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J Boog performed for a sold-out crowd at Sound Wave.
The 27-year-old Compton native is the new face of lovers-rock reggae, and his voice resonates like an authentic Jamaican reggae. More than 700 hundred fans, mostly Polynesian, packed the popular Mission Beach venue to see the Samoan perform.
Boog opened the show with the track “Mystery Girl” around 11:40 p.m., wearing dark Levis jeans, white pullover shirt, baseball cap and black Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers. Boog then segued into the song “Love Affair,” off his 2007 debut album, Hear Me Roar, backed by the Detour Posse reggae band. Rounding out tracks from the album was the upbeat “Every Little Thing,” “Life Time Lover,” “Here I Am,” the title track “Hear Me Roar” and “Ganja Farmer,” a cover of Marlon Asher’s hit song.
The dancehall tinged “Hawaiian Pakololo,” a Jah Maoli song featuring Boog, showed his versatility with reggae music and his toasting (rapping) skills. Paying tribute to one of his mentors, Boog sang Gregory “Cool Ruler” Isaacs’ “Cool Down the Pace,” which sounded soulful and melodic; his delivery was velvety smooth. Also included in the 15-song set was the dance track “Coldest Zone” and the acoustic love song “Waiting in the Rain.”
The MC for Polynesian Underground (the show's promoter) sent the crowd into a booing frenzy after Boog exited the stage without performing two of his biggest hit songs. The MC said, “You guys want some more Boog? Then let me hear you say, ‘Yes, Rasta’,” which they did, and Detour Posse played the riddim for the hit song “Love Season” to start the encore. Boog returned to the stage only to loud cheers and screams, as the song is a fan favorite.
What I heard next was truly sent from the music deities: Boog sang the intro verse for “Let’s Do It Again” a capella. His voice sounded so heavenly that it sent chills through my body. The crowd went crazy, tossing up Shakas and fist-pumps while singing along. Boog ended the 55-minute concert by thanking everyone for coming and giving shout-outs to the Polynesians in attendance.
Boog delivered the vibes, putting to rest any doubts that he’s a reggae artist, not an “island reggae” artist. The crooner has a voice that is distinctive, harmonious and melodic, with a subtle strain to it. Boog’s voice is memorable, and that alone is enough to catapult him to the next level. Aloha and mahalo, J Boog, 'Nice to know you,' and, please, “Let’s Do It Again.”
SoundDiego sends sincere well wishes to Shari Doll, a member of the Polynesian Underground family who suffered an aneurysm while attending the show.