As memories of Rio 2016 fade, the sting of negativity surrounding T&T’s performance persists.
There was no shortage of puerile, less-than-clever memes targeting gymnast Marisa Dick.
The vibe was like that of an International Soca Monarch final except that this was no competition. Ladies Night Out, staged on Valentine’s Night, February 14, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port-of-Spain, was attended by what seemed to be more than 20,000 people, the majority of them women. It seemed as if women, on a night traditionally meant for couples and romance, had abandoned their male companions to attend.
But seen escorted were President Anthony Carmona, with his wife Reema, Olympic gold medalist Hasely Crawford, and retired army brigadier Carl Alfonso. A pre-show, hosted by radio personalities CG and Wassy, and held on a separate stage, served as a prelude to the main event, held on an enormous stage.
The pre-show featured lively performances by Snakey of Mayaro the Band, 5 Star Akil and Oscar B.
Kes the Band began proceedings on the main stage around 9 pm, introduced by comedienne Nikki Crosby and Synergy TV’s Mike Jones. As a team, Crosby and Jones did a good job at bringing added value to the proceedings.
Returning to the smaller “track stage,” Swappi, Kay-K, Mr Killa, Denise “Saucy Wow” Belfon, and Iwer George performed, further hyping up the electricity felt throughout the venue.
The president seemed to particularly enjoy Mr Killa’s performance which included three supple, plus-sized dancers. Departing from the now well-known lyrics of Rolly Polly, Mr Killa also displayed his ability to freestyle, much to the enjoyment of fans. Bunji Garlin, his wife Fay Ann Lyons & Asylum Vikings followed multiple Grammy Award winner, Peabo Bryson.
Thanking local audiences for supporting him on four previous visits to these shores, Bryson distributed long-stemmed roses to women at the end of his performance, no doubt endearing them to welcome him back to a Trinidad stage some time in the future.
A skit, featuring midget actors mimicking the Rolly Polly, allowed another band change on the main stage.
The Shiv Shakti Dancers preceded Destra & Bakanal, doing a well-choreographed and polished performance to the melody of a soca medley of popular hits.
Destra performed the show’s finale around 2 am, placing patrons in a bouyant mood as they exited the venue.
Ladies Night Out was one of the best produced mega concerts I have attended for some time. The programme flowed almost seamless, patrons were treated to excellent performances, food and drink were easily accessible, security was effective.