The highly anticipated Buju Banton and Friends Before the Dawn Concert went down on Sunday at Bayfront Park in Miami Florida. The show did not disappoint and was well attended by folks from all over the world including your girl Red Carpet Shelley!
It was clear that the stage was set for a great day as the sun shone brightly, the lines were wrapped around the corner and he smells of great Caribbean food wafted through the air. To set the stage and the mood, the show began with Nyabingi drumming to bless up the stadium. At that moment in time, I knew we were in for a special treat like no other concert before. The ‘Before the Dawn Concert’ was a who’s who of reggae icons of all genres and ages. Enjoy the pics!
The friends of Buju performing included Shaggy, Nadine Sutherland, Stephen Marley, Wayne Wonder, Gramps Morgan, Tarrus Riley, Dean Fraser, Everton Blender, Konshens, Freddie Mcgregor, Sly & Robbie, Dj Khaled. Amongst the unannounced “friends” performing that night included Sean Paul, Gyptian, Mykal, Rose, Busta Rhymes, Baby Cham, Serani, Richie Loop.
The show got started with a darkened stage with the crowd practically jumping out of their seats to catch the first glimpse of reggae’s embattled son Buju Banton. It was a moving introduction and many, including myself, were moved to tears by his performance. Although Buju not super energetic at times, those moments were buttressed by a level of spirituality and palpable emotions.
One of the best performances of the night was an especially high energy and very comedic performance by Shaggy. Shaggy spoke to the men and let them know that buying one drink for a lady does not qualify you to follow her for the rest of the night! I second dat one Shaggy! And, its clear that Shaggy is a well-seasoned international performance by the way he worked the stage!
Sean Paul had an ok performance but his performance stock went up when surprise guest, Baby Cham and Spragga Benz came out with him. The crowd went wild!!!! Kudos go out to Nadine Sutherland, Freddie McGregor and Busta Rhymes who also did nice up di place too!
The most cherished moment of the night for me was when Buju requested Gramps Morgan to join him on stage. My gosh…what a moment. Gramps is infinitely talented and is clearly a trusted and loyal friend to Buju. Although his earlier appearance on stage didn’t garner the audience reaction I’m sure he had hoped for, he was redeemed when he and Buju performed together. This was definitely a crowd pleasing moment…The only moment to trump that was when Stephen Marley and Jr. Gong came out with Buju. Big Tings!!!!!!! My heart was palpitating, my eyes filled with tears as the Marleys showed their love and support for Buju until finally Miami’s finest pulled the plug on the show and it was over but not before Buju also brought his attorney, David Oscar Markus on stage.
What a show! It was moving, touching, exciting, sad, spiritually uplifting and musically endearing all at once. There will never be another reggae show like this one….I could go on and on the full will never be told….