It was billed as the Mega Cavalcade, but Crop Over 2016 got off to a lowkey start last Friday night, as the first event on the official calendar came off at the Briar Hall Playing Field in the heart of Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley’s Christ Church West-Central Constituency.
Well past 9:30 p.m., patrons were still strolling into the event, which attracted a much smaller crowd than last year” heavily patronized event in Queen’s Park, The City. This led many on the night to question the wisdom of the move to Briar Hall.
Nonetheless, those patrons who came early were treated to the sweet sounds of the Harrison College Steel Orchestra, a performance from Dancin Africa and a display of costumes from three Foreday Morning bands.
The new artistes segment this year featured Stathis, Chenice and Rhea. They performed well and should be commended, especially Chenice, who was a joy to watch and listen to, displaying much confidence on the stage. Definitely one to watch for the future!
Following that was a back-in-time segment featuring some veterans of the industry: Red Plastic Bag, Biggie Irie, and Mistah Dale. These three took us back with many hits from their repertoires, including Ragga Ragga, Nah Going Home and Soca Junkie. These were all backed by the Legend Band.
The Energy Band, the second backing band on the night, also performed creditably, giving us what we have grown accustomed to from them — quality music. However, the same could not be said of their frontline that included Kirk Brown, Imani and new addition Sanctuary. They lacked the chemistry that was very evident last year when they thoroughly impressed, with former two-time calypso monarch iWeb as part of their line-up. He was noticeably absent this time around.
The stalwarts in the industry proved to be the “saving grace” of the Cavalcade, bringing some form of life to the free show. Those performing included, Don Trent, Damien Marvay, Leadpipe And Saddis, King Bubba, Stiffy, Hypasounds, Lil Rick, Edwin Yearwood and Peter Ram who brought the event to a close just after midnight. They performed new and old hits, whetting the appetites of the soca lovers in the crowd, and getting them prepared for what is to come for the rest of the season.
The patrons should be commended for their good behaviour on the night, as no interruptions were recorded, given the increased police presence.