Words by LargeUp Crew
Photos by Neil Dyer
In the wake of the destructive one-two punch of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria last month, the Caribbean has struggled to pick up the pieces. Things are still a long way from normal in Puerto Rico, Dominica, St. Maarten, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands and Anguilla, as well as parts of Haiti, D.R. and Cuba, and the now-entirely uninhabited Barbuda. The ability to raise funds online (DONATE TO OUR DOMINICA RELIEF FUND HERE) is helping to expedite the recovery process in ways unimaginable in earlier eras, but when it comes to making an immediate impact, nothing gets the ball rolling like a benefit concert. Fortunately, after a few quiet weeks, the Caribbean music community has really begun to mobilize, with major events planned for coming weeks in Trinidad and Antigua.
On Monday night, Major Lazer stepped up with a benefit concert of their own, dubbed Relief is the Mission, in one of the capitals of the Caribbean diaspora, Miami. The event was hastily organized in just about a week, but you would never have known that from watching the show. Utilizing an outdoor stage at Miami’s Mana Wynwood facility that was already in place for the previous weekend’s III Points Festival, the show moved along seamlessly. Following DJ sets by DJ Chino, Fully Focus and Ricky Remedy, Skip Marley and Konshens delivered brief performances followed by a climactic set from Major Lazer who brought out guests Bad Bunny, Tarrus Riley, Tory Lanez and Machel Montano.
All proceeds from the more than 4,000 tickets sold are going to Caribbean relief funds, with additional funds also raised via Major Lazer’s Facebook. Here’s a few highlights from the show.
It was only fitting that Bad Bunny, the current voz de la calle in Puerto Rico, one of the islands hardest hit by the storms, made an appearance.
Bad Bunny repping for PR and the Caribbean, along with Jillionaire, Walshy Fire, Diplo and the Major Lazer dancers.
Relief was the Mission…
Hands in the air for Major Lazer….
Angela Hunte was in the building.
When it comes to representing for Caribbean culture in Miami, there’s only one Walshy Fire.
Everyone falls off stage sometime… Tory Lanez runs over the crowd, literally.
Walshy Fire takes a breather.
LargeUp’s DJ Gravy with Tarrus Riley.
Skip Marley, after his performance. The Miami-raised grandson of Bob Marley (and son of Cedella) also brought out his cousin Jo Mersa during a brief set.
Walshy Fire keeping the crowd energized, as always.
Diplo reaches out into the crowd.
The king of soca Machel Montano closed the show with a classically energetic performance.