Ghetto Youths International has put out two amazing mix tapes with a group of up and coming reggae talent and this show proved they can back it up live. While many of the acts are young with only a few tracks or a single album under their belt, they were able to rock the crowd until the wee hours of the morning with amazing sets back to back. The future of reggae looks bright with Ghetto Youths helping to lead the way.
SOB’s is a small venue with room for only a few hundred people and the perfect venue for this type of show. The event was hosted by Power 105.1’s own DJ Norie, a New York legend himself, who is coming off massive success with his own Anything Goes show, last month. DJ Norie hyped the crowd, partnering with resident DJs to MC some classic reggae hits as the show began. Acting as the MC for the full show DJ Norie added a little bit of local flare as only he can do.
To kick off Black-Am-I took the stage and the momentum built from there. While this new artist only has a few tracks out, he continues to grow and develop and had the crowd singing, ending his set with his single In the Ghetto from the Set Up Shop album.
Christopher Ellis followed next to the stage and continued to increase the energy of the crowd, blazing through some of his classic tracks as well as taking time out to share some Alton Ellis covers that got the crowd involved and signing along to ever word.
Jo Mersa, often overshadowed as the youngest member of the Marley legacy with big shoes to fill set by his father and grandfather before him, showed that he was up to the challenge. Mersa got the crowd involved bringing out Rock and Swing and then slowing it down for Sunshine. Ending his set with a classic Bob Marley track, Mersa will be an emerging force in the reggae scene for years to come.
Wayne Marshall started his set from in the crowd, serenading the audience with slow reggae vibes. His set continued to build momentum, with tracks like Go Hard and hit a high note as he took a moment to appreciate the late John Holt, who passed away this year, by smashing up the place with a cover of If I Was A Carpenter.
After Wayne Marshall finished the band took a short break and I was worried that there would be little time for Baby Cham to rock a full set. How wrong I was. The band was quickly back on stage and Cham came on around 3:15am, early in the night for a Jamaican concert. As the clock struck 4:00am, the usual closing time for a nightclub in New York, he showed no signs of stopping continuing with one more track and then another and another, Vitiman S, Ghetto Story and new tracks to follow. With the crowd pouring out at 4:45am this was a night not to have been missed.
Once again the Ghetto Youths International label has been able to pull new and rising stars together and put on a show that surpassed expectations. As a fan I know I will be counting the days until their next pass through the city, hopefully with Set Up Shop Volume #3.