I Am Legend Guyana Concert

Written by: Jamel Grahame

The highly anticipated ‘I am Legend’ concert in Guyana which headlined Jamaican reggae/dancehall superstar Buju Banton as a part of his “Long Walk to Freedom” tour delivered on all accounts. The Long walk to Freedom tour was inspired by the superstar recent release from incarceration. The legendary mega concert is being referred to by many as a moment in Guyanese history. It attracted a mammoth crowd of patrons who were treated to a performance of their lifetime as the ‘Gagamel’ (Buju) ushered in Guyana’s 53rd Independence with fireworks, good music and an undeniably enriching vibe.

Much can be said about the ‘I am Legend’ Concert but there is no denying that the concert honored its name. Koffee, the 19-year-old reggae sensation, who performed before Buju, surprised the audience when she sang the lyrics to ‘Toast’, and her other hits. Her articulation was so precise the she made many to wonder if they were listening to a recording.

At around 1:30 am, with the crowd buzzing with excitement, the time had come for the Gagamel to appear. His entrance was preceded by a darken stage and the music to his hit song ‘Our Father In Zion’. At this point the stadium was illuminated by the lights of thousands of cell phones, and when Buju, still unseen, added his distinct raspy voice to the music, the crowd went wild. This and the rest of his performance will live in the hearts of many Guyanese forever for Buju included Guyana and Guyanese in his songs whenever he could. “Legendary” was the common response of several attendees when asked by Caribbean Entertainment Hub their opinion of his performance.

As is customary with concerts of this nature several local music acts were recruited to open for the headliner. This is opined by many as a platform to showcase the wealth of local talent that comprises our music industry. The lineup for ‘I am Legend’ included: Firstborn, who are on a revival campaign; Mark Batson, recently featured on Caribbean Entertainment hub; and many others. Also slated to perform, just before the Jamaican superstar, was ‘Natural Black’ who was eventually cut from the programme. ‘Natural Black’ is one of Guyana’s most internationally acclaimed reggae/ dancehall superstar with several international recordings and a string of world-famous hits. This move resulted in much criticisms with many calling the move unpatriotic and slamming the show’s organizers for poor time management.

Surprisingly after his performance, Buju Banton and his team took to the streets to visit many communities around Guyana spreading the message of hope and encouraging the youths that “badness” is not the way to go. Buju spreading this message is extremely relevant since he once represented this bad-boy image. However, Banton who was incarcerated for nine plus years emerged from prison the holder or an honorary master’s degree in Music Business Management. Caribbean Entertainment Hub wishes the talented superstar continued success on his Long Walk to Freedom.

 

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