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Big 5 Concert huge success. Pan Trinbago’s ERO Mr. (D shapherd) threatened me at show.

Big 5 Concert huge success. Pan Trinbago’s ERO Mr. (D shapherd) threatened me at show.

By Aquil Arrindell

I was late. I arrived at about 10 pm and the event’s success was evident as cars littered the Queens Park savannah. There even were cars parked in the side streets and along Queens Park West, closest to the venue. As usual, I was greeted and escorted by the Queens Park steel pan ushers (scalpers) trying to sell off their tickets. As I entered, noticeably, there was an ambiance of international standard which was mainly due to the look of the stages. At the side of the appropriately decorated and well lit stages were two big digital screens which continuously displayed the brands of different sponsors.

The open air venue was blessed with good weather and the atmosphere was light. I was welcomed and greeted by people who knew me, the lime was happing and everyone was in good sprits. The venue was full. I cannot estimate the number but all the chairs were full. I was in time to hear Desperados, heating up the place with their most recent winning panorama song and the cool was restored with a David Rudder performance. During this time there was a lot of conversation directed to me so I had to divide my attention between that and the stage. Next, All Stars started their set. The audience had great expectations however during their classical piece, the audience noise level escalated, which to me meant that they were not paying the band much attention. At this time, I decided to walk around to meet and greet more people. I saw the treasurer of Pan Trinbago and one of their trusties who warmly welcomed me despite our differences. I must commend their actions as it showed their maturity. On the other hand, the ERO of Pan Trinbago saw me and started threatening me for, as he claimed, “calling he name”. I assumed that he was referring to my articles. I tried to be as diplomatic as possible with my reactions but I am a pan man first, before anything else. So to Mr Darren Sheppy, if you don’t want your name to be called, leave public office. Taxpayers dollars paying your salary. And I am a tax payer as well. I digress.

After our exchange of words, which did not chance my jovial mood, mainly because Mr Shepherd is like an old dog with more bark than bite, my attention went back to the stage and I witnessed one of the most amazing performances I have seen in pan. The Massy Trinidad All stars together with Arturo Tappin, playing Shape of You by Ed Sheeran. All Stars then closed with Full Extreme and their signature piece Woman on the Bass.

Whilst walking out, I could overhear people saying that Pan Trinbago could never organize a concert like this. There was even one person speaking among a group of individuals who said that this event was a slap in Pan Trinbago’s face and they should be embarrassed. Another person in the group told him to stop talking stupidness. That comment had everyone turning to him in surprise. Then he went on to explain that the statement could only apply to people who had shame to begin with so this present executive wouldn’t fall into that bracket.

Congratulation to the Big 5. Your success brings hope to all of Trinidad and Tobago where pan is concerned. Thank you.

Mr. Claude Gonzales’ requested report. 

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Mr. Claude u putting my life at risk. The life of a journalist.

LORD, AQUIL!!! Yuh kill me dead with that extremely detailed report. THANKS A MILLION!!! I will expand (from the EXPAT VIEW OF THE WORLD) on this comment about "The audience had great expectations however during their classical piece, the audience noise level escalated, which to me meant that they were not paying the band much attention."

Right about that time in the VIRTUAL AUDIENCE of about 860+ on YOUTUBE -- I made a comment that I was falling asleep followed by a threat to turn off my computer. Well the posters started ridiculing me immediately for not being appreciative of the culture (not their exact words). They wanted me to behave and appreciate good music. So you just saved my day when you mentioned that the real TRINIS in TRINIDAD eh have no time either for that CLASSICAL STUPIDNESS. But I did not take it personally because I understand the culturally starved psyche of the EXPAT and their desperate need to clutch at ANYTHING PAN  -- reflexively. DEY REAL LUV UP THE PAN TING!!!

But what a show, man. I enjoyed every minute of it (I took it as a package deal so I was typically jesting with the EXPATS on the chat). GREAT GREAT SHOW!!!

I think Cecil said on the CHAT last night: DOH CALL PAN TRINBAGO name in the middle of this GREAT GREAT SHOW. (A little paraphrasing on my part.) But it sort of summarized your last paragraph.

Ah buying you TWO TICKETS for the SOUTH SHOW. But you have to pay for your own BODYGUARDS!!!

Excellent "from the ground" reporting on your part, SIR!!!

It is evident that most pan people tired of Pan Trinbago and want to move on. Aquil not all PT people willing to give up that pay cheque, they'll bring back "rope" if anybody mess with they money.

Excellent program last night quality was number one, visual, audio and presentation. now hopefully the same will be done in Tobago and Sando. Michael C .Smith Boston Carnival Village Aquil thanks

My husband and I enjoyed the show immensely. Visual, audio and presentation was on point. Please continue to produce concerts like this showcasing some of the other bands. I was a little disappointed that Invaders was not included in this lineup, but understand that they were having those bands with multiple panorama wins. Thanks for the wonderful evening.

Atually these 5 bands have gotten together and formed an organization called International Steelband Foundation and pruduced this show as their first big venture and it wasn't a show highlighting the bands with the most panorama wins. There are going to be more events that will incorporate other bands that are willing to work with the ISF and there is already one dated for september with bands that are not members of the ISF.

Aquil, yes, I liked your reporting. Claude is the best expat promoter for anything pan, even if he has a pet project. Think global.
Thank you for being there.
Brenda H.

Hats off to the  ISF and the success  of the Big 5 Concert which was was thoroughly entertaining. Hopefully this will serve as impetus to other bands, to join them in trail blazing of a new path for the pan.  Their efforts and collaboration is to be admired, and encouraged. This what true entrepreneurship is about.- perceiving a problem and coming up with a solution, that no one has yet devised and having the courage to start, even with the available resources.

The ISF  took a bold step, and now is on record with their first success. Bravo.

It was thoroughly entertaining and made one proud to be Trinbagonian at the level of musical excellence, confidence and virtuosity that was exhibited.

This was proof positive that the pan musicians are able to move on after PT and make their own mark at home and hopefully abroad in times to come.

Pan is no longer considered just a local phenomenon to T&T , once viewed on Youtube, it is the perfect opportunity for the musicians to show their versatility. So the classical portions were quite appropriate, especially this skill is not new to pan musicians. These pieces can be used to market the pan (to booking agents ) for entities(e.g symphonies, recording artistes, Hollywood , Nollywood, Bollywood and more) who are looking for skilled musicians with a varied repertoire in varied music genres, 

I wish them every success and will help in whatever way is feasible  in my capacity, by leveraging my contacts as is needed or requested. 

Lynette Laveau

Media Arts Entrepreneur/Life Success Coach

Lynette, I believe you will make an excellent addition to the ISF, I hope these people are big enough to add those that can assist them in getting from point A to point B, heaven knows the steelband needs ALL the help it could get.

Some in the audience had a poor attitude and were uncomplimentary when All Stars was playing the classical piece. One comment was that "when people come with cooler, they are not in the mood for that". Many others just kept loud talking. It was a pity, as the band rendered the tune outstandingly great.

WELL, I woulda been right in the MIDDLE of the "COOLER CROWD" -- both in DRINK and ATTITUDE. It is nice to know that there are still some REAL TRINIDADIANS down in TRINIDAD!!!

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