Hundreds descended on the Checker Hall, St Lucy playing field to be part of the Centennial celebrations in honour of National Hero, the late Errol Walton Barrow. The concert was held not too far from where the island’s first premier was born and directly after Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley had unveiled a rock in The Garden to commemorate the historic occasion.
Just over 40 acts were on stage which augured well for the local entertainment fraternity. It was a mixed bag of gospel, soca, R&B, spouge, tuk band, soul and steel pan.
The challenge is that with all that talent in one place, sharing one space, the packaging and execution of the actual concert must be on point. But that was not the case Tuesday evening. The effective management and use of the top talent on stage were lacking.
If staging a “Mega” concert was the only aim, then the producers were successful. But if the intent was to do something grand, spectacular and memorable to mark 100 years, then they failed.
The production lacked punch and had little vibe from the audience for the greater part of the four-plus hours. To its credit, the concert kept rolling and there was hardly any down time or dead air but the failure was not having a truly fulfilling concert with the ultimate climax.
Having performers use two stages helped to keep things rolling. However, the programme needed rejigging. It was clear that the presence of some of our major artistes was not felt based solely on song selection or lack thereof.
Nonetheless, the eight or so screen readings and audio of some of The Dipper’s most memorable moments was the most nostalgic and impactful part of the night.
The crowd was unmoved and remained seated for the majority of the event. Thanks to RPB that changed when he hit the stage singing Ragga Ragga and by the time he sang his second song, Boat Ride, the entire playing field was in pandemonium. People seemed only too happy to have reason to dance and prance around. After all, they did come for a grand 100th celebration.
He was followed by Quon who did John King’s All Hands on Deck, which was the only song for the night which paid direct tribute to the Father of Independence.
Biggie Irie kept the vibe going with Get Busy, while living legend Grynner rocked the crowd with Turn Up The Speaker and Leggo I Hand.
The final singer of the night was Mr Crop Over himself, Lil Rick. Patrons were on their feet gyrating to the sounds of Iza Bajan and Mother Sally. The night closed with the music of Youth Combined Steel Orchestra and Izavybe. (IMC)