It was a captivating production; it was an entertaining hour and a half; it was the stuff that Broadway hit shows and Hollywood Oscar award-winning movies are made of.
All eyes were fixed on the stage as Machel Montano, his Monk Band and dancers put on one heck of a show for the thousands who covered the grounds of Kensington Oval on the night of Tuesday August 1, 2018.
The show themed: RISE Soca Kingdom was a manifestation of Machel’s 2018 hit song Showtime: You g’yal over there, time to make a movie/ You g’yal over there, leh we make a movie/ One, two, three, action, Ben ova, ben ova, ben ova…”
At 2:55 a.m., Machel and the Monk Band hit the stage with the music of Soca Kingdom to the screams of thousands with cell phones in hand hoping to capture the moments.
He infected all, in general seating and VIP alike, with soca frenzy. There was jumping, bouncing, waving of rags and flags as Caribbean nationals were well represented.
The dancers too added to the spectacle. Both male and female dancers were acrobatic and showed great agility and flexibility. There was a dance off, or rather a show of skill, between female dancers that Machel called to stage one by one as he sang Doh Play Dat.
First up was a Trini dancer followed by a Slovakian. But it was pretty evident by the shouts and chants of her name that the crowd came to see ace Bajan dancer Nandi Yard and she did not disappoint.
The sensation, who danced with Dancin’ Africa, Dance Machine and now Riddim Tribe, left the Oval in an uproar. Her 35-second routine included splitting both horizontally and vertically, jiggling her buttocks, trembling and whining.
Then a male dancer climbed on top of a stack of speakers and did a series of somersaults until he landed on the stage. His performance was also met with screams and shouts of approval.
The night ended as it began with the theme song Soca Kingdom but this time, the legendary Superblue came onto the stage. He sang Jambalasse, Bacchanal Time and Fantastic Friday.
Before the main act there were homegrown acts that formed part of the build-up and hype. They included Stiffy, Jagwa, Marzville, Lil Rick, Hypasounds, Mikey, RPB and Hollaback, the lone Bajan who performed with Machel and the Monk Band.
One major disappointment for both soca purists and loyal Machel fans was the inclusion of about five reggae songs in his set. That time could have been better used to take the crowd on a musical journey with some of his older hits like Big Truck, Music Farm, Footsteps, One More Time, Toro Toro, Dance With You and Craziness.
A word to the promoters of the show: the media tells your story. If it is a good show, that story will entice those who didn’t come to do so next time. When you treat the media with scant respect or like an afterthought, is it never in your best interest. (IMC)