There’s nothing better than getting to relive some of your favourite songs and artists on a Wednesday night at The Forum, and Shaggy and Sean Paul were set to deliver.
As part of their appearances at the One Love Festival in the Gold Coast and New Zealand, the duo announced a string of sideshows that excited a whole range of punters in Melbourne. The diverse crowd spanned from groups of teens to entire families who had made their way into the city to have a boogie with the two icons.
Josh WaWa White opened the stage with some dancehall to get everyone warmed up, while The Forum continued to steadily fill. While the show had initially been slated for the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, The Forum was the perfect venue, with plenty of drinks flowing and more than enough room to dance.
When Shaggy finally came out, he pulled out all the stops. Crowd favourite ‘Mr Boombastic’ was early on in his set list, which had everyone in the audience going wild right off the bat. The enthusiastic crowd maintained the level of excitement for majority of the show, while Shaggy and his band effortlessly matched it.
The crowd interaction throughout his set was at an all time high. There were back and forth battles between each side of the room, call and responses, dancehall appropriate choreography tutorials and the ever-present nostalgia that filled The Forum only made it ten times better. Songs like ‘Oh Carolina’ and ‘Angel’, seemed to raise the temperature in the room straight away, and there wasn’t a single person from the front of the mosh pit to the back of the bar who wasn’t moving in some way. It was only fair that he finished with his smash, ‘It Wasn’t Me’.
Sean Paul only served to raise the intensity even more. His set was accompanied by a more than capable band and DJ, as well as two exuberant dancers who kept the crowd thoroughly entertained through the entire performance. Amongst the hoards of freebie T- shirts and towels that were thrown into the crowd, came track after track after track, a true testament to just how long Paul has stood the test of time. Collaborations with Sia, Beyonce, Alexis Jordan and plenty more were combined into one big mash-up that had the crowd cheering each time a new tune began. Of course, he played his crowd favourites, like ‘Temperature’, his collaboration with Dua Lipa ‘No Lie’, before finishing with ‘Get Busy’.
It was a passionate display of Jamaican dancehall and reggae from two of the genre’s heavy-hitters, and it made for one of the wildest Wednesday night’s The Forum has seen.
Reviewed by Priya Francis