casual crooner: American R&B singer Brian McKnight during his performance at Ladies Night Out at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain, on Friday night. —Photos: AYANNA KINSALE

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Soca men work ladies into all-night frenzy

Brian McKnight brings fans to tears during short set

By Verdel Bishop

Women came out in full force at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain for the "Ladies Night Out" event on Friday.

The crowd may have anticipated a concert-style performance from American R&B singer Brian McKnight but had to settle for four songs from the crooner.

McKnight, looking casual in a T-shirt and black jeans, sat on a stool and played the keyboard while he delivered a couple of his popular songs, including "The Only One For Me", "Do I Ever Cross Your Mind" and "One Last Cry".

McKnight eventually stood up and danced a little during one of his songs, which patrons appreciated.  

During his 20-minute performance, women called out his name, waved and sang along. Some were reduced to tears.

McKnight was fully prepared to woo his female fans with red roses, which he threw out into the audience. But some complained his performance was too short.

It didn't take long however for patrons' moods to change.

Nadia Batson was able to energise the crowd with a few of her recent favourites, including "Manager" and "Shangri La". The pace gained momentum with Bunji Garlin (Ian Alvarez) and his wife, Fay Ann Lyons-Alvarez, backed by the Asylum band.

The couple unleashed a couple of their old favourites and further jammed patrons with recent hits.

Bunji's "Differentology" (We ready for de road), which he referred to as the 2013 Carnival anthem, was all patrons could ask for.

Nigel Rojas was magnificent on his guitar alongside Bunji.

Their time on stage was appreciated by the audience.

There were a number of other performances.

Earlier, Kees, the first artiste to perform on the night, alongside his band and dancers, worked patrons into a frenzy. Kees made it his duty to go out into the crowd to "jam" on a fan.

His band went into everything, from reggae to oldies hits and fresh favourites. He even gave patrons an opportunity to choose their song, which they did when they called for "Body Parts".

The line-up of entertainers made the event memorable.

There was Iwer George, who whipped patrons into a tizzy. Drupatee, who sported a fierce hair cut, had some microphone problems, but it didn't bother her as she still went on to work patrons with "Indian Gyal".

 Pelf, Shurwayne Winchester, Destra Garcia, Blaxx alongside Roy Cape, Shiv Shakti Dancers, Calypso Rose, Singing Sandra and Denise Belfon all gave their fair share to patrons, who were appreciative of the performances.

There were many well-dressed women who went all out to make bold, fashionable statements. There were women in long, flowing dresses and some in shorts. There were those who opted for trendy tights and colourful blouses.

The event ended around 2 a.m. after Denise Belfon amazed patrons with "Wining Queen".

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