IT was not the official launch of Panorama 2020 nor was it a precursor to another major pan extravaganza but, Pan Komotion, held recently at the Katzenjammers Steel Orchestra's Pan Theatre, Black Rock, Tobago, more than held its own against other high-profile pan festivals.
Billed as a clash between Trinidad and Tobago's leading medium steelbands, the event did not disappoint.
If anything, Pan Komotion, which featured a blend of young players and veterans, far surpassed the expectations of both patrons and organisers.
The show, which sought to deepen the camaraderie that exists among the bands, featured a stellar line-up of steelbands from both islands.
Two-time medium band Panorama champions Katzenjammers, led by Pan Trinbago President Beverly Ramsey-Moore, headed Tobago's cast, which included reigning THA Pan Champs RBC Redemption Sound Setters, NLCB Buccooneers and Our Boys Steel Orchestra.
The Bethel-based Redemption Sound Setters usually perform in the large band category but still agreed to participate in the event.
"Everybody is one. There are no medium and large bands," said Marie Toby, leader of RBC Redemption Sound Setters.
Trinidad's line-up featured Curepe Scherzando, Arima Angel Harps and Sangre Grande Cordettes.
The bands delivered, churning out selections from their vast repertoire, many of which received frenzied responses from pan lovers.
Scarborough-based Our Boys launched the event with a few contemporary soca tunes, including Kees Dieffenthaller's Savannah Grass, Farmer Nappy's Hooking Meh and Nadia Batson's So Long. They also played a few easy-listening pieces, like Abba's Dancing Queen and Cat Stevens' Wild World.
Next up Curepe Scherzando, whose performance began with a soothing rendition of the Stevie Wonder classic My Cheri Amour. The band then switched vibes to the perennial soca favourite, Lord Nelson's Meh Lover before reverting to Wonder's Isn't She Lovely. This was followed by Lionel Ritchie's All Night Long, David Rudder's Calypso Music, Lord Kitchener's Old Lady Walk A Mile and Sugar Bum and Chris Tambu Herbert's Culture.
Launching their set with Rudder's High Mas, NLCB Buccooneers took patrons on a sentimental journey with Imagine (John Lennon) and Hotel California (Eagles). Hookin' Meh then set the tone for a spirited rendition of Shadow's monster hit Dingolay.
RBC Redemption Sound Setters delivered one of the more exhilarating performances of the night.
The band had patrons grooving with Neyo's One In A Million, Luther Vandross' Never Too Much and Pal Joey Lewis' Pint Of Wine. They then quickened the pace with Merchant's (Dennis Williams') Caribbean Connection, Duke's (Kelvin Pope's) Thunder and a calypso medley featuring Lord Nelson (Robert Nelson) and other artistes.
Katzenjammers, known for their spirited performances, lived up to their usual high standard.
Arima Angel Harps and Sangre Grande Cordettes, also left the audience wanting more.
Among those attending were Tobago House of Assembly (THA) chief secretary Kelvin Charles, THA presiding officer Dr Denise Tsoiafatt Angus, Secretary for Tourism, Culture and Transportation Nadine Stewart-Phillips, Tobago Festivals Commission director George Leacock and Pan Trinbago executive members.