Alkaline silence his critics with a memorable performance at Dream Weekend 2019.
Young dancehall sensation Alkaline has been on the scene approaching six years now and isn’t interested in slowing down. Always controversial and relevant the Vendetta Boss keeps the fans talking on and off his tracks. One of the biggest talking points throughout his career was whether or not he could perform on the big stage, the particular focus of this piece. His Sumfest debut in 2014 was highly criticized by dancehall practitioners and fans alike. Many were arriving at the same conclusion “Him cyah perform.”
Since that time, however, the artiste has only moved from strength to strength performance-wise consistently performing on shows all over the world. It is only natural then that the After All Singer would improve given all the practice he had been getting. His Jamaican fans, however, wouldn’t be aware of these improvements as the deejay took a long break from performing in Jamaica.
Fast forward to 2017 the year Alkaline decided to revisit Jamaica with his performance. The new and improved Alkaline took the house down at New Rules in 2017. New Rules, which was Alakaline’s event was for many his big test, the night which would prove if he belonged with the big boys. He fully exceeded expectations that night, he had an energetic performance, and the energy within the stadium couldn’t be contained, he performed well, yet there were still doubts. Some said because it was his show it was easy to get a good reception because after all, they were all his fans.
The Young Lawd didn’t have to wait too long to restate his claim to Elite Dancehall status. He was a major headliner on Reggae Sumfest 2017 where he was slated to perform in a prime spot on Dancehall Night. The champion boy emerged in full white and reeled off a long line of hits, once again showing how much he had grown up on the stage. Still, not the finished article but at least no-one can doubt his ability to pull a crowd to a venue and thoroughly entertain them.
Alkaline after two big performances in a couple of months in 2017 Alkaline once again took a hiatus from the Jamaican stage still continuing to perform elsewhere worldwide. Needless to say, the fans have been wanting to see Alkaline. So it was a joy when it was Announce he would be on this year’s Dream Weekend lineup. This time there were no lingering doubts about how he will perform, instead just the anticipation for a great show. Once again, he proved he must not be doubted. He rocked the crowd right throughout his performance. Hit song after hit song and his pedigree was there for all to see.
It’s clear that Alkaline had to beat the odds to get where he is, both from industry players and fans. His biggest Achilles heel, in their opinion, is his stage show performances. It was right for a while but watching Alkaline last night I felt proud seeing his growth from 2014 until now. Not saying he is an Aidonia or Agent Sasco on stage but he has shown where he can get there. He has already demonstrated that his recording ability is top class, but with his performance now leveling up, he is closing in on being a complete artiste like Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, and Shabba Ranks. These dancehall legends has the ability to recreate their tracks effortlessly on stage.
In 5 years, we have seen where dancehall has changed a lot and has gone over many talking points. At least one of them can be settled, the days of saying Alkaline is not a good stage performer is over, that line is now false. It seems Alkaline is on to the next challenge, whether that is to be dancehall’s top gun or otherwise. One thing we know for sure is The Young Lawd always gets the job done.