It was a slow gathering on Friday night. But the sparse crowd enabled for better appreciation of the transformation of PSU. What a fantastic job. The ambiance, the lights, the festive decorations, the space. A fantastic job indeed. As the patrons took their time to arrive, the show took its time to begin. In fact, one could almost say that the tent began at the end. The All Star Band did their best to warm us into a jovial mood, and I dare say, they are improving from year to year. But it was really the comedic efforts of our Mcs, Val the Young Bull and Peter Pros that proved to be the gem and draw of the evening. Their quick humour, playful sarcastic banter, as well as their ability to laugh at themselves, made the evening worth it. What made them even more impressive is that their bag of trips extended beyond the usual sexual euphemisms we’ve come to expect from Dominican hosts.
As the show rolled along into its beginning, and the patrons slowly filled in, the consummate hopefuls did what they could to entertain us. Inciter, continued to insist that he Will Sing Calypso, Mighty Acre contributed with Ou Pa ni Toilet, while Sugar S addressed the issue of Leaders Living Beyond their Means. The parade continued with Pick Lock’s amazing idea of Boom Boom Burst to be followed, quite unbelievably, with Open the Hole from Lady B. Among them, Triumph stood like a giant with his witty Progress. But when the new doesn’t quite cut it, it is wise to resort to the old. A successful strategy employed by Boople, who really teased the crowd out of their calmness with his lucky charm, Pirates. But that was just the beginning of the blast from the past. Choke Choke took us to 1982 with Mafia La, while WCK, yes, WCK, gave us some old school calypso-soca from the likes of Baron. Indeed, I asked myself, where am I, and after looking around to confirm that it was a calypso event, I settled in to listen to their calypso birth with Cat. An interesting concept, merging the two art forms of calypso and bouyon. Not quite ready to master calypso this year, but soon CK, soon. They did however chorale the crowd.
The show was getting ready to really begin by this point. Mas Camp’s more renowned contenders, took the stage each to requested encores, as the crowd chanted the mantra of the evening, “we want more.” Trendsetter, competition angst for the year over, was more relaxed with Malpapaie. Lightning, with his lion’s mane, facial make up and tail, passionately delivered Lion in the Jungle. Then came Walksup’s bouncy Photograph. The fire that is Mas Camp had finally been lit. Leona electrified with Do Unto Others. Sye, the hype man, broke us in with his Road Match hit Burning to ease us into his 2013 One Day. Daddy Miller thrilled us all with Illegal King, Deros truly at his peak, owned the crowd with Ba Yo Blanc Balen. Vigilante, had everyone moving as he comfortably delivered Put Your Hand Between your Legs. Bobb wisely kept the energy level with his yesteryear, Jamming, before he went into concert mode to showcase his vocal abilities in Find A Way. Calypso truly has become the excuse, the opportunity, the gateway, to an audience and a stage!
Formula successful, Soul Puss also went for the old before the new. Never Be a Slave Again was soothing and was the perfect introduction to Not a Dictator. With the people properly roused, the showstopper, King Dice took the stage to bring the curtains down. He performed a medley of Send Me and On My Own, sending his fans into rapture before settling everyone down to Beat me Mama Beat me, Teach me Mama Teach me. The applause was wild.
So, Mas Camp has settled into a new home, and has settled into their Friday night. It took a while to pull out the energies of their patrons, but their heavyweights came out in succession and proved just why they are the heavyweights. But even more than the heavyweights, it was the glory days of something old, which allowed us to embrace something new.
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