It was impossible to stand or sit still for International Soca Night at the Claudette 'Boopie' Smith Festiville last evening, August 4, as for more than five hours, the audience was treated to pulsating performances.
Surprisingly, Kassav opened the entertainment. The Francophone zouk band formed in Paris in 1979 proved why they are in high demand internationally, interacting with the audience at every given opportunity.
Kassav during their performance last evening, August 4, 2012.
Photo Credit: Gordon French/BVI Platinum News
The crowd was very receptive to the group and loud cheers erupted after every song, although some did not have a clue about the lyrics to the music.
The band opened up their show with the song 'Gade An Wo' and worked their way right to the very end with Zouk-La, which is a very popular song here in the Virgin Islands, especially at festival time.
"Zouk La Se Sel Medikaman Nou Ni", the crowd sang along.
The band was packing up their equipment to leave after performing for well over an hour when they decided to honour the crowd's appeal to return for one more song.
Patrons were able to catch their breath for a moment as Virgin Gorda's Calypso Monarch, Sistah Joyce took to the stage and performed 'What Good For The Goose Good For The Gander', a song she would have performed during the Road Town competition if calypsonians were called upon to perform a second song.
Her performance was followed by the reigning three-time Calyspo Monarch, Luther B. He performed his winning entry, 'Legacy' and then an acapella rendition of a few verses of 'Children Without Identity', one of the two entries at last year's competition.
Ritical also gave a cameo performance which included the recently released video single, 'Wish You The Best'.
After the local acts, the question must have crossed some minds - what can Shurwayne Winchester offer? He has been coming to the BVI ever so often.
"I should get a passport for the BVI," Winchester said during his performance.
Hundreds stayed after Kassav's performance and still had the energy to keep going as Winchester entertained like never before seen in the BVI.
He touched selections and beats from almost every genre, including old school hip hop, modern rap, dancehall, reggae and pop music. He stitched in many of his own songs into the performance and kept the audience entertained.
A young lady who said she was representing Guyana, shared the stage twice for a dance routine with the Trinidadian soca artiste.
If Winchester did not provide enough energy, then surely St. Vincent's Soca Monarch, Skinny Fabulous surely did.
Fabulous left the stage and ventured into the dense crowd and lead a throng of followers from the front of the stage to the booths away from the stage. What looked like a dangerous stampede was just pure fun for the revelers who stormed back with Fabulous to the front of the stage.
During his performance, he called females on stage to perform the 6:30 dance. One patron was presented with Fabulous' hotel room key, a move that left him searching for the key long after his performance had ended.
Winchester and Fabulous shared the stage for moments. At one point, bottles of water were brought to the stage as patrons were showered. The scene resembled that of a jouvert or rise and shine fete.
Reigning five-time Road March champions, Showtime band added to the charged atmosphere. Dozens of persons 'shook bottles' and 'pushed bush' way beyond 5:00 am.