Beres Hammond brought Hamilton to life last night. *Photo by Chris Burville
Beres Hammond brought Hamilton to life last night. *Photo by Chris Burville

Beres Hammond brought Hamilton to life last night headlining the Cup Match Summer Splash concert at Par-la-Ville car park.

The 57-year-old is showing no signs of slowing down, bringing a massive energy to the show. Concluding the line-up of Uzimon, New Kingston and Collie Buddz, he took to the stage at around 12:50am with his Harmony House Band and certainly gave us our money’s worth – they didn’t even stop between many of the songs.

Lovers’ rock is no misnomer – couples in the audience were cuddling, kissing and wrapped up in each other’s arms dancing throughout his songs.

The set opened with the softer lovers’ rock including the epic What One Dance Can Do and Let it Go and then more upbeat songs including Step Aside. He brought out many more classics – the crowd went wild when he launched into his dancehall-friendly Tender To Touch, which I might add, included some mind blowing saxophone solos, as well as Putting Up Resistance and I Feel Good.

Emotions ran high when he dedicated Come Down Father to a young Beres fan who died a few years ago.

Towards the end of his set Beres told the audience: “Thanks Bermuda for always accepting me as family,” before launching into Play Some Noise which included a rocking guitar solo.

As for the rest of the evening’s fair, I only caught the last part of Uzimon’s set at the start, unfortunately, though lots of people told me it was highly entertaining. Never one to be modest about his powers to attract members of the opposite sex, he invited a group of girls on stage and labelled them his “number one, number two, number three”…. girls. Host Patrina ‘Power Girl’ Paynter was obviously enamored – at the end of the set – she rocked up on stage wearing Uzimon’s fake beard and hat.

New Kingston

After a tedious 40 minutes gap, Collie Buddz’ band New Kingston, took to the stage. They played an electrifying set with all three brothers and their father completely immersed in the music. Drummer and singer Courtney Panton stole much of the show but all three brothers brought dynamism to the set.

They gave us a mix of softer, lovers’ rock style songs which fit perfectly at a Beres Hammond concert, as well as high-energy tunes. They played the beautiful Empress Love incorporating a nice beefy bass line, then the organic sounds of Fly Away with just the singers and bongo-style drum machine, as well as a regular cover of Bob Marley’s So Much Trouble In The World which culminated in crazy electric crescendo.

Although there are reggae overtones to this band you can hear so many genres - R&B hip hop and jazz -giving them a young, original sound.

Audience interaction was optimal –  they shouted out the Cup Match supporters, they shouted out to the locals, they shouted out to visitors to the island, and they never let us forget who we were all going to see at the end of the night – the great Beres Hammond.

At the end of the set they introduced their “brother from another mother” Collie Buddz who joined them on stage.

Collie Buddz and New Kingston

Buddz’ set included some upbeat summer tunes including I Feel So Good, Tomorrow’s Another Day and Holiday. It was a disappointingly short though. Uzimon had something close to 40 minutes on stage where international star Buddz only got a few songs in.

I was at the bar when he performed one of my favourites – Blind to You – but I couldn’t hear his vocals. When I got back to my group they told us he’d gotten the audience to sing most of the song. It was nice to see him back I just wish we had him for longer.

Rusty G gave us a nice little DJ medley set of reggae and dancehall songs from No, No, No, They Call It Murda to Love and Affection and Natural Mystic.

It was a nice little tease into the Beres Hammond set which was, without doubt, the highlight of the night. This was my first time seeing Beres Hammond perform and I honestly can’t wait to see him again. He has an infectious energy and a personal touch and of course a band of musicians who were second to none.

One criticism would be that many guests turned up early with beach chairs, which they set up near the front of stage. It was a real hindrance once the show got started, it was difficult to get past them and those seated were completely blocked by the standing audience. Maybe this luxury should be limited to the elderly and physically challenged for this kind of concert in future.

Having said that the central part of the VIP area was practically within kissing distance of the stage which made it much more intimate than the Elevation and Message In A Bottle concert at the same venue the previous Saturday.