by Emmanuel Joseph
The Headliners Calypso Tent opened last night at PLAE, formerly the Ocean Park at Balls, Christ Church, with an entertainment package fit for most tastes.
Even the emcee Adrian Boo Husbands, was a headliner in himself. With his changing character roles of reporter, to Trini, Englishman, but substantially African, Boo kept the show moving along smartly, while providing much comic relief with his almost flawless African accent.
The tent is good for social commentary of varying shades, entertainment with a social commentary twist, appealing and not so appealing party songs, spoken word and rhythm poetry, sweet soca and touches of ragga soca, as well.
Like in most events of this nature, there were highs and lows, but essentially highs.
For me, too many acts served up more bumper selections than I cared to consume. However, those who deserved the headlines were Tabitha, who was very impressive in her social commentary – and received an encore – poet Busta Blue Ray HD, performing Nothing, Blood, 2012 Party Monarch and Sweet Soca king, Mikey and the Blood-Mikey combination of Soka Kartel, sweet soca semi-finalist Christal Austin and a slimmer Lorenzo with his rocking party popper Missing Something.
For overall creativity, spontaneous audience engagement and insightfulness, top marks must go to dreadlock poet, Busta Blue Ray HD, who succeeded in making something out of Nothing. It was incredible how he managed to literally wake up the audience which up to that point in the first half, seemed to require a stimulus to get patrons actively involved. It was a profound social commentary, using the word nothing, to address issues of a political, economic, relationship and social nature. Nothing is recommended listening.
High marks must also go to Tabitha for her strong and convincing rendition of List To Me as well as Soka Kartel’s Roll It, which, to my mind, is definitely a leading contender for the party monarchy. That too, was one of the other massive standout selections of the night. Roll It brought the more-than- four-hour show to an end as the punch lines got tent attendees to obey, when told “hands on yuh head and roll it; hands on yuh waist and roll it; hands on yuh knees and roll it; hold yuh ankles and roll it.”
The irrepressible Contone was also in the house. He treated the audience to two uptempo tunes – Wuk Yuh Waist and Show Dem – a catchy funky soca fun song that dealt with some social issues. This one was the more desirable of the two. The other number – Show Me The Money – was more comic reliefthan anything else. The other performers were Mark Lorde, Paula Dion, Yannick Hooper, Fabee, Blank, Verseewild, Adrian Green, the Summa and Livia duet, Brett Linton, Iamfree and D2. Headliners will pitch its tent again on Sunday night 7 o’clock at PLAE.