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Long Sting before Lisa Hype … concert too long, not stinging enough

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by jamaica star
Mel Cooke, Star Writer

The Living Fire (formerly Chuck Fenda) performing at Sting 2K9. - Colin Hamilton

There was Sting 2009 before Lisa Hype and Sting 2009 after Lisa Hype, who came onstage at Jam world, Portmore, St Catherine, at a few minutes to 6 a.m. yesterday.

The pre-Lisa Hype Sting 2009 was very long, at times outright tedious and had precious few really high moments. The Sting after she had spoken to her widely circulated oral sex picture and had been booed heavily as well as applauded had much more of what the Sting audience seemed to appreciate - clashes (KipRich walked up on General B and lyrically chopped him into very small pieces), invitations to clash (Bounty Killer asked the crowd if he should build or kill Kartel and got a mixed response) and mix-up, Twin of Twins taking the house down repeatedly.

The crowd hollered when one twin asked "where the stage organiser? A di mic Lisa Hype use? I don't want it a r....c...t". They had barbs for LA Lewis "as a famous liar/sey him tek driver's licence tun frequent flier", Busy Signal and the 'Gary' mix up and recalled dancehall days when Carlene was hot and "when Kartel did black".

But with Vybz Kartel closing off Sting 2009 at 8:20 a.m. yesterday with a mere 10-minute performance, the large crowd lapping up every second, and Mavado (who preceded Bounty Killer) leaving out quite a few of his popular 2009 songs, including House Cleaning and She Beat Him, it was always a matter of time constraints.

hard-earned money

Assassin, as is standard for him, insisted on putting on a good show for the people's hard-earned money in the dawning hours and did so, Hand To Mouth especially, resonating with the audience. He commented that there were those who looked as if they want to overlook him, "true Babylon nah haul an pull me an me a do me ting decent".

Anthony B delivered a lyric in support of Buju Banton, incorporating a recording of the deejay. There was other support for the Gargamel, one selector playing Boom Bye Bye. Aidonia was gutturally effective in undiluted gunslinging mode.

In the end, the pre-Lisa Hype Sting was simply too long and the one after her, way too short and lacking in some highly anticipated moments - no one came up to clash Merciless, who was booed soundly as he floundered on stage after his Letter to Mama failed to reach the post, there was no clash between LA Lewis and Mr G, and Kartel did not respond to Bounty Killer, unless his opening "me no have no time fey yu" to introduce Dollar Sign counts. So as an overall concert, Sting 2009 was way below its 'stinging' standards.

Part of that might have been what the audience wanted, for when an MC asked all those who were happy to see the Gully/Gaza peace to show their hands, very, very few went up. And although there was a fair amount of word slinging, Lisa Hype applying her tongue to Stacious' reputation and Flippa Mafia - quickly back to his liquor splashing, money tossing ways - addressing Elephant Man - there was only the mismatch of General B and KipRich in terms of clashing.

booty bouncing

Lorna Golding, the Reverend Al Miller and Tiger, who was shown respect as he did his best at delivering a couple of his popular tracks, including Puppy Love and Run Come Back To Me with Anthony Malvo, were surprise guests. Still, the Twins later commented "Sting oonu terrible. Me see oonu boo all pastor".

Pamputae's booty bouncing to an accelerating drum beat was a literal high point for her.

In Sting 2009, past midnight, Chino was one of the very few standouts on a night of very short showings passed off as performances, Laden and Wasp falling way short of their impact on record.

Nesbeth, Romain Virgo and Lady G among those who roused the audience to approval and Harry Toddler and Tifa stirring them to boos and jeers. And there were moments when singers were on key with good material, but Sting was not in an overly embracing mood for them, Cherine Anderson with her take on Ring The Alarm and Stevie Face crooning Tell It Like It Is meeting that reception.

Interestingly, as Chuck Fender sang for Mama and his voice cracked in emotion, there seemed to be a respectful observance. Etana, who was singing Roots when the sound went for 15 minutes, continued singing for those before the stage, who clapped along to Rivers of Babylon. D'Angel, with her oversized wings, injected a rare moment of the theatre for which Sting is known, although that did not save her from some hounding handclaps, Charley Blacks having his best moment with his declaration of "no new friend" at the end of his stage time.

See detailed reports on Lisa Hype's performance, General B and KipRich's clash in THE STAR this week.

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