BASED ON THE OFFERINGS Saturday night, First Citizens Digicel De Big Show should factor heavily when the Pic-O-De-Crop semi-finalists are named. With big guns on their roster, in terms of multi-crown winners, the tent had a big opening night.
Whatever Ian Webster was selling in the tent, many people seemed to be buying. Say what you want but the kaisonian is a prolific performer and each year always brings a show to the Pic-O-De-Crop competition.
Going strictly by iWeb now, he owned the first half, not only getting the first encore but at intermission, the buzz was all about him.
The two-time Pic-O-De-Crop monarch returned in the second half to render an emotional and touching rendition of For The Souls, a sombre commentary on the pain families feel when they lose loved ones in vehicular accidents.
Assuming the identity of the “Rastaman” complete with wig, he was selling his votes to the highest bidder in Salesman. The witty piece extolled his purpose of letting Bajan politicians know it was strictly business and not personal that his mindset was all about dollars and cents (or sense).
The crowd that packed the Sea Rocks Dome in Maxwell, Christ Church, rightfully called him back for an encore. Well done WaterStreets Boyz, writers of both calypsos.
Former monarch Classic got the next encore for If You Don’t Know. He had many, many questions to ask, too many for people to keep track of, but the ones that stuck out lashed the powers that be who run the country and he also pondered the future of kaiso.
His encore saw him singing a new verse. His second song, Divorce, was playing on divorce, not of a female partner, but of all the people who sit in the House of Assembly. He wrote both.
On the opening night, party, sweet soca and commentary took centre stage.
Natahlee was first onstage, doing Never Give Up. The party continued with the sweet-singing and very talented Marvay (Stars Align and Antidote), Mistah Dale (Right Here and De Ting Start) and they tried to put Biggie in Rehab even though he is not in any competitions this year.
MRBLOOD did a commentary and a party song (the energetic Look Fuh Meh) and promised next week to “let go the attacking kaiso”.
In #Memos he explained why he placed third last year and was not crowned king, as the judges, the producer of the Pic-O-De-Crop competition and the top brass as the National Cultural Foundation got that memo late. He is making sure they get it early this year.
His former Headliner tentmate and Soka Kartel bandmate Mikey presented You Are A Winner, written by RPB. The message is about dealing with adversities, but it will need some more work. His party song I Love Dat is a no-brainer as he claims no shame in letting the world know party is the love of his life.
Mighty Grynner stunned the crowd when he came out in a red gown, looking like a Spiritual Baptist. He was filled with the “spirit”, falling on the stage and rolling as he did Mek Yuhself Right, a message he said he got from his deceased wife who admonished him to stop going into the rum shops and make himself right with God. The 70-year-old came back to do a sweet soca called the Road Boss. Although at times he was indecipherable, the crowd loves Grynner.
Adonijah did a tribute to the late Adrian “Boo” Husbands called Song For Boo. He is hoping the sentimentalism will sway the judges to see him to another finals. His second half number moved the crowd as he sang about domestic violence in She En Belong To You.
Both Chrystal Cummins-Beckles Holder and TC had almost the same message. The former did Claim Back Barbados from all the violence and wrongdoings, while TC wants Bajans to Stand Up against societal ills and exploitation. She closed the tent with the uptempo Paradise and “up de ting” with Buggy Nahkente joining her onstage to chant on it.
Kudos to the 11-member band, three backing vocalists and emcee Mac Fingall for the laughs and music.
Even though Sweet Soca and Party Monarch are not judged in the tent, it was nice to see them perform before the semis on July 7 at Kensington Oval.