Beenie Man fails to impress

HARARE - Jamaican dancehall musician Anthony Moses Davis — better known by his stage name Beenie Man — failed to charm the Zimdancehall fans after his lukewarm performance at Harare’s Alex Sports Club over the weekend.

Beenie Man was performing in Harare for the second time, following his 2010 visit which was filled with pomp and fanfare.

The Jamaican, who has just turned 44, was the main act at the event organised by 2 Kings Entertainment, which featured Jah Prayzah, Winky D, Soul Jah Love and Cindy Munyavi.

The self-proclaimed king of dancehall graced the stage soon after midnight, to great applause, with anticipation that he would bring “the house down”.

He opened his act with Buju Banton’s Our Father in Zion, which boomed loud and clear on the state-of-the-art sound system, as he sought to raise the bar during the chilly night.

However, being the main act of the night, Beenie Man did not live up to his billing, as shown by the response from the crowd.

Some groups from within the crowd were heard singing Sauro, Sauro, in apparent reference to Soul Jah Love, whom they wanted on the stage.

Some revellers even left before Beenie Man finished his performance, owing to his lukewarm performance, which some believed was a bit elitist and devoid of the real dancehall feel.

Dancehall artists are known for their energy on stage, which resonates well with the crowd, but Beenie Man’s act lacked the oomph that would have kept the revellers on their feet.

He sampled unpopular songs that people failed to identify, such that people could only sing along at varied intervals.

Despite these shortcomings, the band was on point, just as good as the stage and the sound system was.

His act came after some of the country’s heavyweights Jah Prayzah and Winky D, had given their all, keeping the fun-loving crowd on its feet.

Jah Prayzah justified why he is one of the country’s best music ambassadors with a polished perfomance, churning out some of his best songs, including songs from his collaborations My Lilly and Watora Mari that he did with Nigerian Davido and Tanzanian crooner Diamond Platnumz, respectively.

Winky D mixed his old songs with new stuff, which gave him a cutting edge during the night.

He took the opportunity to play his new song, which sent the crowd wild, with its catchy lyrics.

He proved that he still has the shizzle and the people’s support.

He raised the bar with songs from the album Gaffer Futi, with tunes like Gaffer Party and 25 sending the crowd into a frenzy.

It was without doubt that the Alex Sports Club gig was the main event of the night, judging by the number of people that managed to attend, as compared to the situation at other joints such as Long Cheng Plaza, where fellow Jamaican Demarco was performing.

Other gigs that were in Harare include the closing act of the Harare Agricultural Show and a Zimdancehall show at the Guard Alert Gardens.

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