Report: 9 Mile Music Festival 3/3/2012
03/07/2012 by Meg Majors
★ 9 Mile Music Festival in Miami, FL @ Virginia Key Beach Park 3/3/2012 ★
The 19th Annual 9 Mile Music Festival was held at a brand new beach side venue this year and the sunny breeze definitely set the mood for the day. If one word could sum up the festival, it was SMILES. The vibe from the stage transcended through the audience (thousands strong). The festival was founded by the Marley family, namely Cedella Booker (Bob Marley’s mother) and musical tributes to Bob were made throughout the night. His memory and cultural contributions live on!
Kehv was the show’s opener around 2:00pm and he definitely set the bar high! His blend of smooth vocals, strong percussionists and acoustic guitar will definitely have new fans seeking out his music. His supporting singers were a strong addition to the set.
New Kingston was the next band up and they entertained with their hits like “In the Streets”. The band of brothers (led by father Courtney Panton on bass) have come far in the recent years! They stayed on to back the next act: Richie Spice. As an added last-minute bonus to the festival, Richie Spice delivered more than I’ve seen in years. Sporting a vibrant green head wrap and matching shoes, he really kicked up the energy and delivered hit after hit with unwavering confidence. He was full of smiles and dancing, it was great to hear his classic tunes performed well and see him really enjoying himself. When the artist is in a good mood - it’s contagious! He kindly gave Reggaeville an interview [watch here] and posed for some (smiling!) pictures after his performance, so be sure to check them out!
From Spice to Buddz - Collie Buddz (hailing from Bermuda) took the stage next with a powerful performance of songs like Blind to You, Mamacita and more. His DJs and crew had on “Blind to You (Haters)” t-shirts which made quite a statement.
Around sunset, Tarrus Riley took the stage with Dean Fraser on the big bad sax and the BlakSoil Band. [watch the video interview here] His sensational performance sent the crowd into a frenzy. His punky outfit (studded vest and shoes) showed a different side of Tarrus’ personality. Although we all adore his tracks like She’s Royal it’s great to hear artists develop and show their true talent by expanding their sound, his newest tracks will equally make a statement in the industry. The playful antics between Tarrus, Dean and his supporting singers is always stirs laughter and applause from the audience. Tarrus paid musical tributes to Bob Marley, Buju Banton and Michael Jackson (complete with high kicks and moonwalking).
Cocoa Tea was up next. He pleased the crowd with highlights from his career catalog and won many fans by chanting Break Down the Barriers. Security was no match for Cocoa Tea, as the fans scaled the fences to come right up to the front of the stage. This caused the event staff to go with the flow and simply move barriers to accommodate. The front of the stage area remained open for fans for the remainder of the night and there was no trouble, simply appreciation.
King Shango delivered and energetic performance as expected! He is a consistent artist who is always sure to take the show to the next level. His glittering Red, Gold and Green custom outfit and passionate lyrics demanded attention from the front of stage to the very back row. Capleton was followed by Melanie Fiona and Wale both new and welcomed, additions to the festival.
As the night eased on, Burning Spear gave a spiritual performance. As an artist who does not tour as often as the others, the magnitude of his presence could be felt by all. He danced, played his drums, and you could feel how he became one with the music, channeling the Most High. Spear is in notably exquisite shape! His guitarist delivered some incredible solos, which really added to the intensity of the set.
This year’s headliners - Stephen, Damian, and Julian Marley were there in full force! Thankfully the Marleys sorted out any issues with the event organizers and they played an extra long set featuring their own tracks and of course, played many of their father’s classics, like One Love. Melanie Fiona joined Stephen Marley on No Cigarette Smokin, her vocal talent is incredible and she is definitely someone to watch for. The surprise guest of the evening was Spragga Benz. Dressed in white from head to toe, he bounced around the stage as the crowd shrieked in sheer delight. The Marleys also brought on stage the next generation (their youth) to perform. The Marley’s flag waver, Donovan, was there in full support. Watching Bob’s sons is always fascinating to see how they inherited his well-known mannerisms, voice and overall vibes. They are each unique in their own right, as they carry on his influence with their own expressions.
The 19th Annual 9Mile Festival was a great success and the overall positive energy of the performers and the fans was one of the highest in recent memory. It was a true testament that reggae music is growing stronger and sailing to higher heights.