Bunji Garlin and Damian “Junior Gong” Marley on stage together.
That was clearly the highlight of the night at Reggae on the Bay for many fans.
Since their song “The Message” was released, speculation was rife that Garlin would grace the stage with the Gongzilla.
As the telltale chords of the song piped up and the single’s artwork appeared on the screen behind the band, Gong said he has been coming to Trinidad and Tobago since 1996 and he sees a lot of changes right before his very eyes.
” I see a whole heap of changes in Trinidad, a whole heap of good changes but a whole heap of not so good changes. I want to say as always keep it positive, you have a special thing going here, your culture is loved the world over, don’t give it up, don’t throw it away,” he said before launching into the verse.
When Bunji emerged, the crowd erupted.
It was the first time the duo performed the song together and the crowd lapped it up.
Bunji, of course, dropped two freestyle verses, before departing the stage.
The other highlight of Marley’s performance was his six-year-old son Elijah. The next generation Marley took to the stage like a pro, propping his foot on an amp and shaking his shoulders as he sang the refrain to his late grandfather’s song “I wanna be loved.”
Marley, who closed off the show, was greeted with enthusiasm as he delivered many of his hits with the exception of “Welcome to Jamrock”. After he left the stage, many stood chanting loudly for him to return and deliver an encore.
This year’s Hennessy Artistry’s Reggae on the Bay, which promoter Matthew Dasent said might be the last, was the biggest in the show’s short history.
Held at the Training Grounds of the Hasely Crawford Stadium, the show saw the reuniting of the Born Jamericans, the debut performances of Canadian reggae/rick group Magic and Protoje.
Holding their own against the foreign crew were I-Sasha, Freetown Collective, King David, Queen Omega, Jaundis-I, Inzey and Dopeskis Band and Levi Myaz.
Reggae on the Bay was sponsored by Hennessy in collaboration with Digicel.