Had it not been for Sherwin Gardner and Tye Tribbett, the LIME One Awesome Day concert at the Farley Hill National Park last Sunday, may have been just One Ordinary Day.
Having said that, there were creditable performances from son of the soil John Yarde, overseas guests artistes Damita Haddon and United States-based Barbadian saxophonist Curtis Haywood.
Notwithstanding the fact that local acts Nicovia & Larix and Sirrah seemingly tried hard to impact, my observation is that the big stage, the massive crowd and the wide open spaces combined to overwhelm their “weak” voices and their inability to take control of the moment.
Inexperience could be attributed to that inability to compensate for the lack of “powerful voices” and the “light” vocal timbre that evidently held them back from soaring above the accompanying music.
Those limitations were equally stark when Nicovia & Larix tried to communicate with the sea of people and their – by that time – faint voices became all but lost.
Although Sirrah’s fortunes were noticeably better, they were not enough for her to dominate the stage and set the Farley Hill National Park on fire.
If there was another issue which one could term unfortunate was the decision by the organizers of the Barbados Gospelfest to end the concert with a performance by Providence. It was clearly an anticlimax. People complained – and I agree – that after headliner Tye Tribbett had whipped patrons into a frenzy and finished his lengthy set on a musical, spiritual and emotional high, it would have taken someone two or three times more dynamic and endearing, to supersede his act.
Providence fell way short.
In fact, when Tye had completed his performance, I thought it was the end of the concert, especially considering that the main headliner is always the final performer.
And that’s my cue to pronounce on Tye. I would describe his performance as a resurrection one. His mixture of verve, energy, ministry, infectious music and song, would certainly have revived any dead emotions or spirit.
Tye’s energy, his groovy, driving rhythmic renditions and communication with the crowd, left no doubt that he was controlling the moment. His commanding stage presence and interactive approach spilled over into the masses who demonstrated their appreciation by singing along, dancing, raising their hands and even feeding back their love by requesting their favourite songs. He just rocked the place to its foundation.
Caribbean artiste Sherwin Gardner also took control of the stage and showed his experience as a seasoned Christian artiste who is accustomed to the big events.
He was evidently comfortable as he used the entire stage and rendered his luring, catchy and inspiring mixture of Caribbean rhythms, groovy soul and rock. It was not just a question of great music, but meaningful lyrics that told stories.
I have though to give kudos to the locally assembled backing band that worked throughout this year’s Barbados Gospelfest. I think the band was fantastic and made me proud.
But I have a word of caution to the emcee of the LIME One Awesome Day concert: watch your behaviour and antics that they don’t emulate those of an emcee at a bashment.