|Heiniken Heatwave nearly turned out to be a total disaster for the promoters last night, not because of a poor turn-out or police interference, but because the one 50 Cent was so scared he didn't want to leave his hotel to come to the venue.
Constant Spring Golf Club was host to the biggest crowd many had witnessed at a show in recent memory, and things got out of hand a little on a couple of occasions. A couple of fights broke out in the huge crowd and in the ensuing running up and down, the masses tore up nearly all fences, transforming the VIP into regular, with the backstage area catering for the overspill. Police fired off some shots to try and calm down the situation and order was restored right after Wayne Marshall had finished performing.
Vybz Kartel was the first name brand act to take to the stage and the monster crowd showed him lots of love. Likewise Wayne Marshall.
At minutes to 12, though the promoters were trying to keep it very quiet, we began to hear that 50 was hitched up in his hotel room, refusing to leave.
"50 doesn't feel safe," said one of his entourage. "We heard gunshots. The venue is not secure. Somebody got shot"
Mike Lighty, 50's roadie, was in conference with the promoters, who were fretting.
"Nobody got shot," they were stressing to 50's camp. "50 is completely safe. We can tell you one thing - if 50 doesn't come ah that time people will get shot."
Trust us, if 50 didn't come the whole of uptown would have been destroyed by the huge crowd, that was growing more and more impatient by the minute.
Meanwhile, order had been restored at the Golf Club and Elephant Man took to the stage. The Energy God never fails to deliver these days and put in another seismic performance. He had the 20,000 + crowd signalling the plane in spectacular style.
Next up was Bounty Killer, backed by his new band the Alliance. Killer came out firing on all cylinders and had the crowd bawling crazy forward as he mixed the old with the new.
Half way through his set, representatives of the promoter were desperatley trying to convince Bounty's management to get him to extend his performance. It was well after 1am and although the 2am curfew loomed, 50 was still at the hotel, refusing to leave.
"if this crowd even has to wait 15 minutes after Killer done, it will be mayhem," we overheard the representative pleading. "Tell Killer to draw it out. We are trying to locate an armoured car to bring 50 to the show now."
Predator's cameo saw him get one of his biggest crowd responses yet and the Warlord finished up his set.
2am was getting nearer and nearer and still no 50. The crowd sensed something was amiss and the bottles began to rain on the stage.
We then heard that the promoters had to get around 30 members of the Police Mobile Reserve, all toting M16s, to bring 50 from the hotel. He was, at last, on his way.
A path was cleared for 50, who emerged from his ride with a kerchief around his face and vest on his chest.
"Move over there please," one of the police officers was bright enough to ask me. "But mi nuh waan shoot 50," I replied. "nobody here wants to shoot 50, what is the matter with him?"
"Studio gangsta dat," said the officer.
Anyway the crowd got what they wanted eventually, greeting 50 with a thunderous forward. 50's performance was his usual wackness, his voice strained, drowned out by his hype men etc. though the gathered throng never cared. The sight of 50 on stage was enough for them.
He went through his hits, discarding his vest during the performance and even climbing atop speakers.
The forward for Many Men was the biggest and we cut after that.
Heinken Heatwave certainly was a show to remember, and the crowd never even knew how close it was to being
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