Speaking of the audience, there were a lot of people there, jam-packed and jamming like they do on Labor Day on the parkway (Eastern Parkway, that is) in celebration of reggae and dancehall music. After big-ups to the individual Caribbean cliques and two mini-sets by new artists off of his new label, Shaggy took to the stage and did his thing. Whereas the energy I picked up from the Michael Jackson performance was that of an artist floating high on the cloud that success brings, an unbridled excitement to show just what he’s got to offer, and a determination to let everyone know they better take notice because he’s just getting started, this Shaggy on the B.B. King stage was a slightly cooler and calmer, more settled in Shaggy. A Shaggy who still looks damn good, and sounds good. A confident man who has done a few things, been a few places, is grateful for his success, and is putting his fans on notice that he’s still here, still doing big things. I was thrilled to see firsthand that his knack for taking hold of the crowd and taking them on a journey with the music that he loves making is still in full effect. I came, I saw, and I spent the next hour settled into my own groove, enjoying a set that included some of my favorite Shaggy tunes — “It Wasn’t Me”, “My Angel” and “Mr. Boombastic” — songs that resonate of an accomplished past and point to a still bright future. Shout outs to Wayne Wonder, Morgan Heritage, and Rayvon, reggae rock stars in their own right who banded together with Shaggy and Dahved to celebrate the genre and the culture. The show was still in full force as I made my post-midnight departure, musical artist worship accomplished.
Shaggy quote of the night: “It’s all in the pelvis. If the spine don’t jerk, nothing else work.”
[Photo: Getty Images]