Freddie McGregor shines at Moon Palace - Live audience couldn’t get enough of reggae crooner on Independence Day
The man tagged ‘Mr Virtual’, Freddie McGregor, broke the mould last Thursday night, delivering his first live performance since January, at the Moon Palace Jamaica in Ocho Rios, St Ann.
McGregor, who has become a staple on some of the country’s biggest virtual events, including the world-renowned Reggae Sumfest, and the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s popular Festival Song Competition, brought down the house on Independence Day, confirming that nothing beats live and direct interaction with an audience.
In fact, the singer, whose white beard was the only evidence of the years he has been carrying under his belt, not only delivered timeless tunes, but boasted a voice that has not aged.
Promising the mainly Jamaican audience, which had a sprinkling of foreigners, that he would turn up the pressure 10 minutes into his one-hour set, McGregor, sweating profusely, used melody, harmony and stage appearance to park his Big Ship into the entertainment centre at the St Ann resort with ease.
When the Grammy-nominated artiste opted to sing the words “ I am alright”, he never needed to reconfirm this statement to the audience that seemed as hungry as him to be part of a live COVID-compliant event.
When McGregor sang his personal national anthem, So I Will Wait For You, the message was clear; he had come to satisfy the souls of his fans.
This was the singer’s second Independence Day concert at the largest hotel on the island, and it became obvious why he had been called back.
Boasting a winning combination from his impressive repertoire, McGregor did not forget the couples and lovers in the audience, dedicating two songs to them. A maestro in his field, the veteran made everyone at the concert feel special.
And when he exited the stage, after two encores, he described the evening as “surprisingly great”.
“It’s different when you have a live audience in front of you, in comparison to when you are pretending there exists an audience,” he told The Gleaner, adding that even without an audience, owing to his years of experience, he is not bothered.
Asked about the song known word for word by all his fans, McGregor said So I Will Wait For You had become as timeless as his voice.
“No matter where I perform, I have to perform that song because the audience always demands it. People just love it,” he said.
The artiste, renowned for songs such as Push Come to Shove, Africa Here I Come and I Was Born A Winner, said he had planned on dominating the music industry over the summer before COVID-19.
But instead he has been kept busy in the studio. He has a new single out titled Bawling, and is about to release another song with a young musician in a few weeks.