“Yagidiyagidiyagidiyagidiyagidiyagidi yooh!”

24anthonyb_mh06.jpgReggae star Anthony B starts up a little carefully. The first track heard from Rentolava stage, World world a reggae music, doesn’t fire up the crowd, but — oh my — what does he have in store? The most amazing, fantastic, and other superlatives show!

Anthony’s stage charisma brings in a flood that cannot be survived without life vests. The artist and the audience lubricate each other, bringing the show up into an amazing speed, creating a first class experience. The music is a powerful melange, with roots and ragga sounds creating the framework on which beats are hung. Anthony’s penetrating voice ranges from a nasal whine to a velvety croon and a rough growl, all according to the message and the atmosphere. His astounding dance moves have to be seen to be believed. Jumping around, running on the spot, bouncing, swiveling his hips, kicking the air and all the other moves make the crowd go wild. Everyone’s grins, both on and off stage, bring to mind the Cheshire cat.

In his right hand Anthony B holds the mic, but what is that thing in his left hand? It is a short white staff, representative of his prophetic essence. Like his role models Peter Tosh and Bob Marley, Anthony B looks down upon the intoxicated, sex and violence glorifying dancehall culture. His lyrics are a call to arms for the weak, the children, the women and others hard done by. He isn’t really big on the police, but encourages expanding one’s mind and meditation. At times he intones the name of his god, Haile Selassie. Also at regular intervals he hollers “Finlaaaand!,” creating an intensive bond between the performer and the crowd. “Yagidiyagidiyagidiyagidiyagidiyagidi yooh!,” the people sing along.

Anthony introduces his wonderful band’s keyboardist, drummer, guitarist and bass player by name, but refers to the angeling backing choir only as ‘beautiful ladies’. Still, he dedicates the gentle Someone loves you to all the women of the world. His irresistible grooves make even tired feet stomp the sandy beach and flatten the turf. As the dusk sets in, the lighting setup displays its Ethiopian flag colours to its advantage.

This has been the best reggae gig I’ve ever seen. The euphoric feeling couldn’t be more intense.

Words: Katri Simola
Translation: Olli Sulopuisto

Photo: Mari Herrala