KAISO Blues Cafe 2.0 officially opened its new home on Wrightson Road at SWWTU Hall to a packed house on Wednesday evening. Last year’s Road March winners Ultimate Rejects had the place on fire.
Hundreds of music lovers, entertainers, curious onlookers, friends and family of owner Carl Jacobs converged on the venue to be a part of the premiere opening. There was heat inside and out as the three air conditioning units were insufficient to cool down the venue. Outside there was a constant traffic jam with a full car park and no one manning the gate from the roadway.
Patrons were treated to a complimentary drink as they arrived and many were amazed to see the conversion of the inside of the building.
When the entertainment started Elan Parle and friends did not help the situation as their music kept everyone glued to the stage. There were constant messages from the MC for patrons to check on their cars.
On stage, Elan Parle started off with Andre Tanker’s Steelband Times. John John Francis was superb with his vocals, his dead slow rendition of Kees and Patrice Roberts’ I Like it Like That thrilled the audience.
Vaughnette Bigford kicked off her set with Crowded House’s Don’t Dream It’s Over and the audience went wild. She also had them singing at the top of their voices with Sparrow’s No Money No Love.
When veteran musician Michael Boothman came on, patrons were convinced that Kaiso Blues Cafe 2.0 was the place to be for live entertainment. Boothman started with Maya Mosquito before doing his chart topping Heaven. It was the ideal time to take an intermission for the audience to cool down and reflect on the exceptional level of musicianship displayed by Elan Parle.
The evening’s event was free to the public and they were asked to walk with their hard liquor, as the venue was not licensed to sell alcohol.
Upon resumption MC Robin Foster introduced Ultimate Rejects, who replaced an absent David Rudder, and lead singer MX Prime had the audience eating out of his hands. When it came to their Road March winner Full Extreme, the night turned into a fete.
Ultimate Rejects brought unmatched energy that was ideal to the start of something new. MX Prime enjoyed himself so much that he told the audience he would be back in the future to do a full concert.
Former government ministers Brian Kuei Tung and Arnold Piggott; several executive members of SWWTU, and a host of musicians, including brothers Roger and David Boothman, Ruth Osman, Marva Newton, Bri Celestin, Roger Salloum, veteran jazz keyboardist Clive Zanda, Chantal Esdelle, Chrisson Joseph, Kenneth Clarke, Gary Hector, Eunice Peters and Blackie, as well as Hasely Crawford, Mary Sui Butt and Carl Alfonso were among the audience for the opening night.