It was a priceless soca show and a night fitting for legends; legends whose voices are as golden as when they started their careers decades ago. The show was made richer with the presence of MC Admiral Nelson whose sound knowledge of the art form and its history provided invaluable information throughout the night.
I don’t think it’s too early for the producers to bill next year’s event Soca Goes Platinum or Soca Goes Diamond. Clearly, what they offer is worth way more than gold. The Eden Lodge Youth Charitable Trust outdid itself this year with the staging of Soca Goes Gold 2 at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre (LESC) last Saturday night.
The mark of any great show is how it starts and how it finishes.
The show began with a fitting tribute to the late great kaiso legend, Trinidadian Shadow, who died on October 23 at age 77. It was the Mighty Bit Bit, his powerful seven-year-old Bajan vocals and his mentor Gabby who had the honour. Under the patronage of Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, the show ended with David Rudder’s impassioned plea to Rally Round the West Indies.
While the start and finish are two good gauges to measure a show’s greatness, what transpired in between was amazing.
Around 10:25 p.m., a soca General took to the stage clad in a red jacket. Hours after being flown in from New York, Edwin Yearwood gave a high-energy, entertaining and enjoyable performance.
Belting out some of his favourite hit songs, Obadele, Yardie, Pump Me Up and Sak Pase, to name a few, the army leader took full control of his soca charges. His wish was their command. The obedient crowd did all he asked. Even those sitting found themselves swaying from left to right as the sounds of Sak Pase vibrated through LESC.
In a mixed crowd of old, young, in between, black, white and Indian, the talented entertainer had the crowd rocking and singing along. It was over 40 minutes of an amazing performance that simply could not have been topped.
Cultural Ambassador Mighty Gabby then made a solo appearance. It was hit after hit after hit including Hit It, Dr Cassandra, Boots and Jack. The multiple kaiso king who has gone abroad and represented Barbados well in competitions showed why he was a living soca legend.
Trinidadian Gypsy was next on stage. The 65-year-old took the capacity crowd on a nostalgic trip down memory lane. The entertainer, whose real name is Winston Peters, started by singing his 1997 hit Little Black Boy. He got a little naughty in his rendition of For Cane.
He ended with his anthem The Sinking Ship but not before showing off his ex-tempo skills by doing an entire verse on Prime Minister Mottley whom he had campaigned for during the recent General Election.
Sweet singing Baron was up next. Although he looked a bit frail at times, the 70-year-old could still hit the notes and serenade the crowd. He sang hits such as Sweet Soca Man, Say Say (Fire Fire) and Feeling It. And as if to remind us that he was still a party man, the entertainer raised his shirt to show off some waistline moves that caused the crowd to scream and ball in amazement.
Closing the show was 65-year-old David Rudder who came on the stage singing: The Hammer. Truth is throughout his set he had little singing to do as the crowd did it nicely for him. He sang Calypso, Trini to De Bone, his signature universal tune High Mas and others as the crowd danced the night away.
Those who were previously sitting rose to their feet.
And although it was now minutes to 2 a.m., the night did not end then. Some party faithfuls stayed on and danced to the sounds of DJ music while others limed and chatted by the bar. It was clearly evident that a good time was had by all. (IMC)