Sunday, February 25, 2018

'Super' frenzy at weekend fetes

Eight-time Road March king, Austin "SuperBlue" Lyons seems set for another triumph this Carnival as his smash hit, "Fantastic Friday" continues to invoke pandemonium in the fetes. Lyons returned to his ways of old last Friday at Army Fete, when he clambered across on the speaker-boxes to perform his song after receiving a tremendous encore from the capacity crowd gathered at the Queen's Park Savannah.

Taking the stage around 3 a.m. with rapso soldiers, 3canal providing background vocals and musical accompaniment coming from the Roy Cape All Stars, Lyons had the crowd of thousands roaring and screaming his name with unbridled enthusiasm. Superblue's appearance invoked pandemonium throughout the arena and had the soldiers on duty scrambling to restore order as a number of female patrons vaulted the fence in between the crowd and the stage.

Lead singer of the band, Dexter "Blaxx" Stewart managed to calm the crowd back down a bit following SuperBlue's departure by stating prophetically that they had just witnessed the 2013 Power Soca Monarch. He then proceeded to perform his smash hit, "Leh Go", which is featured on the Soca Future riddim produced by Juelio Nelson, who is also responsible for Lyon's hit, "Fantastic Friday".

"Leh Go" is also creating quite a stir in the fetes and is a contender for the Groovy Monarch title. The same pattern followed Saturday evening at the Fatima Fete, Mucurapo Road, Port of Spain and interestingly SuperBlue's voice was only heard on CD as he was not a live act at that event. The rag waving crowd seemed satisfied just to hear the hit.

"What ah could say about Super that hasn't been said or isn't evident," said Stewart at the Army Fete. "We are privileged to be in the presence of a living legend! I hope to be able to do what he's doing now when I get to that age – and I hope for a similar reception from the people. I have no doubt that he's going to be victorious on Fantastic Friday – as will I."

Chants of "Super! Super!" are being echoed at all the major events, as the veteran bard prepares to take on Triple Crown Winner, Machel Montano at the finals of the International Soca Monarch competition this coming Friday.

Also making waves in the fetes is Lyons' son-in-law, Ian "Bunji Garlin" Alvarez, whose early hit, "Differentology" is still a crowd favourite and a definite crowd pleaser at every event. Alvarez, his wife, Fay-Ann Lyons and band, Asylum closed the action at Army Fete around 5 a.m., after performing their many hits for close to an hour. The four-time Soca Monarch and freestyle champion is being joined onstage by collaborator and rock musician, Nigel Rojas, whose Flamenco guitar licks are featured on the recorded version of the song. Both musicians showed their expertise this weekend at the Army and Fatima events.

"I feel really blessed to be here right now," said Rojas."Bunji is giving me a tremendous bligh and I have to bless him and thank him for it. I'm being exposed to a whole new world here and it's amazing to see the reaction the song is getting and the impact it's having everywhere we go."

Reigning Monarch, Machel Montano is not to be counted out of the race at all, as his defending singles, "The Fog" and "Float" continue to gain momentum and find favor with audiences around town.

Between them, these five songs are sure to earn a place in the annals of history as they provide the soundtrack for Carnival 2013.

–Nigel Telesford