Review: Sizzla Rise to the Occasion, Live Stream 2022. A good look for Jamaica!

Saturday, February 27 Reggae Month had something very special to offer to the World. In an almost 1,5 hour lasting Live show with a 35 Piece Orchestra (conducted by Ibo Cooper), Sizzla Kalonji performed his most legendary tracks. It was evident that the ‘Rise to the Occasion-Singer” enjoyed every minute of his show. In perfect reggae/Sizzla fashion, the entertainer started from behind the curtain with ‘Praise Ye Jah” before jogging energetically on stage, for what would become a memorable show. Although this was the first time for the singer to perform with a full orchestra, Sizzla showed his professionalism, not one error or mistake could be spotted.

After the intro, the orchestra and bans seamlessly went into ‘Holding Firm” and “Guide over Us“. Meanwhile, viewers from all over the world started login into the VP Records and World A Reggae Streams, to witness this Tsunami of energy coming out of Jamaica.

By the time Sizzla went into “Words Of Divine” the singer seemed well warmed up, not slowing down in his pace and energy for a second. The organization managed to keep up the anticipation from the viewers by inserting little interview pieces in the performance, although honestly, I wouldn’t have minded if I could have skipped those to go straight right into “Mash Dem Down” and “Simplicity“.

It really was pure joy to see Mr. Collins being so fit, smiling, and energetic on that stage. Adding the fact that it was only upful vibes and positive messages. No explicitness or controversial language made this extra comforting to look at. Even the word ‘Marijuana” was left out in one of Sizzla’s biggest smokers anthems “Smoke Marijuana“. Which contributed to the fact that we were watching a very well-produced and thought-out Family show. We can only applaud that.

By the time Sizzla went into “Woman, I Need You” the chatbox on our Youtube exploded with Fire and Crown Emojis, the 2022 Post Covid Equivalent for the lighters, and noise in a concert hall. Before going into his other anthems ‘Be Strong” Sizzla empowered the (ghetto) youths to never give up on their dreams: “There was a time, like, walking out through the ghettos’ with my shoes, like rubbing out, and look where I am today!!”

After all that energy it was time to cool it down, during the intro of Strings-filled ‘Thank you Mama” two lovely dancers, dressed in red, gold, and green joined the singer on stage. Adding to the next soothing mood Sizzla built. We have to compliment Sizzla for his skills to pull online viewers into a live stream. Not every performer has the ability to do so. It actually felt like attending a pre-Covid concert.

Going into the powerful, nyabinghi drum-filled ‘Black Woman & Child‘ Sizzla took the time to big up Black History & Reggae Month and the foundation artists that paved the way before him. Having the 35-Piece orchestra with the sound of singing violins behind him, Sizzla seemed to feel more and more confident in his relentless energy. As he was joined again by the dancers. All expressing their equal joy on stage.

It is a wonderful thing to be able to enjoy (reggae) music and forget about time and space for a while. As mentioned earlier I felt like attending a show in a venue in Jamaica. Being got pulled into the stream by the soothing sounds of Dean Frasers Saxophone on “Dem A Wonder” and the mesmerizing basslines did make us forget about the many problems in the world today. Let’s call that the power of Reggae Music.

As the energetic artist went from “Show Us the Way” into another hit in his extensive catalog “Dry Cry” his voice didn’t miss a beat and Sizzla showed the world the meaning of what Reggae/Jamaica Music can be when executed right. After ‘One of Those Days” another interview insert, gave us some time to catch our breaths and long for more Sizzla Live! The final part of the show kicked off with ‘Solid As A Rock”, again initiated by Dean Fraser’s recognizable sound. Just when I thought Sizzla was having a tired moment he stepped it up a notch and pulled up the track again! Catering to the people watching the stream this was followed by more fire emojis.

Before going into ‘Give Me a Try” Sizzla thanked Hon. Minister Olivia Grange (Culture, gender, entertainment & Sport) for curating this concert. Also de singer remembered the audience to stop the crime and violence in Jamaica before giving his all and almost literally exploding on stage during “Get to The Point“. With a huge smile on his face, the Jamaican vibes splashed off the screen into the houses of many worldwide. Displaying the beauty of what Jamaica has to offer.

Closing this amazing show with the show title and one of his biggest hits “Rise To The Occasion” the singer seemed on his last breaths giving it all, knowing the importance of a global show like this. This surely was a one-and-a-half-hour display of Jamaican Excellence. With one last “mix” ‘Dada” signed off, leaving the audience in awe. We can only wish that the Reggae On the Pier show, which will close Reggae Month this Sunday will be entertaining the same way. This was surely a good look for Jamaica, we can only bow deeply to well-executed productions like this.

By Danny Creatah