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Blaxx, Benjai face off in b Square concert
Woodford Square, Port-of-Spain, was transformed into a soca arena yesterday as Groovy Monarch contenders Blaxx (Dexter Stewart) and Benjai (Rodney Le Blanc) engaged in a musical battle on stage at day two of b mobile’s free one-hour concert series, Soca in b Square.
Yesterday dubbed Feter Tuesday began with the band Roy Cape with vocalist Blaxx and recent addition Darnella Simmons. Blaxx warmed up a packed Woodford Square with his 2013 hit No Getaway and continued with his more popular songs. He was interactive with fans and stated boldly that this year he would be crowned Groovy Soca Monarch.
“Super Blue is my Power Monarch champion,” he told the crowd. “I am going to beat Iwer real bad, I am going to beat Saucy Wow (Denise Belfon) real bad. You see Machel (Machel Montano), I am going to fog him up.” The crowd screamed cheers of encouragement at the predictions.
It was at this point however that Benjai emerged from backstage to join Blaxx on stage and turned the lunch time concert into a “song clash”, leaving it up to the crowd to decide a winner. As Blaxx’s Tanti Woi and I Am Blessed battled against Benjai’s Tanty Say and Amnesty, it was clear there would be no winner.
It was equally clear there was no loser as everybody won, including the crowd that hungrily ate up the playful banter between the artistes. Blaxx performed a jazz version of his 2009 hit Tusty to which Benjai responded that he was “fed up of the same thing over and over.” Benjai embraced the participation of the crowd as the band started playing the instrumentals to his hit song Trini.
Benjai didn’t so much as sing a word but simply pointed the microphone to the crowd who excitedly sang every lyric for him while he responded by gyrating his waist and smiling his encouragement. When the seemingly impromptu clash ended Blaxx addressed the crowd.
He said: “We are trying to encourage the camaraderie among soca artistes so that we can see Machel and Bunji share a stage the way we just did or Kes and Shurwayne Winchester. “This is not a war. This is not a fight. This is good music for the people. We are one team.” Blaxx ended his set by playing what he considered the biggest tune for the season.
“A tune release about two-and-a-half weeks ago from an old man over 60, showing all the young boys, including me, who is boss,” he said, seconds before the sound of Super Blue’s Fantastic Friday had the entire crowd bouncing. The concert ended with a performance from Soca Monarch finalists JW and Blaze. Soca in b Square will continue tomorrow with Imagine Wednesday.