I had a relatively good time at Donna Makedas’s Birthday Bash & Girls Roll Out featuring Ghost in concert, backed by a series of Canadian Artists (and Sounds) including Donna Makeda, Prince Everald, Chatta, Tonya P, Empress Devine, Pappa Levy, Daddy Rusty, Sample King, and Iley Char David. The Sounds playing for the night included Twin Star, Baseline, Nite Star, Military, Cash Global Sound. I was the MC of this show, not only held inside the spacious Toronto Plaza Hotel (Jane & Wilson, Toronto), but also held on the same night that King Turbo won World Clash in New York. Because of MC obligations, it was difficult for me to juggle taking pics and videos at the same time and I suspected all along that these pics and videos may be tainted by low lighting in the venue, typical of many of our dancehall shows.
The majority of the Artists who performed gave it their all, despite a disappointing turnout with what I estimated to be about 150 – 200 or so people, most of whom stuck to the walls for the majority of the night waiting for Ghost to finally take the stage. In fairness I will say that it is hard for Artists to get vibes when the audience does this – stick to the walls for the majority of the event until the headline artists performs. This not only leaves a big physical gap between them and their audience, but also a psychological one that tests their confidence. In other cultures, this behavior would appear rood and disrespectful, but I will say again, this is typical our dancehall events in the T-Dot. Our more experienced Canadian Artists know this, and plan around the humiliation, closing their minds to the distance and the disrespect. Big up Sample King and Tonya P who along with Donna Makeda and her dancers, can take credit for being the first artists to raise the vibes in the place previous to headliner Ghost taking the stage.
When Ghost finally did take the stage, everyone who had been sticking to the walls now moved up and the place was proper. Ghost is a confident and experienced performer who truly loves performing. Because I had seen Ghost’s show before, I knew what would happen; his show would turn into a show catering chiefly for the ladies. Ghost would perform his love songs and cover tunes exclusively for the girls for about 45 minutes (If you were a guy – there was no reason to be up front). He didn’t sound too bad either, and managed to keep his excitement under control which helped him to stay on key during most of his high pitched vocal riffs. Ghost would appear angry at times but this was because there was nobody qualified to play his tracks in the order that he commanded. The person doing it, in Ghost’s opinion, was doing a very poor job and was missing his cues all night – nothing like a live band eh Ghost?
There’s not much else to report about this show, big up the organizers and all the artists who performed. I doubt if promoters made back their money on their investment that night, but their effort is appreciated. Toronto needs more performance events so our Artists can get experience and opportunity to grow a yaad before dem guh abroad.