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Tarrus, Christopher Martin and Sanchez nice up Queens

Posted by Noah 
Tarrus, Christopher Martin and Sanchez nice up Queens
February 10, 2014 03:29PM
I had the pleasure of attending the Ladies Ball in Amazura in Queens over the weekend.

I arrived to a very full dancehall around 12:45 when Kranium was finishing up his set. Up next was Terry Linen, one of my favorite singers. I wish he had touched on his new album but he still did a great job. Up next was Christopher Martin who started out strong with his hits. But his 45-minute slot was a bit long, especially since he devoted so much of it to extended Marvin Gaye covers.

For reasons I can't fathom Amazura routinely allows -- and even encourages -- patrons to openly smoke not just ganja but tobacco as well -- NYC is not known for its lax enforcement of no-smoking laws. The MC requested that patrons take one night off from their smokes "because these women have spent too much on their dress and their hair for you to blow smoke on them" but most attendees still puffed away.

Sanchez traditionally does a multi-venue Valentine's Day tour in the tri-state area with his Chronic Band, but since he was just in town for this single stage show he utilized the excellent local Platinum One band which had also backed all of the earlier artists. I think it's impossible for Sanchez to flop in front of a West Indian audience. He just reels off hit after hit, and even though his show is pretty much identical to what I saw him do 15 years ago it still went over well. He did about 45 minutes, including gospel and oldies medleys, but to the surprise of several patrons exited without singing "Frenzy." (I very much doubt he's removed it because of its anti-gay lyrics, seeing as Sanchez never got much flack for it back in the day.)

A bit after 3 a.m. I-Octaine came on with his own backing band. I admit I'm not a fan to begin with, but between the mix and an overly loud band his lyrics and stage patter were rendered totally inaudible. (The sound in the cavernous hall was perfectly good for all the other acts.) He did about half an hour to an indifferent audience. I appreciate the desire to mix up what was others an all-singers bill, but he just seemed painfully out of place.

Finally at 3:45 Tarrus Riley finished off the night with set which was never deviated from the high standards found in his recordings and performances. He continually informed the audience that "this is a concert, not a stage show" (I confess I'm a bit unclear on the difference). Both his fantastic new album and all his classics were included. At 4:30 the lights were on and Tarrus and Dean Fraser and band were off by 4:45.

From the dept. of self-promotion, I interviewed Tarrus earlier this week. Due to some travel issues on his end I only had five minutes, and I doubt readers of this forum will learn very much they didn't already know, but here's the link:

[artsfuse.org]
Re: Tarrus, Christopher Martin and Sanchez nice up Queens
February 10, 2014 03:31PM
PS - The promoters sold early-bird tickets for this show for a paltry $25, an incredible deal by East Coast reggae stage show standards. (The price at the gate was $60!)
Re: Tarrus, Christopher Martin and Sanchez nice up Queens
February 10, 2014 03:44PM
But it wasn't a stage show, it was a concert! Sounds like a good time.
Re: Tarrus, Christopher Martin and Sanchez nice up Queens
February 10, 2014 05:02PM
Nice write-up, Noah.
Re: Tarrus, Christopher Martin and Sanchez nice up Queens
February 10, 2014 08:16PM
I think he meant a stageshow is the quick pass-through thing you see at Sting, Rebel Salute, etc whereas a concert gives you a full performance from each artist billed. Nice writeup indeed.
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