Date: Friday, December 14th, 2012
Line Up: Barrington Levy w/ Detour Posse, Stranger, Piracy Conspiracy, Tribe Of Kings
Venue: World Beat Cultural Center. San Diego, CA
As the saying goes, the show must go on. Such was the case for a reggae legend descending on his home away from home, Barrington Levy. A line up including Mr. Levy, along with San Diego’s top-tier local support, Tribe Of Kings, Piracy Conspiracy, and Stranger. The show was originally first slated to be held at downtown San Diego’s 4th&B venue. Due to a string of circumstances, the music has stopped at the venue. The doors closed to all, and many left wondering as to what would happen with the coming scheduled shows.
Huge shows including Barrington Levy, Public Enemy and many others had to be rescheduled to different venues to keep their concert dates. Tom Searcy, in part with Nug Magazine, took immediate action to preserve all the work already set in stone for the show. Not poised to disappoint fans, the World Beat Cultural Center was a very befitting choice. The one thing that Tom was not about to let happen, was to turn away San Diegans from Mr. “Too Experienced ”, Barrington Levy. A show not just benefitting those that attended, but also the youths of San Diego. A holiday toy drive was also a part of the night’s festivities. Those willing were encouraged to bring an unwrapped gift to back in small part to the community itself, not just with music but for the youth too.
Neither a venue change, nor a few rain drops in San Diego would keep the masses from being in the lights of Mr. Levy. To start the fire, Tribe Of Kings sound system were our dun selectors for the evening. True sense of unity composed for the night of Dash Eye, Rashi Rath, and Hugh Knight took their place at the tables all throughout the night. Spinning sounds of reggae culture from Bushman, Gregory Isaacs, to the uprising star J Boog. As the show was opened up to 18+ ages, youths along with Levy’s veteran fans awaited opening band Piracy Conspiracy to kick things off.
Venue change took no effect in attendance with support of the World Beat Center and long time San Diego Promoter/ DJ Carlos Culture. Taking a quick change on stage from Piracy Conspiracy and their sound to make for Stranger, a high capacity night began to fill in. Taking a moment of silence for the tragic events earlier in the day, Stranger began with light instrumentals, before sending all systems go. Songs familiar with many San Diegans instantly lifted all. Everyone was dancing along to Stranger’s “Tomorrow Never Comes”, “Harmonize” and “Royalty”. One to always please fans, Stranger performed a new song titled “Universal Love”. This was the first time the song was performed before a live audience, and the track will be featured on Stranger’s upcoming EP releasing in 2013. To give David (lead vocals) a break, a respite came by way of Andrew “Bees” Beckford of Black Uhuru. Beckford took hold of everyone with his harmonious vocals. At this point with Bees at the helm, the WBC was now packed to the brim. Only a feature for what seemed just a moment, the microphone was given back graciously to Stranger’s lead singer, before closing their set with “Only One”.
Just as the final preparations for the night were completed, Detour Posse took their place on stage to open for the impending reggae great. Detour Posse can be found all across the globe, opening for various reggae acts as the late great Gregory Isaacs, Bushman and more recently J Boog, prior to having Hot Rain. Before long, it was time for the great Barrington Levy to grace the stage. The World Beat Cultural center’s Executive Director/Founder Makeda “Dread” Cheatom took the microphone to welcome Mr. Levy upon the stage. Makeda made sure the crowd was ready by not bring out our headliner until chants of “Barrington, Barrington, Barrington”, were heard all the way to San Diego’s Gaslamp district.
Lighting struck upon the World Beat Center as Barrington Levy stormed onto the stage. Instantaneously everybody’s hands were shot into the air. A great welcoming from San Diego for Barrington as he belted out classics, “Living Dangerous”, “Prison Oval Rock”, “Under Mi Seni” and more. Levy lifted everyone along with his melodic flow, holding out choruses and breaking for the crowd to joyfully fill in. A direct energy from Levy was being transferred directly upon the crowd. If you have never been to one of Barrington Levy’s shows, a never ending rhythm, flow, and just flat out good vibes will have you rocking away. With a seemingly endless supply of music under his belt, “21 Girl Salute”, “Poorman Style” and “Collie Weed” kept the party going.
Taking nothing away from the backing band, Detour Posse, but they could have taken a back seat and just let the masses sing Levy’s lyrics word for word. Well into just an hour since hitting the stage, the music was just getting started. Levy’s interaction with the crowd held everyone’s attention through the entire night. Levy also brings the conscious lyrics vocalizing that man is worth more than any monetary value. As certain values can be tagged with a dollar sign and a certain amount, certain things in life are just priceless. A message of unity and a unifying love was delivered to all. Levy, not wanting to leave the stage as always, jokingly asked if he could leave? To no surprise, not a single person would allow that to happen.
Smiles could be seen across every face in the World Beat Center. Barrington Levy’s set was so long you would have thought it was only to come to a close with the rising of the sun. Although as all chapters end, a joyous closing came around with “She Is Mine”, and a live staple, “Black Roses”. Giving thanks to all who came to give praise, Barrington sent his best regards to the fans. San Diego having a huge heart for Mr. Levy was sad to see him go. A performance so heavenly, you almost wonder if you were dreaming. When Barrington Levy comes to town the world will stand still until he lets you go.
Barrington Levy Set List:
Prison Oval Rock
Under Mi Sensi
21 Girl Salute
Teach The Youth
Mind Your Mouth
Shine Eye Gal
Love Of Jah
A Yah We Deh
She Is Mine
Live & Direct
Stranger Set List:
Rollin’ With The Ball
Now Is The Time
Tomorrow Never Comes
Article By: Edgar Gaytan
Photos By: Johann David
Check out MORE photos from the show!!!