A band of youths from San Fernando touched down in Arima and upset the music chart at the seventh edition of Pan in D Rosa. Playing in position three, San City Steel Orchestra went all out to capture the large crowd of pan music lovers on Lime Boulevard, Santa Rosa Heights, Arima, and they did from the start of their repertoire.
The southerners kicked off with the patriotic, Good Bless Our Nation and had the audience singing immediately. They continued with Now is the Time and Meh Lover. The three pieces of brass stole the show as they held conversations with the pans.
Joey Lewis’ Party King had the audience dancing in circles and the players seem to enjoy themselves. Englishman in New York was next. When San City started Have Yourself A Merry Christmas, the two trumpets and trombone were stars in the performance.
Just as you felt San City was finished, Benjai came on stage to perform Phenomenal and the audience went crazy. He encouraged the audience to appreciate pan music saying, “Pan is phenomenal” but somehow that was not necessary as they were enjoying themselves to the max. The Arima native then continued with Trini, thus ending San City’s performance as patriotic as they started.
Before San City, Arima Angel Harps got going with Waiting in Vain followed by Yesterday and Baron’s Come Go. The mixture of Christmas music and traditional songs in R&B, soca and other genres was welcome by what seem to be a music hungry audience.
Former calypso monarch Chuck Gordon joined Angel Harps and performed several old-time classics like Melda and The Lizard to the delight of the audience.
Melodians followed and began with The Jammer , then Rebecca and Single. TSi Yo Pudiera and Madame Jeffrey were their Christmas options, but also played Calypso Rose’s Leave me Alone and others.
Republic Bank Exodus gave an interesting blend of traditional Christmas, soca parang and calypso/soca music with their rendition of Burbujas de Amor being outstanding.
First Citizen Supernovas continued on a good run of form starting their set with the Beatles’ Yesterday. The band did several parang pieces along with a Sparrow and Kitchener Medley as well as Gold, Technically and a very good version of Al Green’s For the Good Times, for which they received thunderous applause. Supernovas ended with Carnival is Over.
By this time patrons started to leave but bp Renegades, CAL Invaders and Desperadoes were still to perform. Because of the late performance by Desperadoes fans were not able to hear young Aaron Duncan perform with the band but arranger Carlton Zanda Alexander played the keyboards.
Renegades’ rendition of O Holy Night was a classic as arranger Duvone Stewart played the e-pan while Arielle Cowie did vocals. Oscar B also did vocals with Renegades.
Interestingly, dramatic Soprano Ann Fridal performed a fantastic version of O Holy Night and Have Yourself a Merry Christmas with CAL Invaders.
Organisers of Pan In D Rosa seven stepped up their game in terms of organising the event and it proved to be one of the biggest edition.