Beres Hammond made an offstage entrance on Monday, teasing the crowd with a medley of “I Feel Good,” “Can You Play Some More (Pull It Up),” before appearing onstage and performing “Can’t Stop Man.” Always sharply dressed, Hammond wore faded blue jeans, with a light-blue embroidered white buttoned-down shirt, black shoes and hat. Full of passion and energy, it wasn’t long before the reggae crooner was jumping onstage.
The 55-year-old reggae legend kept the dance vibes flowing when he performed “One Dance” and “She Loves Me Now,” pausing, with a broad smile on his face, to hear the crowd sing the words. The raspy-voiced singer belted out “Who Say,” flicking his fingers and doing his signature foot stomp; Hammond was in a zone. Rounding out the 19-song set, Hammond also performed “Tempted to Touch,” “Come Back Home,” “Double Trouble,” “Putting Up a Resistance” and “Groovy Little Thing,” in which Hammond was grooving with his Harmony House back-up singers.
The male equivalent of Sade, Hammond’s music is played in the bedroom and babies are the results. He performed “No Disturb Sign,” a sensually stimulating, love-making song, which had men in the crowd pulling their ladies close to their bodies. Shaking and jerking his body, Hammond feels his lyrics as he sings his songs. In 2008, I asked the shy, soft-spoken Hammond what inspires him to write intimate lyrics, and he said, “The things I can’t say out loud to a woman, I write in a song.” Combining rhythm and blues, reggae and soul music, Hammond’s music is appealing to a wide fan base. Closing the show, he performed “Give Thanks,” a slow, rhythmic, religious song giving thanks to God.
Inner Circle got the crowd ready for Hammond, performing the hit song “Sweat (A La La La La Long),” with lead singer and guitarist Junior Jazz grinding his hips as he sang the naughty lyrics. After paying respect to the band's original lead singer, Jacob Miller, who was killed in a car crash in1980, the roots band performed an extended version of the infamous Cops theme song, “Bad Boys.”
Kenyatta Hill and Culture started the vibes with the hit song “Two Sevens Clash.” Hill is the son of reggae legend Joseph Hill, who died while touring in 2006, and the first cousin of reggae icon Buju Banton. Sounding vocally like his father, Hill did an impressive six-song set ending with a compliment to California marijuana quality and performing Peter Tosh’s “Legalize It.”
The show was full of positive reggae vibes, and Beres Hammond delivered the goods. Tribe of Kings sound system outdid themselves, playing crowd favorites between set changes.