As a freshman here at the College of Charleston, J Boog was the first artist I had the pleasure of seeing at the Music Farm. I’ve been to a lot of concert venues—some small, some big, some way too expensive, some filthy. Though on the smaller side, the Music Farm compensated for its lack of size with its atmosphere.
J Boog had two openers, Inna Vision and Hot Rain, who were both reggae bands. They actually did not differ that much in sound, both utilizing that distinctive reggae rhythm that causes everyone to tap their feet and dance. My roommates and I watched from the balcony, which turned out to be a great people-watching position, as we got to witness a couple of die-hard J Boog fans dancing around and trying to engage the seemingly grumpy onlookers off to the side, who had probably chosen that spot for a reason.
The members of Hot Rain left the stage only for a few brief minutes, and then took the stage again, this time as J Boog’s band. The lighting was low and in shades of blue when the guitars and bass started up, the congas and drums coming in soon after, building the suspense for when J Boog would take the stage. Every member of the audience had their eyes glued to the stage. Finally, J Boog took the stage and started explosively singing the opening song. Although J Boog is also a reggae artist like the opening bands, he had a more powerful presence and voice that instantly brought your attention right to him.
Admittedly, I could understand very few words he sang or rapped, but he sang with such intent and power that I found myself completely immersed in the music. While he sang, he moved his hands and arms to express his lyrics, almost as if he was just talking with his hands. I found myself not being able to stop moving throughout the entire concert. However, I was not alone. Every member of the audience broke into silly spasms and movements that some could call dancing, with huge smiles plastered to their faces. Those grumpy onlookers from before became completely engaged and happy, because it’s almost impossible to be in a bad mood while watching an artist so passionate about his performance.
J Boog’s entire set blended seamlessly, as I was barely able to determine when a song was ending and starting, and he had the audience moving the entire night. Overall, I, along with everyone else in the audience, left the concert in a much better mood than when we came in. I think it’s safe to say my first experience at the Music Farm was a good one.