Reggae act lights up The Social

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Photo Credit: Ty Wright

Cris Cab (Left) and Collie Buddz (right) performing at The Social Live on Tuesday as they look to wrap up the "Light it up" tour

If you were to ask the average person what is reggae music their response will probably have to deal with 1-of-2 things, the island of Jamaica and the ratafirian movement thanks to the late great Bob Marley.

While both those answers are great indicators of the genres origin and history, reggae music has evolved and every artist no longer walks around with the “typical” reggae look.  With that being said, if you were to walk past The Social on Tuesday and quickly glimpse the poster for the “Light it up” tour you would have never guessed that two white guys were hosting the biggest reggae party of the year inside.

Decked out in his native colors, the Bermudian reggae star, Collie Buddz, packed a passionate Orlando crowd, with the help of friends Cris Cab and New Kingston.

I’ve witnessed many concerts at the venue before so I knew if I wanted a good view of the stage I would have to get there early.  The rude bwoy performed some of his older tracks which made me a fan of him in the first place such as “What a feeling” and “Come around”; however he still managed to bring us up to date performing new single “Payback a b**ch” off his upcoming album set to release sometime this year.

Buddz, who has a background in audio engineering, proved he was a real deal performer and not a studio-made artist.  Backed by an awesome crowd who knew the lyrics to every song, if Buddz was stop singing at any point it would have been easy for him to pick right back up as the crowd did not miss a beat.

A great aspect of Buddz performance is that although he is the star he likes to share the spotlight; whether its with his backup singer and live band (who have undeniable chemistry) or an audience member (which I will discuss in my “T.Y. moments of the night).

New Kingston is a group consisting of three brothers from Brooklyn, NY who fuses reggae with r&b and hip-hop giving them this awesome crossover feel.  This was my first time ever hearing of the band and I was impressed for the most part during their opening act and their backing of Buddz.

The group makes it hard for fans to determine who is the frontman as they all share the vocal duties while providing something unique through their instruments;  Stephen Suckarie- Guitar, Tahir Panton- Keys, and Courtney Panton on drums who is a straight up beast with the sticks.  It’s not hard to see where their talent comes from as their father proved he was no scrub on the bongos and bass guitar.

Out of all the acts the only one I have previously seen live was Cris Cab.  It was pretty cool knowing of his music this time unlike when i watched him open for Rita Ora back in December.  For this kid to only be 19-years-old he has a pretty extensive résumé and carries himself very maturely.  The young ladies in the front seemed to love him and would make sure he and everyone else knew as they screamed his name all during his set and even once he left the stage.

 T.Y.’s moments of the night

1. In the middle of performing Buddz stopped his band from playing and pulled what may possibly be his biggest fan alive (later to be known as Luke Stone) out of the crowd for him to perform the last verse of “Blind to you.”  If you were not looking you would have thought a big name artist hit the stage the way the crowd was going bananas.  The kid was so impressive that even Buddz joked he might have performed it better than he has in the past.

2.  After Buddz left the stage and returned for a encore it was cool seeing everyone apart of the show take the stage one last time performing songs that helped the reggae genre become what it is today.  Buddz tested the crowd on their music knowledge; performing older songs from artist Sizzla, Shaggy, Beenie Man, and Chaka Demus & Pliers.  Cab even blessed the stage again to help perform “Stir it up” by Marley.

Nothing’s perfect

1.  Tahir from New Kingston is dope talent however for most the night he gave the impression as if he didn’t want to be there killing the great vibe that was in the air, as well as other things.  Word of advice- It’s okay to smile sometime – you’re part of something good so enjoy it.

2. Lady Alexis, Buddz back up vocalist, can sing (really good) however she is too shy and appears as if she is afraid to make mistakes.  When Buddz gave her the main stage I would have loved to hear her sultry vocals instead of a pop rendition.  Word of advice – let it out girl – a voice that good does not need to be caged in, if you slip up who cares no one’s perfect.

Conclusion

The night was truly special.  As I prepare for a busy Summer season full of concerts I think to myself how will any artist top this show marking this one of the greatest concerts I’ve ever attended.  Anyone who was not there surely missed out on a treat.  Each artist brings a new taste to reggae music, there is a long successful career ahead of them all but what do I know I’m just an avid music fan.