By COREY CONNELLY Sunday, January 27 2013
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Women came out in their numbers to take in the performance of R&B sensation Brian McKnight at Ladies Night Out at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Fri...
American R&B sensation Brian McKnight lived up to his reputation as crooner extraordinaire during Friday night’s tenth anniversary edition of Ladies Night Out at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port-of-Spain.
Mesmerising the mostly-female audience with his seductive vocals and onstage charisma, McKnight, who arrived in Trinidad and Tobago on Thursday as the show’s special guest artiste, belted out several songs from his vast repertoire, which his adoring fans thoroughly enjoyed.
However, the night belonged to several of the country’s soca artistes, some of whom whipped the capacity crowd into a frenzy with their 2013 offerings and other perennial favourites.
During the event, special recognition was also paid to soca divas Nadia Batson, Destra Garcia, Fay Ann Lyons-Alvarez and Denise “Saucy Wow” Belfon for their contribution to the artform over the years.
Former monarchs Calypso Rose (Mc Artha Lewis) and Singing Sandra (Sandra des Vignes Millington) were also on hand to give wisdom to the audience toward the end of the six-hour programme.
The feisty Rose, who blazed a trail for many women in the industry, sang the ever-popular “Tempo” and other well-loved tracks while Singing Sandra rendered the ladies’ anthem “Die With My Dignity.”
A Randy Glasgow production, the show, hosted by comedians Errol Fabien and Nikki Crosby, began promptly at 8.30pm with an electrifying performance by Kes The Band.
Delivering an hour-long presentation titled, “The Isle of Kes,” lead singer Kees Dieffenthaller ran the gamut of his soca collection over the years. These included “Ah Coming For Carnival,” “Stressaway,” and signature tune “Wotless.” Accompanied by skimpily-clad dancers, Dieffenthaller, who had the women eating out of his hands, punctuated his performance with short trips through the audience to “tief a wine.”
Later, the artiste spoke about his love for TT and desire to take the music to international fora. He then sang several tunes from entertainer David Rudder, with whom he collaborated on the 2013 single “Live Yuh Life Like Yuh Playin Mas.”
“Tonight, this red man feeling to party,” Dieffenthaller declared, amid cheers from the audience.
Following Kes The Band, patrons were treated to an array of retro favourites, courtesy radio personality CG and deejay Dr Ross.
The half-hour interlude set the stage for the performance of McKnight’s performance, whom Crosby escorted on stage after prolonged banter with Fabien.
Dressed in a pair of black jeans and a patterned T-shirt, McKnight was welcomed with rousing applause.
“For all those ladies who do not have a man, I will be your man tonight. But don’t worry. I have been taking my supplements,” he declared.
Singing several of his popular hits, McKnight connected with many patrons and culminated his presentation by throwing several long-stemmed roses into the audience. The crowd, though, yearned for soca. And after McKnight, Sass lead singer Nadia Batson seemed to inject new life into patrons with current hit “Manager” and last year’s “No Pressure.” By the time, Bunji Garlin, his wife Fay Ann and the Asylum band arrived on stage, fete lovers were in a party mood. And the band did not disappoint.
Launching their performance with the ever-popular “Differentology” (We Ready), the Garlins had the crowd jumping to their every word. Fay Ann also delivered songs such as “Heavy-T Bumper” and “Start Wining.”
Garlin also urged the crowd to support his father-in-law Austin “Super Blue” Lyons in the finals of the soca monarch competition on February 8. Lyons, who dominated the soca scene for more than two decades, made a phenomenal return this year with his runaway hit “Fantastic Friday.”
Several performances later, Iwer George, who was not selected as a finalist in the Power Soca competition, also encouraged patrons to support Super Blue.
“If you want Super Blue to beat Machel (Montano), put yuh hand in the air,” he said.
The crowd roared.
Iwer, who has been in soca for the past 27 years, announced that he will stage his first concert on February 6 at the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port-of-Spain.
Iwer rendered “Bubble,” “Bottom In The Road” and several other selections which the crowd lapped up. Roy Cape, featuring Blaxx (Dexter Stewart), kept a jovial pace with “Leggo” and “Na Getaway.” Belfon, Shurwayne Winchester and Garcia also delivered highly-entertaining performances.
Garcia, who revealed that she had been involved in soca for the past 15 years, heaped praise on Roy Cape for taking her under his wing during her early years.