It wasn’t the welcome that dancehall star Capleton expected in Kingston. But his show on Saturday, A St Mary Mi Come From Come A Town, at the National Arena was brought to a halt by law enforcement after it went past the 2:00 am cut-off time.
“I just have to big up all of the artists that came out for the show and didn’t get to perform, but it was a situation where the time was against us,” Capleton told the Jamaica Observer.
Capleton said that while he was happy the vibe and the energy from the crowd that continued to grow into the early morning inside the National Arena, he was contemplating the future of the Kingston edition of the event. The show’s move in the venue was caused by last year’s rained out staging at Gray’s Inn Sports Complex in Annotto Bay.
“The turn out could have been better, but we still give thanks, because it’s like a new start, people nuh used to it like this.”
With a packed programme, A St Mary Mi Come From Come A Town continued to suffer from the bugbear of local stage shows long pauses for band changes between the sets. This was compounded by the show being frontloaded by lesser names in the music sphere. It was way past midnight before the larger names, the ones the majority of the audience had come to see.
The time crunch could best be seen when Cocoa Tea arrived. The veteran put in a solid set bringing energy levels up only to have them drop by stopping and extending his set with the usual ‘artiste mi a bring segment’ — the practice of carrying an unknown into the stage for exposure. This then went straight into another band change leaving Stone Love to handle the lengthy intermissions. Tarrus Riley followed and by the time I Wayne hit the stage law enforcement were in waiting backstage during the closing moments of his set demanding the whole thing be shut down at 3:00 am.
With about 15 minutes left, Capleton took to the stage and then carried the remaining acts with him for one giant medley which brought the house to its Rastafarian flag flying feet.
“The officers said there was a time limit, it had to cut by X time, so mi did jus waan di people dem fi know sey di artists dem was here,” Capleton explained.
The stage filled with the likes of Junior Reid, Barrington Levy, Luciano, Agent Sasco, Chi Ching, Ching and Beenie Man amongst others, the congregation of talent swept through their various hits stirring up the fans even further. It was left to Capleton to slowly bring the night to an end a few minutes past 3:00 am.
“We still naw mek nothing deter us from doing good. It’s a charity event. Everyone know di function of di event, what it does for different communities, schools, hospitals, community and reform centers.”
Capleton indicated that several entities like the Annotto Bay Hospital, Islington High School — which he attended — and the Maxfield Children’s Home would be the financial beneficiaries of this year’s staging of A St Mary Mi Come From Come A-Town.