Though it was International Night, it was nevertheless reggae that was the star of the show. Just ask Coco Tea, who gave a brilliant showing. The veteran singer delivered a silky-smooth rendition of Air Supply’s Here I Am (Just When I Thought) and Bob Marley’s One Drop before closing with his recent hit Barack Obama.

A notable, but not excellent performance came from Morgan Heritage who did familiar favourities and gave the audience a taste of materials from each of their solo efforts.

Save for R&B star Ne-Yo, there was a certain disconnection between the other foreign acts and the audience last Friday at Reggae Sumfest International Night 1. It’s not that Jazmine Sullivan and Keri Hilson gave bad showings, but there was no real spark, no chemistry with the audience.

The singer opened with Because Of You and Stay, his debut single from the “In My Own Words” album ahead of covering the late Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall. “Where my single ladies at? For the next three minutes and 30 seconds I’ll be your boyfriend,” He stated. That was the preamble for his tune Single, which segued into Sexy Love, Mad, Part Of The List and his first big single So Sick. The artiste known for his female-friendly  ballads, praised the liberated women in a presentation that was akin to a Sunday morning sermon, before singing She Got Her Own and Miss Independent.

Ne-Yo surprised the audience when he pulled up the track and ordered the deejay to spin Vybz Kartel and Spice’s Romping Shop. “Shout out to Vybz Kartel,” he said to the delight of the audience. The R&B star whose 2008 released “Year Of The Gentleman” junior album was a smash hit, finished hi nearly hour-long set with Closer, the first single from that album. Ne-Yo shone with his impressive repertoire that kept teens and woman screaming.

Jazmine Sullivan showed off her powerful vocals but her set was not as entertaining as it could have been. She reeled off popular songs from her album “Fearless”, including Bust Your Windows, Lions, Tigers & Bears, Dream Big, Switch, ahead of closing with the reggae-inspired Need U Bad.

Keri Hilson’s set was more entertaining, but even sleek spandex, sex-appeal and ultra-cool dance moves weren’t enough to leave one hungry for more.

The penultimate act, Queen Ifrica entered the stage at approximately 5:30 am and riding on the relative success of her new album “Montego Bay, she preened for her city. It was a Queen welcome indeed. The audience cheered her as she delivered Brown Skin, Welcome To Montego Bay, Below The Waist and Michael Jackson’s Man In The Mirror and Lioness On The Rise. She also delivered Daddy and No Bwoy in Spanish.

Jah Cure, the closing act entered the stage at 6:30. Wrapping his soulful, raspy tones around tracks like Sticky, True Reflection, Longing For and finished up with Call on Me.  


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