4th & B was pumped full of strong reggae vibes by Barrington Levy and Martin Campbel Friday night. Nearly 900 San Diego reggae fans were at the downtown club, making it the most heavily attended reggae show in San Diego since Tribute to the Reggae Legends.
Levy, 46, opened his with his 1998 hit, "Living Dangerously." Levy (pronounced LEE-vee) belted out high notes as he did 20 years ago in Jamaican dance halls. His perfectly pitched; powerful alto voice and effortless release earned Levy his moniker, Mellow Canary.
Wearing a Seedless Clothing T-shirt, Levy sang “Under Mi Sensi,” a massive dancehall hit in 1983, with clouds of smoke billowing in front of him. Levy performed other hits from his 17-song set, including "Prison Oval Rock," "Poor Man," "Too Experienced," "My Woman" and the hit single "Money Move." Closing out his 40-minute set, Levy performed "Murderer," off his 1993 self-titled album Barrington, concluded an impressive show.
Martin Campbell gave a rare 90-minute reggae roots and culture performance. At one point, the 55-year-old producer told the crowd, "Still can’t believe after all these years, y’all still want to hear my music,” before he sung the hit "Don’t Cry." Campbell's music and lyrics are raw and relevant, and is not for the faint. Backed by the legendary Fully Wood band, Campbell performed "Tears Form," a powerful, lyrical indictment of the slavery trade that his ancestors participated in. Sharing his love for the finest city in America, Campbell released the album San Diego Vibes, and performed the title track. Although his stage presence lacked energy, Campbell kept the crowd's attention through his music.
At one of the best reggae concerts of the year, the veterans Levy and Campbell gave San Diego a great show. Earlier this year Campbell and Levy headlined the Tribute to the Reggae Legends show at the Sports Arena that nearly sold out.