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Pouring rain? Who cares when you have Levy

Summer Splash: Barrington Levy

It’s not every day that Bermudians will stand in the pouring rain to watch an artist perform. Usually by time the umbrellas come out, the crowd will disperse.

Saturday night was a bit different and frankly unheard of in Bermuda.

Thousands of concertgoers stood in a virtual monsoon, singing and skanking as Barrington Levy performed hit after hit at the One Love, One Life Cup Match Summer Splash concert at Par-la-Ville Car Park.

But before we get in to Levy’s performance, let’s rewind a bit. I arrived just before 11pm and was greeted with old school reggae blaring from the speakers.

After doing a short walk in the VIP section, I grabbed a drink and secured a spot, waiting for the magic to happen.

Bermuda’s own Uzimon took the stage and engaged in a bit of light-hearted banter between Somerset and St George’s fans. He then introduced the royal family of reggae, Morgan Heritage. The band came to the stage and opened with their new song Strictly Roots off their new album of the same name. For those who haven’t experienced Morgan Heritage, you surely missed out.

The band who performed last night was made up of siblings Gramps, Peter and Una Morgan with a full band backing them. Peter Morgan has one of those rare voices that sounds better live than it does on any track and he did not disappoint.

Morgan Heritage sang hit after hit including Down By The River, Don’t Haffi Dread, She’s Still Loving Me, and one of my favourites, Best Friend. I will say I was very disappointed not to hear Tell Me How Come, my absolute favourite Morgan Heritage song or Brooklyn & Jamaica. However, their set was excellent and the crowd enjoyed it.

Once Morgan Heritage departed the stage, Jugglin J came on to spin a few tunes until Levy’s band was ready.

Finally the dancehall legend came to the stage and the crowd erupted as he opened with Do The Dance. As a massive reggae fan, I’m embarrassed to say this was my first time seeing Levy. I had great expectations and he definitely delivered.

As Levy is 51, I didn’t anticipate he would have the same energy that’s he’s known for but he didn’t miss a beat once. Songs included Black Roses, Broader Than Broadway, She’s Mine, Too Experienced, Living Dangerously and Murderer.

At the beginning of his set, there was light rain and revellers pulled out umbrellas. A few songs in, the heavens opened and did not stop for the rest of the night. But that didn’t stop the show.

Everyone stayed where they were and continued to dance the night away. A resilient crowd indeed.

The biggest disappointment for me was Levy neglecting to perform his classic song Vice Versa Love. I’m sure everyone attended agrees with me. But overall, it was an excellent show despite the terrible weather. Organisers Rowan Ramotar, Declan Harris and Andrew Holmes did an excellent job setting the tone for Cup Match week!