Eight hours after the start of the National Panorama semi-final a mass of people converged on the Savannah stage while thousands others were dancing in the stands to the song Year for Love.
Playing in position number ten, bp Renegades came on stage with arranger Duvone Stewart breathing fire and the players executed his arrangement of Aaron “Voice” St Louis’ Year for Love almost to perfection, improving their preliminary score by 18 points to push back the competition.
Stewart and Renegades took Sunday’s semi-finals at the Queen’s Park Savannah by storm with a dramatic introduction and followed through with seven minutes of excellent music. The band received the loudest “roar” from patrons in both the North and Grand Stands for the day.
There was a “jam” on stage as Renegades was followed by Desperadoes which brought just as much people on stage. It was the first time for the event heavily armed police officers came on stage to control peaceful music lovers who only wanted to be a part of “their band”.
A loud buzz was heard as Desperadoes finished the introduction to Carlton "Zanda" Alexander’s arrangement of Year For Love and for seven minutes and 28 seconds, Desperadoes' players produced musical excitement; so much so that a rack of rocket pans almost fell off the stage.
There was no jumping up during the performance as the entire Savannah audience listened to sweet pan music. In the end Desperadoes also improved on their preliminary score by 18 points moving from position five to second place.
Phase II Pan Groove in partnership with HADCO improved its preliminary score by 12 points for their performance of Len “Boogsie” Sharpe’s arrangement of Kees Dieffenthaller’s Hello and came in third.
After receiving a fantastic welcome from the North Stand, performing as Caribbean Airlines Skiffle, the band from Coffee Street, San Fernando, had to wait for ten minutes in darkness on stage before they got started. The generator which supplied power to that part of the stage broke down and the house announcer could not introduce the band.
The extra time on stage did not seem to affect Skiffle as they produced a very good rendition of Hello arranged by Kendall Williams, Odie Gonzales and Marc Brooks.
Skiffle improved their score by ten points to place fourth in the semi final.
Playing in position two, Massy Trinidad All Stars also brought a mass of people with them as they performed Leon “Smooth” Edwards’ arrangement of Lightening Flash. They tied with Skiffle for fourth place.
At about 10.26 pm, Republic Bank Exodus also had to stay on stage in darkness before they played at position 12 as the generator broke down again.
The semi-final for the large conventional bands got going at about 6 pm and ran for just over five hours finishing at 11.23 pm leaving patrons shocked. This was the earliest the event was ever completed.
Here are the semi-final results
1. bp Renegades - 282
2. Desperadoes - 278
3. Phase II Pan Groove (in Assoc with HADCO) 274
4. CAL Skiffle -272
4. Massy Trinidad All Stars -272
6. FC Supernovas -270
7. Nutrien Silver stars - 269
8. Republic Bank Exodus - 268
9. Shell Invaders - 267
10. MHTL Starlift - 263