Chaos aside, ‘Baderation’ was a good show (A Review)
After the dust settled
After the dust settled

THE performance of hit song, ‘Protocol,’ by fast-rising Dancehall star ‘Skeng’ at the Baderation Dancehall concert at the National Park last Friday, will forever be etched in the back of my head.

The “Gvnman Shift” artiste, whose real name is Kevaun Douglas, was the headliner for the show which featured the “Top Gyal” herself, Shaneil Muir, and Trinidad sensation, Yung Bredda.

Hundreds flocked the open-air venue and were treated to musical entertainment from local artistes and deejays, including cKush with his Guyanese anthem, ‘Welcome to Moco Moco.’

The Baderation line-up of performers all held their own and were able to entertain the extremely large crowd. From my estimation, having attended all of the events over the five-day period, this event was the one that saw the largest turnout of patrons.

When I initially saw the line-up for the show, I had no intention of attending as I am not a fan of dancehall music and I didn’t feel that I was a part of the target audience for the show.

I made the impromptu decision to attend and carefully chose an outfit that would not set me apart from the crowd that would be there.

However, upon entering the National Park, though going to the stage -ront section, I still for some reason felt unsafe as I was out of my comfort zone.

This feeling of unsafeness was compounded by the fact that I was not thoroughly searched by security at the event, nor were the persons who walked in before me.

Added to that, social media was set alight earlier in the day with persons issuing warnings to be extremely cautious with personal belongings as the ‘dunce thugs’ would be present.

Despite not being a fan of the type of music that was being promoted at the show, I still enjoyed all their performances and the way each artiste, including the locals, was able to connect with the crowd.

cKush and Deejay Gully Ras ‘held’ the crowd until Yung Bredda, whose legal name is Akhenaton Lewis, rushed onto the stage around 01:00hrs, spraying fans with champagne.

While giving the crowd a “VIP” treatment, Yung Bredda had the crowd bellowing his famous slang, “who does that” and “what are you doing”, as he gyrated to every background tune throughout his 15-minute act. Yung Bredda brought playful energy.

The Trinidadian freestyle artiste provided the perfect energy for Shaneil Muir, who took to the stage with her hit song, ‘Ride It,” which featured dancehall king, Vybz Kartel.

The “Yamabella” singer provided special entertainment to the ladies, which left them feeling like, “Top Gyals” while also promoting feminist ideals of body positivity and self-independence in her trending song, “Hype and Boasy.”

Ladies in the crowd sang every word of her songs as they held on tightly to their lovers while slow dancing on their companions.

As time progressed during the night, it felt as though promoters were stalling as the show dragged on with ‘dead air’ moments. The MC tried to save the night. Skeng, the much-anticipated final act, had a delayed entry onto the stage.

The young Jamaican entertainer’s entourage, along with local media personnel and other persons lined both sides of the National Park stage.

Finally, at almost 03:00hrs, Skeng stormed onto the scene and was greeted with loud roars and a sea of phone lights from the crowd, while singing his latest song, “London.”

As he entered the stage with high energy, gunshots rang out from the crowd. Having attended a few dancehall shows in the past, I knew that this was not something new or different.

Skeng, whose style of music can be seen as a “new era of trap Dancehall”, appeared alongside supporting Jamaican artiste, Navaz, who performed his song, “Choppa Fi True.”

The crowd went wild when Skeng performed his ‘gun-man’ tune ‘Protocol,’ done with Jamaican artiste, Tommy Lee Sparta. The song was played four times.

His well-received performance lasted a mere 13 minutes as his set was interrupted by the events with which most social media users are now familiar.

Things quickly turned messy when patrons took Skeng’s lyrics, “Molly get pop, whole place get hot” a little too seriously, and fired several shots in the air.

The crowd appeared unbothered by the sound of gunshots. It was the hurling of glass bottles that caused the most concern.

Bottles rained down onto the stage front/VIP section from the general section. This resulted in retaliation from persons in the VIP section. Following the exchange, the VIP section was then stormed by those in general.

Prior to this happening, myself and my colleague and best friend decided to leave the show. Just as we turned towards the exit, the melee began. Instinctively, we sought shelter from the chaos and allowed the crowd to settle.

Assessing the damage after, broken bottles were everywhere. Tables in the stage front section were upturned as patrons charged to safety.

Everything aside, the show was an experience. The performers delivered, and the energy was there. (Additional reporting by Clestine Juan)


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