report: 100% zen prsnts: romain virgo @ p60, amstelveen (05-03-2015) (by: iris engelsman)
Shortly after his mesmerizing show at P60 in Amstelveen on Thursday, March 5th, young reggae singer Romain Virgo posted on his Facebook page: "Studio recording is easy. But an energetic performance is everything for me." And that's exactly what he delivered in P60, to say the least.
Romain Virgo was the youngest artist to ever enter Digicel Rising Stars, an important and well known talent show in Jamaica. He was only seventeen years old when he won the talent show in 2007. His musical career immediately took off, as not only the Jamaicans were instantly fond of his fresh sounding yet rooted Lover's Rock, but also the international audience quickly caught his vibe. Nowadays, the 25 year old reggae artist is steadily expanding his worldwide fanbase with his shows, tours, and releases.
Warmed up by Dutch reggae formation Heights Meditation Band (semi finalist for the Benelux Reggae Contest), the crowd is taken by storm when headliner Romain makes his entrance, backed by the young and compact Unit Band. ‘Wha Dis Pon Me’, ‘Wanna Go Home [Rain Is Falling]’, ‘Taking You Home’, he starts off full speed, with a seriousness in his ways that we’ve seen before, the first time he graced the stage in Amstelveen back in 2013. This time around, luckily in front of a much larger audience; about 200 people were their to witness the sweet voiced Virgo perform.
The first real magic happens when the band starts to play their hit ‘Love Doctor’. Warm and sensuous Lover’s Rock, with a contemporary twist. Romain and his backing vocalist experiment with their beautiful voice harmonies, while the band adds soul and jazzy notes, exploring the boundaries of Reggae music. Their talent and musicality is abundantly clear, as well as their connection with the crowd.
Romain continues the flirtatious mood with ‘Everlasting Love’, on the popular Tropical Escape Riddim. By the time he sets in ‘Cry Tears For You’, his audience is mesmerized. ‘Who Feels It Knows It’, ‘Soul Provider’, ‘Star Across The Sky’ and off course ‘Stay With Me’ are sung with devotion and intensity. For ‘Mi Caan Sleep’ -a song he wrote when he was 17 years old- he makes a playful exception; he hands over the mike to Danny Otten, singer of the Heights Meditation Band, who proves he knows the song by heart, much to the pleasure of Romain and his band, and the audience.
Romain Virgo is part of the new wave of young Reggae artists from Jamaica, like Chronixx, Kabaka Pyramid, Protoje, Iba Mahr, Etana, Jesse Royal and Jah9, but he is very much his own person at the same time. More of an ideal son in law than a rebel, more of a romantic than a roots man, but still undeniably a top notch Jamaican reggae musician. Eager and serious in their stage presence, songs well polished and perfected for a live performance, and charming and approachable in their energy, this band seems to be more than ready for the bigger stages in Holland. To reach a larger audience for one, but also to dot the i’s of their wonderful live sound. After P60 and Reggae Sundance, I wonder what will be the next Dutch venue they will captivate.
Powered by P60 and Cafe The Zen - Report by: Iris Engelman
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