November 20, 2008
Vybz Kartel, Bugle and Spice ruled in Guyana
(By Mondale Smith Entertainment Editor Guyana Times)
Kudos to Conscious Minds promotions for staging the energy packed 'November to Remember' showcase at the National Stadium Saturday evening into Sunday morning.
Hours before the show the heavens down pour threatened the event and many who had initially showed interest in attending changed their minds to avoid the soggy venue but by Showtime it's' hands were kind.
While the crowd was not as mammoth as was the case for previous promotions the thousands who turned out have much to talk about thanks to commendable performances from all the artistes.
However, Vybz Kartel and his Portmore crew, Bugle, Spice and to a lesser extent D' Angel were the shining stars.
The Hopper with some reluctance left home at about 23:00hrs and headed to the stadium. Surprisingly upon arrival there seemed a mad rush by scores to get into the venue but hopper took less than five minutes to get after passing the security test.
The sound was impressive and clear but the numbers were now building. Using his privilege the Hopper took up his place within the barricades and watched the show unfold.
For about an hour Deejays with varying degrees of musical dynamism tinged with some amount of inappropriate language entertained and hyped the crowd with the help of the Polar Ice models.
Then at Mid-Night the international show began with the Jamaican Street Flex band in the lead.
A hyperactive Future Fambo burst onto the stage at 12: 07am encouraging patrons to "Shout out Fambo" and the crowd was excited. But after a few minutes of dishing out "me nah want no girl dress like man" and the one time popular "Hiah, Hiah Who" the audience was less than eager and became spectators. Fambo palavered a bit with messages that obviously went over the audiences head until he stated that "Tom drunk not Tom fool."
The audience's demeanour went from static to wild imitations of a drunken man doing the "drunken dance" as the artiste jumped off the stage to the ground and climbed onto the barricade and then up the stage side pole before concluding on the stage.
The Hopper can still hear the ladies singing like an anthem "me's ah gyal me nah fight over man." The men with loud lustful statements went wild and some mounted the security barricades to get closer to the sultriest singer. Without inhibitions the woman's presence grabbed and held onto her audience's interest remained throughout her stage performance that included lessons for women to keep their men in check. Spice added humour to her performance with her version of "survival story' that told a virgin's story. Taking off her shoes to better manoeuvre the stage she registered a message that women can make men run and then boldly sang "me done take you man so what?" Another crowd favourite was "tight daggering" that saw several men clambering to the stage for a chance to get close to the artiste and then it was the ladies turn to show what Guyanese dancers can do. After giving brief lessons in dance moves from Jamaica which included the "gully creeper" and "swipe" it was ballad time. Despite being what some might term lude this artiste proved her vocal versatility by moving from dance hall into a singer mode with a voice to par with Alicia Keys. She did a remix of "everything's gonna be alright" in which she sang "No one can Stop me from achieving" that dumfounded the audience briefly. But being through to her roots Spice went back into dancehall mode and dished "walk out to exit the stage to celebratory applauses and shots for more. The Hopper notes that this artiste holds much promise on either side of the musical fence of being soulfully clean and smooth or being down and dirty.
The Hopper must admit that he does not approve of all of the lyrical content of Vybz Kartel's songs but the man sure knows how to entertain and he certainly has a mega Guyanese fan base. He's like a Caribbean Michael Jackson is the Hopper's honest opinion.
This teacher/entertainer/politician made his way on stage with several protégés at 2: 20hrs Sunday morning and apparently there were no holds barred. The private security personnel could not restrain the ladies some of whom made their way to the stage and ran to grab the artiste screaming uncontrollably
Patrons mounted the barricades by the dozens and packed the VIP area as the artiste that some waited five years to see live on the local shores began his act with the popular "picture me and you."
He followed up with "Good morning sir," "take buddy gyal," "gunshot," "in my life," and "I never." He then went into DJ mode rendering a remix of the hip hop hit "lollipop." He cleared the air on misconceptions and noted that he could not come to Guyana five years ago because of "a little thief name Ice" who he said robbed the GT people. The audience celebrated in the positive when he asked if locals wanted to see him return to the local shores again.
Using every inch of the stage, keeping eye contact with those closes by and sharing quick personal conversations to the ladies he preached life and then delved into the crowd favourite "money feh spend."
Jah Vinchy a port more crew member then joined Kartel with "have to make a stroll/ "We want money to spend.
At 3:00hrs D'Angel was back on stage followed by Slim with too tough for me. Kartel then threw his shirt in the audience and Pandemonium broke out front stage as man and women fought for a piece of the shirt. Most disappointing was the fact that of all the people in the crowd a man with bulging biceps and triceps in a celebratory mood who will never be able to fit in the shirt was waving it in the air. Other good performances came from Erupt, Bugle, Konschen and D’Angle.The show ended minutes to 4:00hrs and there were no major incidences reported.