By the time the sun had well set beyond the horizon, there was barely any room left in the Guam Greyhound Park for commuting audiences. The park was crowded well beyond its usual capacity, as three big names in the world of reggae music blew away the crowd. On Jan. 12, Rock Solid Productions hosted Music on the Rock, featuring J Boog, Fiji and Peetah Morgan. As the doors opened at 4 p.m., the crowd began to fill up the stadium. As the sun slowly set behind the horizon, the Guam Greyhound Park began to swell with people. Even parking became scarce, as the crowd started parking several hundred feet away from the concert grounds in the midst of traffic and confusion.
Inside the fence, Peter "Peetah" Morgan took the stage and warmed up the crowd with his high and soothing voice. Morgan, the former front man of the reggae group "Morgan Heritage," spoke easily, stirring up conversations with the listening crowd. As he discussed the socioeconomic problems of the world, he transitioned into a song that blamed these problems on corrupted governments, singing "Di Government."
As Morgan finished up his set, Fiji took the crowd in a storm in the midst of cheers. As he stood in the middle of the stage, one could visually perceive the tribal tattoos covering every inch of his body, slightly buried underneath a tank top that proudly proclaimed the island of Tahiti. The fact is that Fiji is no stranger to Guam, or the islands as a matter of fact. Born in Fiji as George Veikoso, he left to Hawaii at the age of 14 to start his musical career.
Well over 20 years have passed since Veikoso started playing music, but even after all that time, the veteran musician's face still lit up with every chord struck. There were rumors that this would be his last show on Guam, but he quickly disintegrated those claims by making a promise to return to the beautiful island.
As the Hot Rain Band played a nice bluesy riff on the keys, Fiji thanked the people of Guam for a wonderful experience. He immediately proceeded onto the introduction of one of his classic hits, "Sweet Darling," as his entourage consisting of Hawaiian musicians Siaosi, Laga Savea, and Kiwini Vaitai added a smooth multiple harmony in the background.
He went on to play more of his hit songs, including "Come On Over" and "Morning Ride," as well as "Rock and Come In," a duet with Peetah Morgan.
As the evening turned into the late night, J Boog took the spotlight as in the midst of flashing lights. Of Samoan descent and born in Compton, Calif., J Boog -- whose real name is Jerry Afemata -- stood on stage and gazed into the packed concert ground.
"Where are all my islanders at!"
The crowd roared in response, like a giant tidal wave about to slam into a coast. Jumping from one corner to another, J Boog's vibe and energy overflowed into the sea of spectators below him.
At one point of the show, the young artist brought up his mentor and friend Fiji up to the stage. As the two artists stood side by side, the only thing that seemed to separate them was the extra years of experience that Fiji carried with him under his belt. They sang a few collaborations together, such as "Here I Am." J Boog also brought up Morgan, singing together their hit collaboration "Sunshine Girl."
The young Boogie went on to perform more crowd favorites, such as "Ganja Farmer" and "Love Season." As the lights dimmed and an intimate mood settled on the crowd, he sang "See Her Again," a song about two lovers being separated by distance.
As J Boog's set list came to a conclusion, light rain started drizzling from the sky. But instead of rushing to find cover, the crowd seemed to appreciate this cool break that literally added a different element to the concert experience. Then J Boog sang one of the most anticipated songs of the night.
"Nice to nice to know ya, let's do it again ..."
The crowd immediately sprang up and started singing along as the rain sprinkled on throughout the rest of the night.
"Their music always gets me in the mood and I always enjoy the live vibes. I love it," says 22-year-old Sharmane Rodriguez, a student at the University of Guam and a mother of a year-old daughter.
"I've seen Fiji live before, but it was the first time that I've seen J Boog and Peetah Morgan," Rodriguez says.
"It was off the hook. Gotta love them!"