It was right after closing Reggae Sumfest Dancehall Night in inimitable style, that the man who is an entertainer in the truest sense of the word, packed his bags and headed out to conquer the globe, along with his band of the same name.
He quickly wrapped up excellent shows in Texas on July 18 and 19, and then flew to Delaware for the signature event, the highly-anticipated People’s Festival on the 26th, after which Europe came a-calling.
For I-Octane, being in Europe in 2014 was a special thrill, mainly because his last outing on the continent was in 2012, when he purposefully laid the foundation and showed sparks of brilliance. Two years later, I-Octane is in great demand and he set off on his European expedition with fervor. In fact, so energized was he, that at his first show, Reggae Geel in Belgium on August 2, the “Missing You” singer exuberantly jumped from the stage, missed his target and fell, completely dislocating his right shoulder.
Without missing a beat – literally – he clambered back on stage and bravely performed for another 45 minutes, without the fans even being aware of his agony. So good was he that the emcee called him on for, not one, but two, encores! I-Octane recalls that in his head he screamed “No!”, but despite the intense pain and suffering, he put a smile on his face, went back on the stage and did another song. After the second encore, and following the same script, he quickly put down the mic and told his team, “Take me to the hospital now, my shoulder is on fire.”
Being the person he is, I-Octane was in total opposition to his doctor’s order to rest his shoulder for two weeks. After all, he had to perform at Reggae Jam in Germany the following night and then Reggae Sundance in Netherlands on the 9th, and there was no way that he was going to disappoint his fans. The show must go on, he informed his medical team calmly. They finally arrived at a workable solution; the doctors would give him some injections to deaden the arm, enabling to do the show, but when the injection wore off, the pain, they warned him gruffly, would be intolerable.
I-Octane’s response was, “Perfect. As long as I can perform on stage and entertain the fans. I will think about the pain later.” And perform he did; for nearly an hour to thousands of appreciative fans at Reggae Jam, where he even did a second high-energy stint on stage with Ky-mani Marley, who called him up for them to do A Yah We Deh, their collaboration from the critically acclaimed My Journey album. As dancehall fans would say: “It did siiiick!”
I-Octane continued his dominance when he showed up for Reggae Sundance, which featured some of the biggest names in reggae/dancehall including Big Youth, Earl Sixteen, Luciano, Beenie Man, Tarrus Riley, Shaggy, Tanya Stephens, Busy Signal and Romaine Virgo. Having completed a highly successful summer festival tour of Europe, I-Octane is making his way to the Caribbean, where he will be pulling out all the stop for his St.Maarten fans on August 15 and then it’s straight on to Canada two days later for the long-running Montreal Reggae Festival. Belize beckons on August 21, and then he rounds out his overseas engagements with shows in the USA – Georgia on August 29 and North Carolina on August 30.