Chronixx was in his element at his virtual reggae concert “Cool As The Breeze” last weekend.
Chronixx treated his fans to a surprise live show on Sunday that was an artful, uplifting showcase of his catalogue with a set within a coastal scene. The nearly two-hour performance was complemented by the Zinc Fence Redemption Band and assisted by his reggae revival cohorts, Kabaka Pyramid, Jesse Royal, and Lila Ike. Streamed via Youtube and Facebook Live, the show was a mellow addition to an August afternoon that was already as cool as the breeze’ and a welcome shift from the artist’s previous stance on online concerts during COVID-19. Calling the internet appearances amid global suffering a “circus,” Chronixx was understandably skeptical before but has warmed to the format and dominated on his first attempt.
Kicking things off with a rhythmical rendition of “Dela Move,” the setlist was thoughtfully curated for the experience, bobbing and weaving like the ocean backdrop through songs of romance, militance, escape and praise. The wavy sounds of “Spanish Town Rockin’” blended into the slick strings of “Ghetto Paradise” and “Ghetto People,” before the ‘odd rass’ opened the floor to the first guest, Kabaka Pyramid. The Bebble Rock crooner’s solo slot was ‘well done’ before the two launched into their recent collaboration, “Same Prayer.” “Skankin Sweet” followed, a fan favorite capturing the joy of the genre that has served as Chronixx’s platform to global recognition and a Grammy nomination.
Though he prefers his own material, the “Legend” singer used the moment to pay homage to reggae giants with sultry, stylized covers of Dennis Brown’s “Have You Ever,” Bob Marley‘s Turn Your Lights Down Low, and Sizzla‘s Give Me A Try. Jumping back into his ‘chronology,’ he gave stirring deliveries of “Black is Beautiful,” “I Can,” “Majesty,” and “Capture Land.” Jesse Royal dropped in on the action with his hits “Modern Day Judas” and “Lion Order,” boosting his brethren on a short freestyle before making his exit. Next up with their show of support was the lilting songstress Lila Ike, whose energetic ensemble included “Thy Will Be Done” and a mashup of Protoje’s ‘song of the summer’ contender, “Like Royalty,” feat Popcaan.
Chronixx’s own summer banger was next, and “Cool As The Breeze” rang out with smooth falsettos even though he’d been performing for over an hour. Closing out with a hat-trick, Chronixx unleashed Likes, Loneliness and Legend, rolling the credits after an expertly freestyled thanks to the band and those tuned in. “Gratitude is a must/ ah Koffee seh dat fuss/ inna Selassie I we trust/ some people evilous/ But guitar strings a pluck/ Zinc Fence bad nuh …”
Aside from overflowing praise for the surprise session, fans noted that the comments section was turned off during the show. And it’s no wonder—Chronixx is a servant of musicality and not metrics, executing out of passion for his craft and never ‘fi di likes.’