It was a warm Pre-Valentine’s Weekend with the beachfront One Love event at the Royal Palms. Some of Jamaica’s greatest voices in reggae sailed out to celebrate a weekend of love right here on our shores. The night was filled suited more for the rockers with moments of sweet nostalgia and Black excellence.
Vocally, Etana stood at the top with her dulcet tones and uplifting melodies with songs like “ I am not afraid” and “I rise”. The one disappointment was to see the Reggae Songstress perform without a band, but in today’s ever increasingly stingy environment it is no surprise. She was spectacular all the same doing her own ode to Dennis Brown and maintaining near perfect vocals all throughout.
Leading the wailers was junior Marvin, the former guitarist of the original Wailers, now vocalist as the band carries on its musical legacy. The Wailers did some of their most well-known hits from the Bob Marley Catalog such as Could This Be Love, Stir it up, Wait in Vain, Heathen, Three Little Birds and more.
All the acts were great but let me tell you about the BEST act of the night! The show opener: Fyah Squad. Usually, no one would expect the show opener to excel over the headlining acts but in my opinion that was the case at this Reggae Lover’s event! Never have I been to a concert and had our very own Cayman talent outshine the headlining acts, but that was the case with our very own “Fyah Squad”.
Fyah Squad opened with an instrumental salute to the late Michael Jackson with “Rock With U” and a musical nod to the Late Luther Vandross with “Never Too Much” The first song of the set was “Keyz to My Heart” which is the title track off of Beneil Miller’s Reggae album, released October 2014 right here in the Cayman Islands. The act was a dynamic venture of emotions lead by Cayman’s Own Beneil Miller!
Beneil Miller is a Berklee Music graduate who was raised in the Cayman Islands. The band played through Beneil’s catalog, taking the rockers through a true reggae experience. Fyah Squad also took the audience down memory lane with a rocksteady tribute to Dennis Brown which every reggae fan could be proud of. Fyah Squad ended their set with the socially conscious song “Pray” , another track from Miller’s Keyz To My Heart Album which holds the refrain “ Pray fi a change” explaining the disturbing social predicament found across the Caribbean with increases in violence and poverty and negligence. Fyah Squad ended the show with Miller’s signature jump air cymbal smash and a salute to all the lovers. Reggae lovers in attendance would agree that he was arguably the best act of the night! What a proud moment for Caymanian Musicians!
You can find Fyah Squad and friends at the Office Lounge in George Town (right beside MacDonald’s) on the last Saturday of every month. If you want to see Miller in his solo element catch him every Wednesday night at Club Havana where you will walk into a room immersed in jazz-infused melodies from Miller on the piano.