It was a night of soul, surprises, and powerhouse vocals at Mahalia’s Corner last Sunday at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. It was the second of five shows for the 2018 Season.
The Three Kings – John Yarde, Alix Cage and Raphael Saul – the featured acts for the night – did not disappoint and beautifully crowned a procession of majestic performances that kept the packed audience enthralled throughout the night.
At 8 p.m., the lights went low and 2 Mile Hill took the stage to start the show, delivering a set designed to get patrons moving. Mahalia showed off her rapping prowess with a cover of Lauryn Hill’s That Thing and reminded everyone why the show bears her name with masterful renditions of Love Like This, Blow Ya Mind, Scrubs and original songs, Set You Free and Get Over.
However, it was the band’s next move that brought the audience to the edge of their seats. Mahalia called singers Nikita and Betty Payne to the stage for a stirring tribute to Aretha Franklin, performing Natural Woman to a standing ovation from the crowd.
The Open Mic session followed suit, proving there is a wealth of untapped musical talent in Barbados. Singer/guitarist Vince, former Junior Calypso monarch competitor Faith Murrell, and a very shy Lianna Lloyd performed well with warm encouragement from the audience. A standout in the Open Mic segment was young Jai Symone whose confidence and poise on stage was matched only by her powerful vocals as she performed India Arie’s I Am Light. Veteran gospel singer Larix also graced the open mic to perform her new song Run Away.
Perhaps the biggest surprise for the night came when 12-year-old Trinity Clarke, daughter of singer Kareen Clarke, was ushered on as Spotlight artiste. They say good things come in small packages but that seemed like an understatement when young Clarke, fresh from touring with a production of the Lion King in the U.S., opened her mouth and started to belt out notes effortlessly. Tears could be seen in the audience as she tenderly dedicated Wind Beneath My Wings to her mother in the audience, acknowledging that she had sacrificed everything to see her succeed.
And when it seemed like the show couldn’t get any better, The Three Kings made their entrance. The richness of their voices and easy way in which they harmonized with each other filled every corner of the room with a warm, joyous sound. Departing from the usual gospel classics that at least two of the kings, John Yarde and Raphael Saul, are known for, the trio tackled popular songs like Rihanna’s Diamond, Far from Finished, Kiss From A Rose and I’ll Be There, managing to maintain a feel good, uplifting and inspiring vibe and bringing the audience to their feet on countless occasions. While singing the reggae song Always On My Mind, Yarde singled out his new bride Viberta who was in the audience.
Mahalia’s Corner continues Sunday featuring singer Ch’An.
The Corner is also partnering with the National HIV/AIDS Commission for a special food drive on the night of the show to support the HIV Food Bank which is in dire need of supplies. Patrons are asked to walk with non-perishable food products and toiletries which will be collected at the door.