Once he’s alive and well, Trinidadian soca star, Machel Montano, is assuring his legion of Barbadian fans that he definitely will be back to party hearty again for Crop Over 2017.
“It’s all about one love and unity,” he told Bajan Vibes after giving an epic performance at the One Love show on Sunday night at the Concorde Experience.
The privately-organized show, staged for the second year in the Crop Over calendar spot formerly held by Cohobblopot, was dubbed ‘The Ultimate Crop Over Climax’.
From the satisfactory feedback, the show lived up to this billing for the thousands of soca lovers who converged for the party at the Christ Church venue in close proximity to the Grantley Adams International Airport.
“Big up to the promoters. The new venue was a good move,” remarked a satisfied Montano. Kensington Oval was the venue for the inaugural show last year.
From the start, the crowd was in a cruising mode as local acts, representing the best of Crop Over 2016, got them ready for what was to come.
The line-up included the likes of Biggie Irie, Shaquille, Joaquin, Hypasounds, Grynner, Damien Marvay, King Bubba and Nikita, Lil Rick, Stiffy, Marzville, Xcel, and Peter Ram who did their best to hype up the soca hungry crowd.
Once the local acts were through, the crowd could hardly contain its anxiety for the man they all came to see — the energy god Machel Montano. However, they had to endure an extended break of 45 minutes for a band change before he was able to hit the stage.
The crowd became restless because of the long wait but no one moved until the Monk Montief came on to the stage. Once he appeared, his overflowing energy almost immediately brought the crowd alive.
Montano sang hit after hit after hit including Haunted, Like a Boss, Fog, Happiest Man Alive, Mr Fete, Drinking Rum among many others.
Included in his two-hour set were the Afrobeats boss WizKid, and Runtown, two performers out of Nigeria. Their popular tune Bend Down Pause has been blowing up the airwaves over the past several months and the crowd was more than delighted to see them live.
Describing the rhythmic Afrobeats as the next step for soca, Montano told Bajan Vibes the Nigerian performers brought a refreshing dimension to the Crop Over show.
“Right now, Afro-soca is one of the biggest movements in the world and it is beyond just soca mixed with the African music or African beats. It is about us understanding our music and our ancestors. So we welcome WizKid, we welcome RunTown,” he said.
“Most importantly, we wanted to keep up the standard, we wanted to incorporate the trends of the time. So we had Bajans with Africans, Trinis with Africans and I feel like we are on the tip of the sphere, because right now Afro soca is the next step.”
Other overseas acts who performed during Montano’s set were Voice, Skinny Fabulous, and Angela Hunte who added to the already brilliant show put on by Machel and the One Love dancers.
The promoters had promised a grand show, one to rival all others, and they delivered in every aspect. From the smooth park and ride system to the easy access to bars and food stations to the spectacular show.
They definitely should take a bow.