Soca superstar Patrice Roberts put on a heartfelt display for her adoring fans at her I Am Woman concert at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo on Wednesday night.
Roberts took fans on an emotional rollercoaster at the four-hour-long show, with passionate and melodic performances of her bumper Carnival 2024 hit, Anxiety, and candid references to the sudden death of her fiance, fellow soca artiste Ricardo "Drue" Barriteau, on December 12.
She opened up on the grieving process since Drue's death, suggesting the hectic season has not allowed her the time she needed – as hinted at by Anxiety, which alludes to soca and the Carnival festivities being her therapy or coping mechanism.
An unsuspecting Roberts could not hold up when an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-generated video of Drue was played on the onstage screen
before a brief performance by Teddyson John. A video montage of Drue's moments with Roberts, fellow soca artistes and friends was also shown.
Roberts said, "I am not
okay," and left the stage before the montage was shown, appearing to fight back tears.
Moments earlier, she had a heart-to-heart with patrons as she delivered a sombre acoustic version of Anxiety.
"I (will not) lie. Sometimes, it is really, really hard. It is not easy at all. To know that somebody was sleeping right next to you for one day, and then he gone, and never going and come back again.
"We have a child together, and that person is never going to come back. But every time I see my daughter, I see that person's face every single day, and every night.
"Nobody is perfect. But you see that man? I loved him with everything I had."
She said "putting God first" should be of utmost importance in life, and had some advice for men.
"Men, it is okay to not be okay. You cannot be strong all the time," she said. "It is okay to be vulnerable sometimes."
But Roberts was in a cheerful and playful mood for most of the concert as she engaged the crowd and her numerous fellow artistes, who all praised her for the strength she has shown during the Carnival season.
Roberts also tested the memory of patrons as she belted out throwback hits such as Always Be, Rollin', Sugar Boy and The Islands, with an expectant crowd hanging on to every last word.
Backed by the A Team band, Roberts gracefully shared the stage with over 20 artistes, as she struck a balance between up-and-coming acts and more seasoned soca artistes.
Lyrikal showed off his best self during his performance with Nailah Blackman and sang hits such as Happy Place and Cloud 9. Nadia Batson got a great reception from the crowd, who sang along to tunes like Market and Every Time.
Preedy and Voice both had the VIP and general admission sections jumping and stomping their feet as they sang Beating Road and Penthouse.
And as has been the theme of this short Carnival season, Mical Teja once again left the crowd in a frenzy when he sang Runaway and his Road March contender, DNA, with fans singing "no place like home" at the top of their lungs.
There were also performances from 3canal, Adam O, Farmer Nappy, Kees, Leadpipe, Olatunji, Nessa Preppy, Problem Child, Pumpa, Viking Ding Dong and Spirit Waist artiste Mela Caribe, with the artistes' sets ranging from four-13 minutes in the power-packed show.
Yung Bredda added dancehall flavour with Ambiance and VIP, with Jamelody bringing a reggae presence as he serenaded the ladies with songs such as Beautiful and For Your Love. Jamelody sang a soulful duet of the gospel song Yet with Roberts.
In the latter offering, Jamelody sang, "God, do not give up on Patrice."
Roberts said Machel Montano gave her the chance to break through in the industry, and she wanted to "pass on the baton" for younger artistes to have the same opportunities.
The Sweet Fuh Days singer was in her element with her mix of power and groovy songs, and appeased spectators who endured a near-two-hour wait before the gates eventually opened at 9.40 pm for an event scheduled to start at 8 pm.
There was a seamless procession into the venue, with separate entrances for the general admission, VIP and VVIP sections. An hour later, Roberts dramatically descended onstage from a crane to signal the start of the bacchanal. She thanked partygoers for their patience and for "having her back" at all times, and also thanked the Fire Services for showing up for her "when I could not show up for myself."
After Problem Child instructed spectators to take Thursday off from work with his infectious hit Holiday, Roberts returned to the stage one last time to sing songs such as Band of the Year and Light It Up as she brought the concert to a close around 2.30 am.
Once again she showed her fans her appreciation.
"You guys stood up (and waited) since 7 o'clock. I love you."