Machel brings joy to Dimanche Gras

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Machel Montano and Patrice Roberts perform at Dimanche Gras 23 Metamorphosis Mud to Mas Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, on Sunday night. Jeff K Meyers

SOCA Superstar Machel Montano brought unexpected joy to kaiso and mas fans with his unanticipated appearance at Sunday’s Dimanche Gras show, Metamorphosis: Mud to Mas, days after mixed reviews of his Machel 40: One Show last Friday which suffered long queues and poor infrastructure despite his stellar performance at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain.

On Sunday, Montano came on-stage at the Queen’s Park Savannah and really energised the crowd ahead of the Calypso Monarch contest and the King and Queen of Carnival competitions. He performed hits such as Happiest Man Alive, and was then joined by Patrice Roberts and then by Destra Garcia.

Later segments of the programme were also preceded high-energy performances including by Nailah Blackman and Skinny Fabulous with their soul-stirring Come Home, plus Olatunji Yearwood, Nadia Batson, Darryl “Farmer Nappy” Henry, Ravi “Ravi B” Bissambhar, Raymond Ramnarine and Rodney “Benjai” Le Blanc, truly an unexpected lagniappe for patrons.

Robert “Lord Nelson” Nelson, 91, also performed.

Also opening show, the evergreen Mavis John had to be seen to be believed, with her deeply introspective offering that oozed nostalgia and even spirituality, all seemingly unknown yet oddly familiar.

She sang, almost hauntingly, “I’m just a stranger, In a crowded place.”

A few minutes later the very same words and phrases she had just used were repeated in a high energy performance by Neil Iwer George which turned out to be Mash Up by the late Dexter “Blaxx” Stewart. “This is not the time to be a loner. This is the time to wine on a bumper.” Wow.

These performances were all backed by dancers variously portraying cow mas, imps and butterflies, with bursts of smoke, sprays of confetti, and fireworks. So , with soca and theatre woven in among the kaiso and the mas, it was truly a night with something for everyone.