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Reggae Comes to Brooklyn

The new Barclays Center was the venue for Wednesday's BioLife Sounds of Reggae Concert with headliners Beres Hammond, Ali Campbell, Shaggy, and Maxi Priest. And what a smasher it was. Rapper Jay-Z and superstar Barbara Streisand are just two of the performers who have played sold-out dates at the new facility which is home for the NBA's Brooklyn Nets.Priest, who got the concert started, gave a glittering performance for over 13,000 screaming fans. 

That energy reverberated throughout the packed venue as he belted out classic hits like Just A Little Bit Longer, Wide World and Crazy Love. He was joined by New Jersey deejay Beniton who lit up the stage on House Call, Priest's 1990s hit with Shabba Ranks.

It was a homecoming of sorts for Shaggy, who once called Brooklyn home. Performing with his long-time friends from the area, Rayvon and Red Fox, Shaggy demanded the crowd get on their feet and they obediently obliged, dancing up a storm for the duration of his performance.

Shaggy's set was spiced with his big hits including Boombastic, It Wasn't Me, Big Up, Angel, Church Heathen and the ballad Strength of A Woman, which he dedicated to Jamaica's prime minister Portia Simpson Miller who celebrated her birthday on Wednesday.

Beres Hammond, who appeared on NBC's Late Night Show with Jimmy Fallon and The Roots prior to his performance, had the ladies eating from his palms once he hit his first note.

The veteran hit-maker could do no wrong as he reeled off Step Aside, Putting Up Resistance, Come Back Home, Give Thanks, Doctors Orders, and Rockaway.

Ninety minutes later when the sweating Hammond made his way off stage, the consensus was that he was indeed the 'Boss' for the night.

Having Ali Campbell close a reggae concert in downtown Brooklyn is a potential mistake, but being the consummate performer, the former UB40 vocalist pushed those concerns aside. While he did not enjoy the same crowd support of Beres or Shaggy, he connected with the audience, earning applause for Would I Lie To You, Running Free and the curtain-closer Red Red Wine.

SOURCE: Jamaica Observer

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