by Kamilah Cadogan
Despite persistent heavy showers, thunder and lightning, and an island wide power outage, scores of pan lovers came to Brandon’s Beach to enjoy this year’s Neal & Massay/Republic Bank Pan Pun De Sand.
The event started at 3 p.m. with the Eastland All Stars, followed by Pan Extreme, who both performed before a moderate crowd. By the time Reddy Panners hit the stage the crowd had grown significantly and everyone was swaying and rocking to the calypso beats.
When popular pan band Olakunde took the stage, a heavy downpour during their set could not dampen the mood of the crowd as everyone waved their umbrellas and some even danced in the rain. They played an eclectic mix of soca and reggae.
The highly anticipated Mosaic was next and they took the event to another level with their high energy performance. Opening their set with the theme song from Sesame Street, everyone knew they were going to be in for a treat. And such was the case. Playing a wide range of songs from Adele to Lil Rick, Mosaic had the entire crowd dancing to the sweet rhythm. As a surprise to all, reigning Party Monarch, Mikey took the stage to perform his popular hits We Loose and No Behaviour, ably backed by Mosaic band and dancers. The crowd was begging for more as they exited the stage.
Tropical Steel followed, taking the tempo down a notch with a more sober selection of songs and again the intermittent showers returned.
The final band of the night was Republic Bank Exodus out of Trinidad and Tobago, who finished the night on a high. The 50-member band performed an hour-long set with popular Trinidadian hits and a medley of Spring Garden I Coming and Cassandra, which had Bajans waving their rags, flags and umbrellas in appreciation. Two of the band’s members showed their versatility and took the microphone and performed songs with the band.
The ultimate surprises were performances from both Red Plastic Bag and veteran kaisonian Black Stalin backed by Exodus. RPB performed Feting, one of his songs for this year’s Crop-Over. Black Stalin showed he still had it when he took the stage, ending the night on a very high note.
All in all, it was a damp but delightful evening of sweet pan music.