Redemption – The Way Forward

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BY: JERMAINE CRUICKSHANK

An overwhelming feeling of tranquility, peace, love and unity prevailed over the concert capital at the Queen’s Park Savannah recently, as reggae lovers assembled for the much-anticipated ninth installment of the Redemption The Concert” event. Featuring legendary reggae music band, Steel Pulse alongside an all-star cast including: the ladies’ favorite crooner, Christopher Martin and Bermuda’s “Love and Reggae” hit-maker, Colin “Collie Buddz” Harper on his first return to Trinidad in 17 years. Headlining the biggest and most established Reggae concert brand in T&T was the man known as Reggae’s teacher and a global power house Sizzla Kalonji aka Miguel Collins, alongside the “Don Dada” himself, William “Super Cat” Marag. This esteemed Jamaican contingent shared their erstwhile and impactful catalogues with several thousand patrons and in tandem with our very own Reggae ambassadors, Mr King and the man with the golden voice, Michael “Jah Melody” last Saturday Night.

As a Reggae lover and avid concert-goer myself,

I always make note of the fact that to truly enjoy a concert experience, it must start from the venue entrance and parking facilities and while we may often bypass them and not give them due acknowledgement, I must commend and salute the parking and the Able Bodied security officers for delivering polite, professional and informative service, which is not always a given or a norm, unfortunately.

Our crew was pleasantly surprised to receive courteous and positive advice from the Redemption security personnel upon arrival and throughout the night, which definitely set the tone for the night and pre-empted a stress-free experience.

Entry into the actual venue was equally smooth and painless with a free-flowing, All access system, which allowed for ease of movement throughout the entire backstage area all night long.

Additionally, the artiste area was customized to allow the aforememtioned acts to drive directly into that section of the venue and park next to their dressing rooms, which were all supplemented with well-lit lounge/interview tents for ease of media functions such as interviews, photo shoots and video recordings.

This fresh and advantageous new layout and system must be commended as one of the best in years and certainly one of the best of the Redemption concert series. In our humble opinion, the layout of the venue was well designed with the media having ample room to maneuver without blocking the paying patrons, although no risers were positioned either inside or outside the barrier between the stage and the audience for media personnel. Thanks to the number one stage manager, Mr Wendell Naipaul (who has been leading the way across the region in this industry ever since the days of Michael St John’s Tower Promotions) and his professional team of stage managers, the show ran smoothly after a slightly late start and once the action on stage began, it ran continuously without hiccup or falter. Steel Pulse did indeed hit the stage on time as advertised setting the pace for a great show.

All and all an excellent concert and Reggae lovers are already looking forward expectantly for what will be Redemption The Concert’s tenth anniversary next year. As we exited the cool savannah location, many patrons expressed great interest in seeing names such as Burning Spear and the Marleys, as well as full performances from our local acts.

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