Kingston Waterfront lights up with excitement
On the stroke of midnight, the impressively large turnout of Jamaicans and visitors were captivated for 13 sustainable minutes. Eyes glued to the sky, they watched in awe another spectacle of explosions delivered by the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) at their annual Fireworks on the Waterfront.
The New Year's Eve annual event, dubbed Fireworks on the Waterfront, boasted a huge thrust stage, an expanded number of chairs, an elevated VIP area and a throng of faces. Most of the patrons in the general seating and VIP areas arrived in time for the main stage line-up and the fireworks. Among the main acts were curtain-closer Beenie Man, along with Richie Stephens, Rondell Positive, Sandra Brooks, Roy Rayon, Bongo Herman, and others.
The crowd was surely not disappointed, especially the dramatic ending of the firework display, with two small yet effective explosions coming from the land. This gave the 2017 welcome a jolting difference and was jubilantly received. However, the structure of the concert programme was somewhat flat, resulting in fluctuating energy emanating from the stage.
Bennie Man was the last act. He arrived to the stage some time after he was scheduled to perform. And those who remained after the fireworks to see 'The Doctor' perform were rewarded with musical satisfaction. His gift was a nicely wrapped medley of hit songs, and he unwrapped the package with his take on The Lord's Prayer and then went full speed ahead with a slew of hits.
Stephens, who performed just before Beenie Man, was just as engaging and energetic. He also tugged at the conscience with, "Jamaica is the island that is always creating music and sends it out to the world. We give them Bob, we give them Bolt, and many, many more. We don't need to copy anybody.
"Such a small nation, and yet we create such a big impact on the world," he added, before moving into an energetic performance with his dancers for his ska song, which was definitely in sync with the concert's theme, 'Celebrate Good Times'.
Gospel artistes Brooks and Rondell Positive were called on to usher in the new year. Both ministered well. Brooks also paid tribute to the late Sister Scully, one of Jamaica's spirited gospel artistes.
Rayon also hit the spot with his medley of songs, including Fever and Sweet Jamaica.