – the award-winning Silver Birds Steel Orchestra, who mesmerised the audience from the start to the end of their set. The patrons were  truly  captivated by the ‘Birds’ scintillating renditions of many popular songs.

However, it was more than a set for the pannists. It was a performance that featured expert acro dance with one-handed armstand moves paired with several gravity-defying flips. This drew “oohs”, ‘”ahs”, gasps and ultimately laughter and deafening cheers from the patrons as the group exited the stage. This was a fitting start to what was expected to be a thoroughly fulfilling night of entertainment.

The ‘Birds’ took the energy level to the sky, but the eclectic, artful and infinitely-talented NoMaddz took the show outside the stratosphere. The musical odyssey was far enough to blow your mind but close enough to keep your senses in tact. The always impressive band instantly found favour with the audience as they reeled off cheekily written, cleverly produced numbers. Their mixed-genre music incorporates the elements of all eras moulded into an undefined but delightful sound. The instruments, dubstep, vocals and gyrating antics of each band member produced a serendipitous performance which should undoubtedly spark a surge in their fan base. NoMaddz’s left centre stage to the rapturous cheers of existing and newly-acquired admirers.

NoMaddz

NoMaddz

NoMaddz

NoMaddz

Abdel Wright

Abdel Wright

Up next was the resurgent Abdel Wright, who gave a good account of himself midway through the show. Wright was all but set to become an international sensation in the 90s and had the endorsement of music heavyweight Bono of U2 and record label Interscope. However, a series of unfortunate events derailed his career. His set somewhat neutralised the audience in preparation for the eagerly-anticipated return of Jamaica’s darling and prodigal daughter, Diana King.

Diana King

Diana King

King, who had been away from the ‘Rock’ for far too long, took to the stage and was met with a welcome befitting royalty. The 40-year-old’s vocal delivery was enough to make an up-and-comer blush with envy. So effortless were the notes, that patrons often stared in disbelief at the powerhouse belting out hit after hit. Songs of the 90s such as “Shy Guy”, “Say A Little Prayer” and “Treat Her Like A Lady” were exquisitely delivered.

After King exited the stage to thunderous applause, the event’s headliner was nowhere in sight for what seemed like a lifetime to his anxious fans. So long was the band setup that the patrons broke into sporadic handclaps and whistles in an attempt to politely signal their diminishing patience. Close to an hour had passed before veteran musician Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds entered the stage and opened with “For The Cool in You”. This, his Kingston debut, was met with technical sound glitches that resulted in brief inaudibility.

Babyface

Babyface

Babyface

Without missing a beat, the 50-something musician served up unexpected treat after treat as he performed hit tracks he composed for other artistes. Songs such as “I’ll Make Love To You” (Boyz II Men), “My, My, My” (Johnny Gill), and “Can We Talk” (Tevin Campbell) were commandeered by the frenzied audience, relegating the multiple-Grammy winner to background vocalist. It was a complete showcase with several solos from his band members being encouraged by the veteran crooner. His fans were entertained and satisfied with the stellar selections from his vast repertoire. At the end he exited the stage – no encore, but with his reputation as the writer of love songs solidified in the hearts and minds of all.

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