The third edition of the Gateway to the World ultra-inclusive fete held at the old Piarco airport car park, on Friday, was a night Kees Dieffenthaller could do no wrong. It was as though the spirit of his father, ole mas player George “Bunny” Dieffenthaller, who passed away on the first day of this year was with him.
The popular soca artiste on more than one occasion overcame personal emotions while on stage, and delivered what can only be described as a superb performance.
As lead of Kes the Band, he opened with Savannah Grass, a song that is growing in popularity by the minute. The crowd loved every bit of it. He then followed with Soca For Love, Love It, Nah Let Go, Work Out, Incredible, Million, People, and Pepper, leaving the crowd in a bit of heat.
Guest performer Teddyson John then took the stage to cool down the tempo with Parlez, a song he told the crowd, “is dedicated to every hypocrite you knew in your life,” prompting raucous laughter.
Kees returned front-stage with a flourish and had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hands for Hello and Wotless, the song that gave him his only Groovy Monarch title. But his performance of his closing number, a second take of Savannah Grass was absolutely fantastic, prompting the crowd at gateway to chant, “Road March! Road March!” Also giving highly entertaining performances were Shal Marshall, Patrice Roberts, Nadia Batson and Farmer Nappy, all of whom have very popular songs for the season.
Among them Marshal’s Party We Love, Roberts’ Like It Hot, Into You and Touch Me, Batson’s So Long and Farmer Nappy’s Hookin Meh, arguably the biggest song of the season thus far.
However, it was most unfortunate that these artistes had to hurry their performances because time was running out on them.
Apart from Nappy calling out some of his fellow artistes for being late, there was too long an interval between Kes the Band and the A Team.
MC Jason Williams must be commended for the fine job he did in keeping patrons entertained before their favourite artistes came on.
Earlier, the band Karma led by Ravi Bissambhar and his sister, Nisha B, performed soca and chutney songs as well as back-in-times calypsoes to warm the crowd. Among the numbers performed were Start Over, Budget, Ah Drinka, Workey, Pint of Wine, Meh Lover, Feeling It, Doh Rock It So, Tiney Winey, Big People Party, Stranger, Trouble in the Morning, Prescription, Big Bad Soca, Hulk, Gyal Owner, Soca Kingdom, It’s Carnival and Famalay.
Performances also came from 5Star Akil, The A-Team Band and Ricardo Drue.