Getting live is easy to do when you’re in Philadelphia, but it’s even easier when you’re at a concert, surrounded by 2,000 screaming fans and the performer is Sean Paul.
The dance hall reggae star performed hit singles off his new album The Trinity at a performance at the Electric Factory March 27.
Fashionably loud, Paul appeared on stage wearing a black blazer, a white collar button up adorned with a vintage tee and stone washed blue jeans. “It’s always a nice thing to be performing,” screamed Sean Paul to the crowd. “Where’s all my Philly ladies?”
The crowd was diverse. Young teens tried to keep up with the dancers, while adults swayed their hands to the reggae beats. “I’ve been waiting for Sean Paul for months and he’s finally here,” said Rafia, 33, as she moved to the rhythmic, seductive vibes.
A native of St. Andrews, Jamaica, Sean Paul Henriques, 32, began writing songs before becoming a DJ in 1996. Following the style of his mentor Supa Cat, Sean Paul made contacts with the reggae band Third World and began recording soon after. A year later he released Deport Them and Infiltrate.
A reggae artist new to the industry, Reinford “Kulcha Don” Gibbons, 30, opened the show, performing his single “It’s all about you” off the album of the same name. “I feel at home in Philly,” said Gibbons. “I can’t wait until I can come back and perform for hours, when it’s my show.”
Accompanied by his brother Jiz Zog Henriques, who primarily served as a hype-man, Paul rose the crowd’s temperatures. He grazed across the 44 foot-wide stage, managing to keep up with the dancers even with his minor injury. “A 500 pound lady sat on my leg,” joked Paul to the crowd.
Reminiscent of Jamaica’s best dance hall queens, Paul’s five female backup dancers were phenomenal. “I really liked the dancers,” said Temple sophomore La Jonel Brown. “They really helped to bring the show alive.”
Wearing black mini shorts and bra revealing blazers, the dancers flooded the stage as Paul performed “Like Glue.” Paul also performed earlier hits from his Dutty Rock album, “I’m Still in Love with You,” a bouncy duet with Sasha and “Get Busy.” He then went on to perform hits from his latest album, including the radio-hot song “Temperature” and singles “Breakout” and “We Be Burnin.'”
Paul’s third album The Trinity was released last September and sold over 107,000 copies worldwide within the first week. The Recording Industry Association of America named it the best ever initial week performance by a reggae artist.
Stacy Nelson can be reached at Stacy.Nelson@temple.edu.