The actual staging began about a half hour late due to technical difficulties, but the real fact is even the Grammy’s are loosing ratings as far as award shows are concerned. Linkage had some restrictions due to budgetary considerations but managed to transform the space into a positive and entertaining event. Artist support was sterling including Lady Saw, Luciano, Sanchez, John Holt, Lady G, Konshens,, Romaine Virgo, Christopher Martin, Nature, Khago and many more.
An 80% capacity crowd made their way to the auditorium despite snow on the last day of winter. And they enjoyed themselves even though at times some of the action looked to resemble an unintentional Saturday Night Live skit. It was like a presentation periodically weak on sound quality and a band that would just stick it out until eventual transition to clarity would come. It subsequently got to the point where surrealistic antics via what seemed like a Caribbean Karaoke singer staggered the audience.
But none of this bothered Sanchez dressed in his floor length mink stole rocking in his front row seat periodically shaking the hands of various fans and well wishers. People were just happy to have an appreciation for solid performances and for the hard work that reggae and dancehall talent goes though to make an honest living.
There were a ton of awards presented including Isaiah Laing getting the Producer of the year award for Sting 2012, a solid turn around for this brand. Ninjaman won the Life Time Achievement Award, Nature the Break Out Artist of the year, Khago and I Octane won a few as well as Konshens and Christopher Martin who won two each and Lady Saw about three. Performance wise Luciano and Lady Saw stood out even though Nature gave them some dance routines that caught attention when he sang World Peace.
Fans were seen later congratulating this new youth to the US market encouraging him to continue along his path of clean and conscious music. But as always Lady Saw squeezed out a little extra by recognizing DownSound Records boss, Josef Bogdanovich sitting in the front row with a couple of white girls.
Saw gave the exec a shout asking him for a lift on his private jet and later teased him with a few X rated compliments getting a stir from the audience. Bogdanovich smiled then got up from his seat, walked back stage and congratulated Lady Saw for being the best female in the business.