Wednesday, January 24, 2018

SuperBlue's comeback gives soca new life


SOCA ICON: SuperBlue on his way to sharing the Soca Monarch crown at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain, on Fantastic Friday night, February 8. —Photo: MICHEAL BRUCE

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They may have shared the Soca Monarch Power title but Austin "SuperBlue" Lyons tugged the emotional and nostalgic chords of the people on Fantastic Friday at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain.

The high priest of soca led his congregation through an emotional display of bouncing, dingolaying and frenetic waving to easily be the people's choice.

Co-champion Machel Montano knew that fact when at the conclusion of his scintillating performance of "Float", thousands in the crowd erupted in a spontaneous cheer of "Super, Super, Super".

It was clear that thousands were moved to the Fantastic Friday venue to support "Blue".

From the fans wearing the blue T-shirts with the Superman insignia to those with the SuperBlue-marked bandanas, their focus was certain and strong.

In anticipation of his performance, people surged to the front, desperate to soak in SuperBlue's haunting, spell-casting vibe.

Even moments before MC Mark Anthony made his way to introduce the eight-time road march champion and five-time Soca Monarch title holder, fans were seen shedding tears while they jumped and pranced like they were possessed.

People cried when the opening skit of the blue douen wandering to Ras Shorty I's classic "Watch out my Children" appeared on the big screens.

People's sense of connection to SuperBlue, who last competed over 12 years ago, was palpable, the story of a man battling his own demons to recreate himself and be reborn to perform his talent for his followers.

The connection combined with the nostalgic sense of a time when SuperBlue dominated the soca scene manifested itself in the most frenzied display before, during and after his eight-minute set.

SuperBlue's appearance on stage at the feet of a white angel only made the wild crowd more frantic. Unlike most of his performances this season, his vocals were solid enough to make the 3 Canal crew's back-up vocals exactly that.

Not that the crowd would have noticed.

People were taken up in their own celebration of the appropriately named Fantastic Friday hit while SuperBlue flicked his mike, hopped on one foot and climbed the scaffolding, harkening back to some of his best performances and best days as a soca performer.

One reveller exulted "This is music!' in a moment of total abandon while thousands around him continued shouting word for word the lyrics of SuperBlue's song.

For sheer sustained energy, it was the most emotional and high-pitched performance in recent memory. As SuperBlue bounced off stage, followed by his supporting cast, the epic moment continued apace.

"Thank God for Soca! And Thank God for Super Blue!" an elated fan, still bouncing in time with the music shouted, paraphrasing a line from his hit.

As had happened before the performance, fans rang out "Super, Super, Super!"

He had stamped his mark once more on soca and Trinbagonian culture.