The headlines should have been about the Jamaican-American reggae artiste
The headlines that dominated the aftermath of the Tarrus Riley concert were skewed; a show best remembered for Bebe Cool being pelted with bottles and booed off stage.
Those who attended the concert will attest to the fact that there were bigger things at the Lugogo Cricket Oval, where the grand finale of the Swangz All Star Tour took place.
The headlines should have been about Jamaican-American reggae artiste Tarrus Riley; his spectacular performance, his persona on stage and phenomenal chemistry with the crowd.
Ugandan artistes Vinka, Madoxx Ssematimba, Ziggy Dee, Rabadaba, Benon and Vampos, Mun G, Navio, among others put on a good show. Yet Tarrus Riley, flanked by the Black Soil Band, gave Ugandans a show they’d never seen from of an international act.
It was the way he bonded with the crowd. His natural charm seemed to, like smoke, to waft from the stage unto the audience. A connection was born out of his artistic preaching. He took moments between his songs to talk about the need for peace and love and the deserved praise of the most high ‘Jah’. In unison, the crowd nodded in agreement.
He’d touched their hearts and together, they jammed to his hits like One Drop, Royal, Just The Way You Are, Protect Your People, et al.
The chemistry seemed to grow with every other minute. The atmosphere was suddenly electric. The energy. The dancing. The jumping, and the beads of sweat that followed the revellers up in the air. The thunderous applauses.
The magnificent Black Soil Band, goodness. The adroit saxophonist Dean Fraser. How, with the youthfulness and swagger of a teenager, he cuddled and caressed and French-kissed the saxophone to produce such melodies.
It was love at first sight, and it was magical.