To quote Machel Montano’s 2014 hit, 1Love 2017 was simply E.P.I.C.
The Trinidadian soca superstar pulled out all stops for the show held at the Concorde Experience last Sunday night.
Amid a delectable fusion of Barbadian, Trinidadian and other Caribbean music, patrons were forced to forget — if only temporarily — about the muddy and messy conditions of the rain-drenched venue as they partied the night away.
By half time, it was commonplace to see women with shoes in hand, as men and women alike slithered in the mud, amid the joyful sounds of sweet soca, dancehall, reggae and a splash of R&B music.
Although the show got off to a late start, spirits were immediately lifted as soon as Barbadian acts Marvay, Faith, Sanctuary, Aidan, TC, Kirk Brown and Hypasounds, who was obviously troubled by some technical difficulties on the night, hit the stage.
However, Hypasounds was still an absolute delight to watch as he encouraged his obedient fans to spread their legs and ‘dip, dip, dip’ at his command.
Trinidadian Kendal Haynes was also in fine voice as he brought In love With De Road, a single which was released specifically for Crop Over 2017, but it was Trinidadian soca queen Patrice Roberts who had the crowd eating out of her hands as she belted out powerful hit after hit and truly got patrons ready for the man of the hour – the so-called ‘Energy God’, Machel Montano – who took control of the stage at 11:15 p.m., generating an instant frenzy.
Immediately the Temperature in and around the Concorde rose 1,000 per cent, as the Monk and his HD Band, including his professional team of flexible ‘wuk-up-tologists’, delivered Fast Wine and every other kind of ‘dutty wine’ before a very receptive audience.
Talk about epic?
Well Machel fanatics, including members of a relentless Trini posse who made their presence felt in the VIP area, were clearly out in their numbers, answering his every call and singing along note by note as he performed Like A Boss and prepared would-be revellers for his Ministry of Road with Aura on Kadooment Day.
There was no stopping the groovy soca party, but as Machel was forced to warn at one stage that some of the acrobatic tricks performed on stage should not be otherwise tried, especially by those making the trek down Spring Garden Highway for Grand Kadooment.
During the absolutely riveting and high-energy set, there were memorable performances from the ‘orange hair songbird’ Nikita, King Bubba, Shaquille, Voice and Fadda Fox, who ordered members of the crowd to put away their cell phones and to bring back the Good Ole Days in the fete when every one simply used to jump and wave.
Hollaback also made a special guest appearance as Machel graciously assisted him in setting the record straight for the benefit of radio DJ Admiral Nelson, who had earlier publicly questioned the Bajan artiste’s claim that he wrote Tell Me for Machel.
On a night when regional unity seemed alive and well, Bajans also showed their love for Soca Viking Bunji Garlin and his wife Faye Ann Lyons who appeared on stage to Buss Head and Raze it.
At one point, the Monk and the Viking also shared the stage, seemingly to shut down rumours of a feud between them. This made the way for 2017 Party Monarch winner Lil Rick’s entry with Energy and Blessings.
And on a night when all seemed well with the region and with soca music, there was really no need for the Hypa Dawg to be “begging for peace”, but his fans still responded to his unmistakable musical call.
The only disappointment of the night was that rumours of a Rihanna appearance on stage never materialized, but that didn’t stop Machel from teasingly the crowd with Wild Thoughts of the Bajan superstar, before closing the show around 2 a.m. with Mr Fete.